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Appreciating Early Results of the Health 2.0 Initiative

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In Population Health and Patient Self Management

Jennifer TomasikBy Jennifer Tomasik MS

By Carey Huntington

By Fabian Poliak


Despite the growth in Health 2.0 interaction over the past few years, we still see Health 2.0 in its infancy relative to the potential it holds for activating patients in managing and being more accountable for their own health. There is further hard evidence that its strategies are already improving patients’ quality of life, expanding providers’ expertise, and helping health systems and payors financially.

On Patient Self Management

And, if Health 2.0 can, as discussed elsewhere on this ME-P, enable people to reduce smoking, become physically fit, and more actively participate with their providers in the management of chronic disease, we posit that these things combine to result in a better sense of health and wellbeing for those involved.

One would logically conclude that these kinds of interventions result in fewer interactions with the healthcare system, an issue that Harrison et al tackled in a study earlier this year that was published in Population Health Management. It looked at the relationship between self-reported individual wellbeing and future healthcare utilization and cost. They found that higher self-reported wellbeing was associated with fewer hospitalizations, visits to the emergency room, and use of medications.

Overall, the authors concluded that improving wellbeing (or what we would refer to as a perceived sense of health) holds tremendous promise in reducing future use of healthcare services and the costs associated with that care[i]. We see Health 2.0 as an effective way to enable people to improve their wellbeing and suggest that its impact will continue to mount over time in terms of better outcomes and reduced cost.

Health 2.0 Offerings

Health 2.0 offerings are looking at a variety of ways to measure their impact beyond cost and quality. The Collaborative Chronic Care Network, for example, is reporting on number of participants, response rates via text, and pilot projects undertaken, but not yet on clinical or financial impact of its patient partnerships. Even well-known companies, like Patients LikeMe, are not currently reporting their specific impact on influencing organizations and institutions in healthcare to drive toward standards of care and other cost-reduction solutions—rather, they are reporting their impact on individual lives, through testimonials on the power of connection. Their vision of results rings true for many components and actors in Health 2.0:

We envision a world where information exchange between patients, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, researchers, and the healthcare industry can be free and open; where, in doing so, people do not have to fear discrimination, stigmatization, or regulation; and where the free flow of information helps everyone. We envision a future where every patient benefits from the collective experience of all, and where the risk and reward of each possible choice is transparent and known.[ii]

This description does not mention economics, but it also does not mention illness. And we know that clients of companies like ShapeUp are working in the background compiling their own estimates of the savings that these programs and other interventions are likely to have on their healthcare costs. This is the kind of data that will “triangulate” out to other organizations and help build momentum for Health 2.0.



From Sickness to Health

As we shift from a system that addresses sickness to one that promotes health, we may experience that the more interesting promise of Health 2.0 is less about economics and more about accelerating a sweeping cultural shift that focuses our collective and individual energy on wellness. We know that tools alone—the supports that can help catalyze behavior change—will not be totally responsible for the change in outlook.

But, the tools and other supports in Health 2.0 will serve as some of the key catalysts, ushering in a new era that foregrounds prevention, wellness, and better management of chronic disease, and works to reduce the economic burden on health systems, governments, and individuals themselves. 



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About the Authors

Jennifer Tomasik is a Principal at CFAR, a boutique management consulting firm specializing in strategy, change and collaboration. Jennifer has worked in the health care sector for nearly 20 years, with expertise in strategic planning, large-scale organizational and cultural change, public health, and clinical quality measurement. She leads CFAR’s Health Care practice. Jennifer has a Master’s in Health Policy and Management from the Harvard School of Public Health. Her clients include some of the most prestigious hospitals, health systems and academic medical centers in the country.

Carey Huntington and Fabian Poliak both work in CFAR’s Health Care practice.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com


[i] Harrison PL, Pope JE, Coberley CF, Rula EY. “Evaluation of the Relationship Between Individual Well-Being and Future Health Care Utilization and Cost.” Population Health Management 2012;15(00).

[ii] “Corporate FAQ – What is the future of healthcare in a PatientsLikeMe world?” PatientsLikeMe. Online. Accessed 12 Oct 2012. <http://www.patientslikeme.com/help/faq/Corporate&gt;

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One Response

  1. Healthcare and the Financial Services Industry
    [Related Sectors?]

    Health 2.0

    Health 2.0 is participatory healthcare characterized by the ability to rapidly share, classify and summarize individual health information with the goals of improving health care systems, experiences and outcomes via integration of patients, medical providers and stakeholders.


    Financial Services 2.0

    Financial Services 2.0 are participatory retail services characterized by the ability to rapidly share, classify and summarize individual finance information with the goals of improving financial planning processes and outcomes via integration of clients, financial advisors and stakeholders.


    Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP


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