This week’s Check-up comes from the Digital Health Task Force attendees of South by Southwest (SXSW).
SXSW is more than one of the nation’s largest music festivals. The Interactive portion features five days of presentations from some of the top thought leaders in emerging technology, digital works and innovative ideas.
This year, social health took over the conference as health thought leaders and digital experts converged to discuss how social media and the internet are transforming health care. It was the first year at SXSW that there was a formal health track and Edelman was present by working with Shwen Gwee and Dana Lewis, co-founders of Social Health, to host a kick-off meetup.
Panels on patient/caregiver and physician boundaries within social media, utilizing open health data, and mobile health opportunities, among others, discussed how the industry was entering the social space, current and future trends, and how to maximize collaboration to further drive health technology.
Throughout SXSW it was evident how health touches all aspects of our lives as people across a breadth of industries attended health panels – from physicians, hospital administrators, patients, and marketers, to gamers, developers, psychologists, and user-interface designers.
This Health Digital Check-up contains some of the team’s top insights and programmatic considerations.
The Decade of Gaming
The last ten years was the decade of social, with the emergence of Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare digitizing our connections and putting them online. The next decade, according to Seth Priebatsch, founder of SCVNGR, is going to be the decade of games. Game mechanics are already evident throughout society in places such as school, customer acquisition and loyalty programs in the form of rewards. As this game layer is still being developed, we have the opportunity to use these mechanics to motivate behavior change. The game layer seeks to act on human motivations and has the potential to influence how, what and why we do things. The game layer can be pulled through into the health space and as programs are developed, think about how incentives can be used to drive consumers to action. Click here for more information.
The App Opportunity
Apps are dominating the health industry with currently more than 8,000 health related apps available on iTunes. In fact, in 2011, 14 percent of adult Americans will use a mobile health app and estimates are that by 2015 there will be 500 million mobile health applications. Mobile is lowering the activation energy required for individuals to engage in their health allowing more consumers the opportunity to take an active role in managing their personal wellness. However, according to BJ Fogg, we are still in the Friendster stage of mobile health technology. As companies begin to move further into the mHealth space, they need to think about how to trigger the right sequence of baby steps for effective behavior change. View the Edelman moderated panel at SXSW on this topic.
Open Sourcing Health
Every day a vast amount of data is generated by consumers. The government, along with companies, house and collect a lot of this information and now there are apps to transform this vast amount of data and make it meaningful and actionable for consumers. One such example, Asthmapolis, is utilizing location based tracking to gather data about when and where individuals are using inhalers to provide insights into preventing future attacks. Another example is a an app released by the San Ramon Valley Fire Department that allows users to be notified if someone nearby is suffering from sudden cardiac arrest in public places, restaurants, stores and parks. It brings up a map to show where the user is and where the victim is and the location of the nearest automated external defibrillator. As a two way interaction is created, we move from the patient as the subject to the patient as a participant. How are current health programs already collecting data and how can this data further contribute to public health needs?
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