“You guys are evil. Canada’s the best country in the world. We go to the doctor and we don’t need to worry about paying him, but here, your whole life, you’re broke because of medical bills.” – Justin Bieber via Rolling Stone
Those words may be from a young pop star, but even he knows there is something wrong with the American healthcare system. However, there is a growing movement in the healthcare industry that aims to make healthcare more efficient, cost effective, and accessible for the consumer. This movement is Health 2.0.
One of the major cities on the frontier of healthcare technology and innovation is Chicago, which is home to the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and the Chicago Health Technology & Health 2.0 group (Chicago Health 2.0). Though both organizations focus on healthcare, Chicago Health 2.0 differentiates itself by concentrating on technologies that result in innovations like increased efficiency, cost effectiveness, or accessibility.
To learn more about Chicago’s role in Health 2.0, I spoke with the co-founders of Chicago Health 2.0, Chirag Patel and Subbu Arumugam, about Health 2.0 and their organization. Chicago Health 2.0, a sub-chapter of the national Health 2.0 group, started as a Meetup group and now includes the website Chicagohealthtech.org. The group is focused on discussing and showcasing health-related technology and companies with an emphasis on the Chicago area. At their meetings, they profile start-ups and individuals focusing on EMR/EHR, personal health records (PHRs), information therapy, patient/caregiver communities, patient/doctor communication, fitness/wellness, remote monitoring, and patient engagement/education.
An example of Health 2.0 technology is the Kidney Stone App by Dr. William Johnston. This application helps users monitor their beverage intake throughout the day in a simple iPhone app.
The Chicago Health 2.0 group was founded in December 2009 and is funded out of the pockets of co-founders Patel and Arumugam, and through contributions from the community. Many of our readers may be familiar with Health 2.0 related companies and members of the Chicago Health 2.0 group, such as HuliHealth and Human Practice.
In the end you should know about Health 2.0 because it is about you. It is not about the healthcare industry or providers, but on you the patient, the consumer, the individual and how you interact with the industry. Maybe Health 2.0 will make our healthcare system a little less evil in the eyes of the “Biebs”.