Venture Capitalist Fred Wilson had a great post a while back titled, "Bootstrap Your Network With A High Value Use Case." He points out that the initial value proposition for Waze (the community-based traffic and navigation app acquired by Google) was simply to help drivers that like to drive too fast identify speed traps. But it of course quickly expanded way beyond that and now provides a lot more value ...

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Last week I was playing golf with some friends. The Boston area has been having a bit of an Indian summer, and we are lucky to still be getting out there (long may it last). The conversation during one of the holes turned to health care information technology, when my friend, who is also a physician, told me about his experiences with a (certain famous) new electronic medical record that’s just been installed in their ...

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The health care industry has traditionally moved at a snail’s pace when adopting innovation, but there is growing evidence that Silicon Valley’s ways are rubbing off on the sector. Recently, we have seen coders, scientists, and doctors team up to convene medical hackathons, the NIH has begun classes on lean start-up methods, and health care start-up incubators like Rock Health are flourishing. Even ...

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In Hollywood In the classic film, The Day the Earth Stood Still, an alien spaceship lands in Washington, DC, and delivers an alarming message; people of the earth must cease their internecine hostilities or face total annihilation. To prove their power, the aliens cause all electrical devices on the planet to stop working for 30 minutes. It's a pretty impressive show of force. In the office At 8:45 a.m. yesterday, despite the absence ...

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Health care remains one of the few services that require people to have a face-to-face interaction to obtain access. But more and more consumers are questioning that reality, and change is on the way. In January 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a new provider reimbursement code for non–face-to-face health care services for patients who have chronic medical conditions. A new CMS code may ...

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For decades, physicians and other health professionals have opened their offices with the assumption that everyone will need to see the doctor eventually. Why? Because that’s where you go if you have a health problem and need to get checked out. As a retina specialist, I assumed that years of training, working with special hand-held lenses, would offer me a diagnostic skill set that very few people in the world have ...

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Robert was the picture of health. He had run eight marathons and finished countless 5K and 10K races. He tracked everything from sleep to food intake, logging his exercise parameters religiously. A seven-minute mile was a routine workout for Robert. But over the course of a few days, he noticed that he felt more winded during his run. One morning, when he awoke and checked his heart rate variability (HRV), it ...

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“It’s going to be ugly today” was my colleague’s assessment at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, when the electronic medical record failed to launch, the Internet could not be accessed, pagers and phones could not connect, and a recording on the helpdesk line noted, “Systems are down, and there is currently no estimated time of resolution.” So we waded into fourteen hours of practicing medicine without computers. This was not good. Patients’ ...

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As more hospitals move to electronic health records (EHRs), many physicians have started writing about their growing discontent with the new systems. Authors have declared that EHRs are poorly designed, inefficient, lead to over-billing, and are downright dangerous. When my supervising physicians gripe about this, I mainly nod along to avoid conflict. But I have a confession to make: Most physicians currently in training love electronic ...

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The use of information technology in health care holds so much promise, and potential yet to be realized. Ask any front line physician and they will list electronic medical records (EMRs) as one of their biggest daily frustrations. A brilliant video by Zubin Damania, also known as ZDoggMD, recently parodied the current situation and the pain felt by doctors on a daily basis. But it really isn’t all about ...

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