health 2.0 SF paints a picture of what’s next

September 29, 2011

in health care,health games,mobile health,reviews: products, services, books,speaking engagements,wellness

health 2.0 SF is the speed dating scene of the health technology world—except you sit pretty while tech companies, not a potential partner, take their best 3-minute shot. if you like what you hear, set up a date. they’re there for the asking. if you don’t, no worries. they’ll be vacating their spot, ceding it to the next company for their 3-minute spot.

i was there to moderate two panels at the first-ever employers 2.0 preconference workshop and to moderate another panel on social games at the main conference.

employers 2.0

employers 2.0 covered topics unique to employers’ concerns: workplace wellness, onsite medical clinics, and consumer tools for purchasing insurance and health care services. the panels i moderated gave me the chance to talk about wellness with some familiar faces—limeade and keas—and to learn more about stickk, a solution based on personal commitment contracts. luckily, we also had the employer represented by clif bar, pfizer and the pacific business group on health, a non-profit business coalition with 50 large-employer members. sure, we touched briefly on the employers’ role in creating a culture of health, using their influence to improve health care, providing well-rounded wellness efforts that focus on the four biggies (stress, nutrition, fitness and tobacco). but we also discussed the behavioral, financial, aspirational, communal and spiritual—and not in a “granola” way. we talked about career development, volunteering, and finding deeper meaning with the work we do and the relationships we form. each of these wellness solutions supports this deeper definition of well-being.

next, we heard from cisco about their onsite clinic, launched in 2008, and from american well, an on-demand service that connects consumers and physicians. cisco’s comprehensive clinic offers a comfortable, inviting, convenient place for cisco’s employees and their family members to get comprehensive services, not just biometrics. the clinic offers primary care, laboratory and radiology services, and houses a walgreens pharmacy, vision care, disease management and employee assistance program counselors—even an acupuncturist. cisco offers employees who use the clinic a lower-cost structure, including waived copays. it’s a model that’s working for cisco, with satisfied employees reporting less time away from work and shorter wait times for care.

finally, six companies that offer tools for health care purchases, including insurance, demoed their product. it’s worth checking these out so you know what’s available to you and your employees now. as we move toward 2014, more tools and resources will be available to employers and consumers alike.

  • health—helps employees track their medical bills and health insurance payments
  • ehealth government systems—guides individuals to find the right health plan in an exchange
  • connectedhealth—leads employees to the best health plan for their needs and offers additional guidance and support, including live support
  • castlight health—provides unbiased information about price, quality and convenience of different health care providers so employees can truly become health care consumers
  • trustnode—teaches employees how their plans work and helps match them to the best plan
  • benefitsconnect (product)—handles online benefits enrollment for employers
in these brief demos, health expense, connectedhealth and castlight health stood out for their ease-of-use and guided decision support.

massively multi-player games

i moderated this panel pulled together by rajiv kumar, CMO and co-founder of shapeup. joining us were jonathan atwood, ceo of zamee and michael kim, ceo and founder of kairos labs. the game approach these guys talked about comes from PERMA, a new model for well-being created by martin seligman. (thanks to michael kim for introducing me to PERMA and the book from which this acronym comes, flourish.) PERMA stands for: positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, accomplishment/achievement. about now, you should be sensing a theme, as this echoes the conversation in the workplace wellness panel. games, these three felt, powerfully and effectively created an avenue for an individual to achieve all five ends.

demos, demos and more demos

but demos are the heart of health 2.0. it’s an astonishing rotation of over 130 companies hand-selected by the health 2.0 team for their creativity and impact—or potential impact, as some of these companies are being showcased for the first time and are looking for investment, alliances or buyers. companies that aren’t invited to demo can set up shop in the exhibition hall. it’s the leading showcase of cutting-edge innovation, and its intent is to keep its eyes—and ours—on what’s coming down the pike.

so, what’s coming down the pike? tools that’ll inform, guide and connect us. tools that’ll help us make better benefits and health care decisions, whether we’re working through an employer or buying direct as a consumer. tools that’ll connect us with others to pursue a lifestyle or help us overcome addiction or allow us to conveniently tap into a doctor from wherever we are, about whatever we need. tools that are personalized and work from where we are: physically, mentally or spiritually. tools that’ll make the technology we sometimes feel encumbered by our servant.

for employers, here’s a slim sample of companies to check out in addition to the ones already mentioned:

  • mindbloom—released at health 2.0 by aetna, this “life game” is billed as a “fun, simple and effective way to improve the quality of your life.”
  • onerecovery—focused on recovering addicts, this social network helps addicts, as well as their family, work through and keep to their recovery.
  • healthtap—connects you to thousands of physicians who can answer your questions for free via online and mobile solutions.
  • liv.n it—not yet released, this is a “mobile habit gaming network” from kairos labs that’s designed to encourage us to complete small, daily acts of healthy living.

after watching a slew of demos, you notice things you might not otherwise notice if you were using only one product. facebook features are infiltrating many products, with status updates, “likes” and so on becoming ubiquitous. i’m sure this aids ease of use, since it’s all familiar, but one has to wonder when we’ll have facebook fatigue (outside of facebook). similarly, i saw more than a few tweets suggesting that attendees are experiencing a similar fatigue with gaming elements. it’ll be interesting to head back out to health 2.0 next year and see what we’ve learned and where we’ve landed.


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ZeniGv November 14, 2015 at 8:41 am

How about having the Mayo Clinic Cookbook for sale, along with smaple weekly menus that include some free recipes, shopping lists, etc.Also, just suggestion sheets that can be put up on your fridge (maybe even with a magnet on the back) for things such as around the house 30 min heart-healthy workouts , healthy snacks , healthy things to do with your kids , health family night ideas , etc. So many people want to live a healthy lifestyle, but don’t know where to start.


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