What's that you say? What the heck is a "Health Account Plan?" I am pleased to announce that this week, at the Health 2.0 Conference in San Francisco, I'll be part of the launch of a brand new kind of online platform called Keas — featured in the New York Times today (!)
As many of you know, Dr. Richard Jackson (of Joslin Diabetes Center) and I wrote a guidebook for patients in 2007 called Know Your Numbers, Outlive Your Diabetes. He and I have been working feverishly with Keas for several months now, developing an interactive Care Plan based on this book that will help people with diabetes do the following:
- Learn more about their 'numbers' and why they matter
- Discover what each individual personally needs to focus on now (i.e. lowering A1C or blood pressure, making food changes, etc.)
- Choose their own tactics and get help improving their key test results — and their overall health
This is not just another web site for logging BG data; rather, Keas has created a way for us to share some of our best advice about managing diabetes with people in a smart and engaging way.
According to the launch materials: "Keas ... works with many 'great medical minds in healthcare' to give individuals personalized, ongoing advice and interpretation about their health data—such as labs and current conditions—and help them take action to achieve their health goals."
Using a model not unlike the iPhone store, they've basically created a platform on which a variety of health experts ('content providers') can build "apps." On the Keas site, people can choose from a number of different Care Plans authored by experts to help them with anything from asthma to pediatric ear infections. At the moment, they're working with Healthwise, CVS Minute Clinic, the experts at Ask Dr. Greene, and us — for the diabetes portion! Dr. J and I are working on a whole family of diabetes plans.
Now let me share a little more on what makes Keas cool, and why we're excited about this partnership:
* Smarts: Keas is a San Francisco-based firm, co-founded in 2008 by Adam Bosworth, who was until recently head of Google Health. He's actually something of a legend in the technology world for his work building unique enabling software for Internet Explorer, Microsoft Access, and enterprise software company BEA Systems. This guy seriously knows how to build good applications.
* Action: Keas stores your data, and then actually helps you DO something with it! We all know there are plenty of web sites now offering repositories for static health data (Personal Health Records, or PHR systems). The Keas system actually interprets the data and explains in plain English what the lab results means for you personally, and suggests Care Plans that might be of help. btw, the company has also partnered with Quest Diagnostics for automated access to lab results for Quest Diagnostics customers — meaning less data entry and more immediate access to your own health records. Good stuff.
* Mobility: the Keas Care Plans will work via text and email as well. You can opt to have alerts and reminders sent to you this way, so the things you're working on to improve your health don't just live in your PC, but go with you wherever you are. (Note: Keas will soon be adding the capability to also enter your data via SMS and twitter, making the mobile functionality more customizable.)
* Access for All: After the beta period, Keas will be charging subscription fees. Yet even including the charges for selected Care Plans, the price point will be very low (again, think iPhone apps) to make the system affordable for anyone. I think this is an important contrast to other online 'care programs' like HealthyHumans, for example, whose $50-per-month fee makes them unobtainable for many patients.
We hope you'll sign up to be notified when the first DiabetesMine Keas Plan is ready for action. I'll look forward to your very candid feedback on what we've created ;)