Robert Furberg, MBA, Ph.D., BreathEasy Text Messaging Pilot Lead, RTI International
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Pioneer portfolio sent about 20 people to Health 2.0, including Project HealthDesign grantees, to discuss how best to move the early consumer health concepts from Health 2.0 into the clinical mainstream. Pioneer attendees were asked specifically, “Can we build better bridges to connect your work, Health 2.0 and clinicians?” and “How can we collaborate to leverage patient self-learnings as well as the work of health care professionals?”
The Pioneer portfolio group attended sessions, networked, and sought inspiration. In the evenings, we reconvened as a group for receptions or over dinner to discuss what we had heard and how we thought we could contribute. One of the most interesting things I noticed was that we tended to stick together in a pack, sharing our experiences with our own Project HealthDesign work, reflecting on interesting conversations, and explicitly addressing the elephants in the room — rigorous and valid evaluation of Health 2.0 ideas and/or technologies and fostering mainstream adoption of the nascent Health 2.0 movement.
We wrapped up the experience with a half-day Pioneer workshop to try to envision how better bridges can be built to connect our work with other worlds in transformative ways. We worked together to discuss questions like:
- What changes need to occur for the innovations on parade at Health 2.0 to become viable and credible among clinicians? Among the general population? Among health care systems?
- What kinds of policy changes need to be enacted before ODLs, self quantification, and other patient-generated data sources are integral to an electronic health record?
It was an exhausting, but invigorating, several days. The potential for Project HealthDesign to impart good evaluation practices and sound experimental methodology among the innovators at Health 2.0 is huge. This brand of collaboration is one that makes sense for all of us who reside at the intersection of technology and health.