“Succeeding in online health” lunch meeting

Today outside Boston I attended a “lunch-n-learn” session of the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council, titled “Patient, Heal Thyself: How to Succeed with Online Consumer Health Sites.” At first I thought it was going to be about creating great health resources, but that’s just my parochial view :-)…. it was about how to make a business success of them.

But I don’t mind that – I’m in business too. And, our own Jon Lester was one of the presenters, talking about the fairly amazing things people are doing in SecondLife with healthcare.

I whipped out the computer and started blogging on my own site (hadn’t gotten in here yet). Two posts: the business case for listening to patients, and takeaways.

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2 Responses to ““Succeeding in online health” lunch meeting”

  1. Dave,
    You should have minded. This is fundamentally the wrong approach. This is exactly the reason that most of these H2.0 businesses will NOT succeed — because they’re far too focused on monetizing, and not nearly focused enough on what consumers/patients really want and need.

    – AmyT of http://www.diabetesmine.com

  2. Amy,

    I don’t think I suggested that H2.0 businesses will succeed, and I certainly don’t have the opinion that making a buck should rule. I just meant that I don’t object to someone looking for how to make a successful business.

    I don’t speak for anyone else, but my post (linked above) on “the business case for listening to patients” specifically recommended:

    “Here’s a clue, investors: to build success, don’t sit in a conference room figuring out what someone would want, and do NOT emulate the many web sites that say ‘Here is what we believe you should want to know.’ Just ask patients what they want to talk about.”

    I think the popularity of your blog proves that when the walls come down and anyone can publish, we get to decided what makes a difference to those of us who are in a pickle – and the traffic will flow to what people want. In the face of free information, a business that doesn’t listen will collapse.

    What I cannot stand is the idea of anyone withholding treatment (or research) for the benefit of their shareholders – or their academic career. For instance, for my cancer, there’s research underway into various genetic markers, and the sooner that research bears fruit, the faster treatments can develop. People will die waiting for that. But some researchers consider their data to be capital that they shouldn’t just give away. Hearing that last weekend, I said “How DARE they put a higher priority on ownership of their data than my life??”

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