I just got back from a great couple of days at the Health:Refactored conference — a new show put on by the Health 2.0 folks that brings a slightly more technical bent than your typical “Healthcare IT” conference. The Computer History Museum was a great venue (check out my picture of a real life Cray-1… so cool!) and I really enjoyed having a ton of 1:1 time with real developers and innovators.
This morning I did a quick keynote to help start the day off. Because of the audience, I took a slightly different approach than I often do in talking about the industry — hard to know if it was motivating and fun (the goal) or snarky and obnoxious (the risk), but either way I figured I’d share it here as well in the hopes that it can spark some good discussion.
I uploaded my slides here; but the punchline is encapsulated best in this one picture:
What I’m trying to say is — there are TONS of great ideas about how to make healthcare better — and frankly our system is so screwed up that the vast majority of those ideas actually could help. The problem comes in at the point of execution — too many people get stuck in “pilot” mode, ignoring the ugly, hard, integration problems that are frankly the hard part of healthcare technology:
- How do you get the data you need to drive your solution?
- How does your solution fit into actual provider and patient workflows?
- How can your solution work with all patients (not just the ones with iPhones)?
Helping innovators get beyond the trap of pilot mode — and use their startup dollars efficiently — is what platforms like HealthVault are all about. Honestly, if I hear one more developer tell me that they figured out how to parse a Blue Button or CCD file, or that they connected directly to Withings and Fitbit and ten other devices, I’m going to lose it — HealthVault abstracts those things away for you. You just ask for data, and you get it — I put money into keeping my parsers matched to the whim of the VA, Epic or whomever, so that you don’t have to. Take advantage of that!
Anyways — it’s a hopeful and positive story. Today HealthVault and other great platforms like SMART make it easy for savvy developers to concentrate on their innovations, not the mess underneath them — and puts them in a position to escape the black hole of the forever pilot.
…which is a great segue into the other really cool thing we kicked off at Health:Refactored — a challenge meant to stimulate some great ideas and innovations combining Windows 8 and HealthVault to “re-imagine” consumer health. The only requirement is that you leverage both technologies to do something great — but time is short! Details are here and submissions have to be in by June 30. GO!
For some inspiration, take a look at our own HealthVault app for Windows 8, or the really great medical image viewer built by Mobile Solutions. We have a super-rich Windows RT SDK with sample code to get you started as well; check it out here.
If you have any questions about the challenge, post a question here or just send a note to the challenge email alias at Win8HealthDevs@microsoft.com — and we’ll do whatever we can to help. Oh, one other thing … we had some free kits at the conference that made it easy for Mac-based developers to work with Visual Studio and Win8 through a VM … I don’t know if we have extras of those but if you want one email the alias and ask … worth a try!
Can’t wait to see what you create. Thanks to everyone who participated at the show and look forward to doing a v2 of it next year!