While I am busy at the Health 2.0 conference in San Diego today -- moderating and learning as much as I can about what the future of healthcare might bring -- I have a few related items I wanted to share.
First, in case you're still uncertain about usefulness of Social Networks, or having trouble explaining them to your boss or your Grandma, have a look at this super-easy lesson from the CommonCraft Show:
See some more great videos, including "Blogs in Plain English" HERE.
And perhaps most importantly: see a little reminder HERE that it's not the technology that matters so much, but rather using the technology as a means to better health outcomes.
Or when "better" is not possible, the technology still provides us as a means to reach out, and chronicle our personal journeys.
For example, take a moment to reflect on Bay Area patient-blogger Brian Hill, who passed away in early February. For four years, he documented his struggle with "a 100% fatal, presently incurable disorder called A.L.S. (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)." On his blog, aptly titled Brain Hell, the final post says simply: "ok i'm dead. so what? i partook of much wonder and beauty. you should be so lucky!" 141 comments and counting.
Clearly his loved ones were grateful for the technology that allowed him to share his experiences with "friends and soul-mates, and complete strangers too."
"I went public because I wanted to be there in case other people diagnosed with ALS searched for a blog about having the disorder," he told the media. "I had searched and found data, but not daily personal accounts. And I had faith that strangers would bring me useful information and support, which they have."
I will have Brian in my heart and mind today as I commune with the business community behind the numerous emerging Health 2.0 enterprises. My aim is to remind them that what they view as a new business frontier also happens to lie at the heart of people's well-being and their very existence. This is what makes online patient communities so much more consequential than a simple MySpace or Facebook. This, I believe, is what really matters.