Something special happened this year at the BlogWorld New Media Expo. In a small, unassuming room in the LA Convention Center, people from different walks of life — from e-patient advocates to physicians to manufacturers to providers — met and discussed how that by working together, we could all enhance the way online health information is created, distributed and used.
For the past two years, the dedicated health track at BlogWorld (Sponsored, in part, for the past three years by Johnson & Johnson and MedPage Today) has been punctuated by an interactive session in which those in attendance discussed not only the issues surrounding how healthcare information is delivered, but also the promise that new technologies, new distribution channels and new information providers offer all patients, professionals and caregivers. What sets BlogWorld apart from many other industry conferences and gatherings is that it is one of the few times that different stakeholder groups have come together in one place, at one time. Usually, meetings and conferences involve just manufacturers or technologies — such as pharmaceutical marketers, or technologists. At BlogWorld, however, the audience and speakers included physicians, nurses, patients, marketers, PR folks and others who have an interest in health.
The result was a conversation that went beyond just discussing advertising or promotion — beyond technology — beyond he mechanics of using different digital technologies and social media tools — and beyond discussions of patient needs. The result, in fact, was a broader discussion about how all of these diverse stakeholder groups have a responsibility and a role to play in the way in which health is delivered. What those roles may, in fact, be, has yet to be determined — but during the meeting, it became clear that those in attendance had an interest in figuring it out — and that virtually everyone in the room felt that if such a vision is clearly articulated, shared and followed by all parties, that in the end it could help to reduce the clutter and cut through the cacophony to help people find information or insights to help them make better decisions around health.
While I helped moderate, David Armano, Executive Vice President, Global Innovation & Integration at Edelman Digital, captured the discussion in a series of whiteboard images. The results can be seen below, but the big idea — the concept that everyone rallied around — was to create some kind of “center of excellence” for online health that would include representatives of all of these stakeholder groups. This “COE would put forward a vision for the future as well as a set of roles and responsibilities for each stakeholder group. The hope is that this idea doesn’t just end with BlogWorld 2011, but that it will be taken up by those who attended the session (or others) to create something sustainable for the future. I plan to be part of this “movement” — which has yet to be fully defined — and I’m hoping that others will likewise join the cause…
A Center of Excellence for Social Health
Armano’s image of the “Center of Excellence”
An open discussion...
What does it mean to be open?
Putting a human face on health
Sometimes online health feels impersonal.
Held back by regulations --from all parties
Do regulations hold back advocates? Are there ways to work within the current regulatory framework?
Pretty self explanatory...
Not sure if online health is so much a “political football” as a hot potato that no one wants to take responsibility for…
Be prepared to be ridiculed
As with any public movement or event, whoever may join into this conversation will likely be ridiculed.
Measuring the success of health
How do you measure success?
Ensuring authoritative content floats to the top of search
Improvements have been made over the years, but through efforts to influence search results, sometimes authoritative or timely information is difficult to find.
Content putting a human face on illness
Content can help put a human face on illness.
It’s a careful balance.
David summing up the conversation. Speaking on behalf of everyone in attendance, I can say we were all very thankful he was part of this event and captured the discussion through these excellent images.