1 posts tagged “Health 2.0 Northeast”

Health 2.0: Where do we go from here?

Posted October 10th, 2008 by

h20nelogo971510_std.jpgA few nights ago, I was honored to give a keynote at the second Health 2.0 Northeast conference held right here in our Cambridge, MA backyard.  It’s exciting to see old friends and new emerging start-ups coming together to try and make a dent in the $2 trillion industry that is healthcare in the U.S.  In the world of Health 2.0, we have a lot of great opportunities to impact healthcare in a positive way, including shaking things up and putting patients back at the center.  With so many new and promising companies emerging in the space (many in attendance at the Boston event), we have to start thinking about what happens next.  How can we really make change, and what changes need to be made?

trailtoprofitability-1.png I believe we, as the eHealth community, need to focus on two major goals:  1) solve patients’ problems, and 2) create business models that allow us to do #1.  The PatientsLikeMe business model is straightforward.  We build online communities where patients share structured information about their disease to help themselves and others.  In turn, we make money by selling that data.  We are open with our patients about how and why we sell this data (and specifically what data we sell).  They understand this exchange and they’re all for it. “Sell, sell, sell” someone recently wrote in a discussion about our business model.  Why?  Because they know our goal in selling is to help pharmaceuticals companies, medical device companies, healthcare providers, and others in the industry learn more about patients.  We’re giving those companies the kind of information that can help improve the products/services they’re creating for patients.

I don’t want to prognosticate about what types of business models will work for all Health 2.0 companies as the industry evolves (because, ultimately, this is an evolution).  It’s up to each company to figure that out.  I do believe that there’s no wrong path when you keep both those goals in your sights.  Help patients, and create business models to do that.  Moving forward as a company and as an industry, that’s exactly what we need to do.  Now let’s get back to work…

PatientsLikeMe member bheywood