Going Viral Against HIV and STIs

The New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute, in partnership with AIDS.gov, held a one-day forum on social media, HIV, and sexually transmitted infections (STI) that turned out to be an unfiltered discussion of love, truth, and technology.

Why was it so smoking hot? And is this unique to conferences (or panels) about sexual health?

Maybe it was because it was a room full of public health advocates who are very comfortable talking about “unmentionables.” (How many speakers have you seen ask an audience, “We’ve all had sex in a public bathroom right?”)

Maybe it was because speaker after speaker talked about the power of small groups to make a difference: Continue reading

The Future of Health: Robots, Enchanted Objects, and Networks

I have seen the future of health and it’s networks (with apologies to Lincoln Steffens).

Chronic disease is exploding in the U.S. The number of primary care health professionals is declining. Behavior change is difficult. But what are we going to do about it? Here are three ideas I’ve brought back from my travels: robots, enchanted objects, and networks.

The most radical idea I’ve heard was proposed at one of the most staid events I’ve attended: the Connected Health Symposium. Roll the tape:

Joe Kvedar also blogged the speech: “Emotional Automation: Bonding with Technology to Improve Health.” Check out this idea:

Can we set up systems that are extensions of our providers that will allow patients to feel cared for by their doctor but be interacting with a piece of software or a robot?

Continuing this theme of interaction with inanimate objects, watch David Rose talk about GlowCaps and other enchanted objects at Mayo Transform 2010: Continue reading

The Decision Tree: How Better Health Can Scale–Susannah Fox

“The internet was created to connect people and groups. The first step is to share stories. The next step is to share quantitative observations.”

“Health care has been locked up in regulatory amber. HIPAA was passed in 1996, almost perfectly timed to cut off health care from the internet. But there is a loophole: to demand our information.”

“When people take a participatory role in their health, we see improved outcomes.”

These are just  a few of the insights you’ll hear if you listen to the full audio track of my conversation with Thomas Goetz, author of The Decision Tree:

However, if you can’t spare the whole hour and 15 minutes, you can just dip in to the #decisiontree stream: Continue reading

Participatory Medicine at PdF09: Can we get a do-over?–Susannah Fox

The poli-tech tribe gathered in New York last week for the Personal Democracy Forum and, as Craig Newmark put it, welcomed “our new nerd overlords.”

Esther Dyson, Jamie Heywood, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), and I were asked to take on a breakout panel entitled, “From Participatory Politics to Participatory Medicine: The Coming Revolution in Health Care.” Cool, right?

Jerry Nadler joins Esther Dyson, Jamie Heywood and Susannah Fox to talk about "From Participatory Politics to Participatory Medicine" at Personal Democracy Forum 2009

Esther Dyson, Jamie Heywood, Jerry Nadler, and Susannah Fox

Via email, Esther suggested we skip the usual speeches and just tell the audience the questions we’d like to be asked and have a truly participatory session:

  • Jamie was going to talk about PatientsLikeMe, HealthDataRights.org, and the power of patients to take control of their own data.
  • Esther was going to ask how openness, transparency, measurement, and sharing of data affect health care.
  • I was going to talk about which tech trends might forecast higher (or lower) levels of involvement by all Americans in both participatory medicine and participatory democracy.

Then Rep. Nadler arrived and said he’d been told that this was a panel about health care reform. Well, kind of. Not really. But we had to get started.

It didn’t go well. Continue reading

Mobile, social technology and the impact on health care–Susannah Fox

Fard Johnmar interviewed me about internet adoption, the use of social technologies among minority groups, and my hope that e-patients’ “passion, knowledge, and ingenuity is brought forward no matter what else is planned for health care reform.”
Continue reading