HealthTap: The Emperor’s New Clothes of Social Sites

Michael Millenson

Posted 1/08/12 on Forbes

You can’t get much cooler than HealthTap: slick Silicon Valley start-up, social media darlingsavvy and successful backers. But when you closely examine the service HealthTap actually provides, the money and good looks fall away. Like in the fable about “the emperor’s new clothes,” behind the buzz, there’s nothing there.

OK, maybe one thing: a really risky way to get medical advice.

Here’s how a Feb. 4 New York Times article described the company’s website:

[U]sers post questions and doctors post brief answers. The service is free, and the doctors aren’t paid. Instead, they engage in gamelike competitions, earning points and climbing numbered levels. They can also receive nonmonetary awards — many of them whimsically named, like the “It’s Not Brain Surgery” prize, earned for answering 21 questions at the site.

Fellow physicians can show that they concur with the advice offered by clicking “Agree,” and users can show their appreciation with a “Thank” button.

Continue reading “HealthTap: The Emperor’s New Clothes of Social Sites”

Health Hackers and Citizen Scientists Shake Up Medical Research

Kent Bottles

Posted 12/05/11 at Kent Bottles Private Views

Whether you call it Health 2.0, Medicine 2.0, or e-Health 2.0, the Internet is changing medicine in ways that challenge the status quo. This article explores how a group of amateurs who call themselves “health hackers” and “citizen scientists” are trying to use the Internet to connect with other patients, run experiments, and conduct clinical trials on their own diseases.

Continue reading “Health Hackers and Citizen Scientists Shake Up Medical Research”

Health 2.0: Patricia Salber interview | The Doctor Weighs In

Here’s a short interview with my pal Pat Salber, MD MBA at the Health 2.0 conference in San Francisco in early October. Pat was an Emergency Medicine physician at Kaiser Permanente for 20 years before becoming a Medical Director for Managed Health Care Initiatives at General Motors. She went from there to be Senior Medical Director for Blue Shield of California’s CalPERS Business Unit. She was on the original Leapfrog Board. And now she’s a Founder and Principal of Zolo Health Solutions, a consulting group focused on helping health systems develop workable Accountable Care Organizations. So she’s been around the block, and has deep insights into the valences of constantly emerging health care innovations. Regular C&C readers will also recognize that Pat is a prolific columnist with a breezy style that belies her incisive wit and astute understanding of all things health care.