Best examples of what a health enterprise should be: a risk, but one full of opportunities

The second “Health 2.0 Europe” conferences were held in Berlin a few days ago.

The coordinator of UniversalDoctor (the project which aims to improve patient-doctor multilingual communication), Dr Jordi Serrano, attended the Congresses.

The conferences drew many leaders and coordinators of interesting projects on health and the use of the Internet. Medical entrepreneur Dr. Frederic Llordachs presented the new face of Doctoralia, a major portal that makes it possible to find, contact and book medical services.

We found his post on the conferences, which he published on his blog , very interesting and with his permission reproduce a summary of it below:

The conferences…in Berlin are aimed at presenting business health initiatives, most of which employ technology, although use of the Internet is essential.

Berlin is a beautiful city that has managed something incredible: to eliminate a historical fracture. On my way to the event, walking alongInvalidstrasse, I realised it would have been unthinkable for me to cross the street where the Berlin Wall divided the city  between 13 August 1961 and 9 November 1989. I even came across a  plaque commemorating the death of Günter Litfin, the first person to be shot dead at the city border.

The wall was an ideological barrier made into a physical one. There is also an ideological fracture in matters of health, innovation and ICTs: on the one hand there is a collaborative vision based, in some points but not all, on the  Cluetrain Manifesto definition of individuals, but which does not consider that everything in life, absolutely everything (even if it doesn’t seem like it) has a price, if not in money, then in time. This ‘Wikipedic’ concept, which aspires only to look towards the horizon, based on good intentions but without worrying about the future, runs ideologically up against the business sense that values a project’s self-sustainability above and beyond anything else – a vision that values success on the basis of market acceptance, aimed more at the customer than the user, who is the one who has to make it sustainable.

The big ideological debate with another attendee, a colleague in this type of “trade mission”, i.e., the great Jorge Juan Fernandez, the “liquid hospital man” (a success story and a local example at the international level) was about the focus of the Congress. This was a Congress to see consolidated projects that are up and running, are proving successful with users and which directly impact resource production and therefore improvements to it.

To return to the Congress, one star of the event was the app manufacturerOrca Health, which in the Launch! session won a show of hands for its explicative apps that are already available on iTunes. Making the most of the market route is the best route to success. In this case, the channel is hugely important, which is why the apps were so well received. Other hits at the Congress were Swedish outfit iDoc24, an over-the-phone dermatology diagnosis-guidance (if not diagnosis itself) service, and DrEd, which enables e-prescriptions in an environment like English  (which, unlikely though it seems, is less publicly involved in this aspect). Personally, for their implementability, I liked Clinithink, a service capable of semi-automatically coding on the basis of plain text (the typical battle lost in the classic war of the paper-free hospital) and Trialreach, which makes patients really available to investigators and vice versa. I also liked Videum, a videostreaming subtitling project (which they do in TED conversations) which has a great future ahead of it and that has been developed by the all-powerful Publicis agency.  But the big winner was American Well, one of the congress sponsors, which gave an impressive presentation. CEO Roy Schoenberg discussed the project, which has already moved beyond mere vision to become a practical telemedicine application that covers the length and breadth of the US, a concept Obama mentioned in his State of the Nation address. It is a present and future reality, a technologically highly advanced implementation which involves the outlay of vast amounts of money on innovation (the telemedicine booth, the return of the concept!) but which also produces it. The best example of what a health enterprise should be: a risk, but one full of opportunities.

Could the financial downturn at least see even the old guard trying something new?

Dr.Frederic Llordachs

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