CEO of Healthline talks economy, politics, and privacy

A couple of weeks ago I wrote that one of the ways to build a recession-resistant company is to be in the healthcare market since people will still need their healthcare. Yesterday I ran into the CEO of Healthline, West Shell, and had a 15-minute conversation with him. This is a dramatically big web company. Crunchbase says it has 4.2 million unique visitors a month. So, getting his point of view on anything is interesting, but hearing his view on the economy at this time is even more interesting (he is seeing an effect even on his company, so my advice that healthcare will be recession resistant might not have been that good, although he says they are setup very well to thrive long term).

By the way, this is a video I did on Maryam’s new Flip camera. Nice quality for a low-price camcorder.

He also tells me about the recent Health 2.0 conference, the efforts of Google and Microsoft in the healthcare market, privacy of your health records, among other things, including what he thinks Barack Obama will be able to get done in healthcare if he’s elected President.

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Comments

  1. Remarkable to see Healthline’s CEO help to bring the healthcare industry into the 21st Century.

    Our industry has a long way to go to catch up. Healthcare might be the most challenging of industries in terms of embracing the proper kind of enterprise Web 2.0. This is a huge opportunity, one I’d like to see given more attention.

    Thanks for posting this interview. I hope we see more projects like Healthline.

  2. Remarkable to see Healthline’s CEO help to bring the healthcare industry into the 21st Century.

    Our industry has a long way to go to catch up. Healthcare might be the most challenging of industries in terms of embracing the proper kind of enterprise Web 2.0. This is a huge opportunity, one I’d like to see given more attention.

    Thanks for posting this interview. I hope we see more projects like Healthline.

  3. Terrific to hear a spontaneous set of remarks from this CEO. The explanation of why this type of information service is needed in healthcare was excellent. If anything, this points to the need for smarter and smarter search engines and that one size may not fit all needs- i.e. a general google search doesn’t necessarily give one the best answers for health/science focused questions. I’m eager to see how the various firms position themselves for healthcare.

    Thanks so much for posting!

  4. Terrific to hear a spontaneous set of remarks from this CEO. The explanation of why this type of information service is needed in healthcare was excellent. If anything, this points to the need for smarter and smarter search engines and that one size may not fit all needs- i.e. a general google search doesn’t necessarily give one the best answers for health/science focused questions. I’m eager to see how the various firms position themselves for healthcare.

    Thanks so much for posting!

  5. Very nice video and good catch there. He’s 100% right about not knowing where to find information on health care and the lingo.

    Google Health and Microsoft Health Vault have the right idea, getting the vendors to data transfer in in there for the consumers, as none of us are going to sit down and enter everything manually, and then you have credible data you can share with another doctor. The big thing here though I think is with the consumer understanding the “sharing” concept and that is going to be a learning curve of it’s own.

    I got in to a little hot water with the Surgeon General’s office about their software which requires an individual to manually type all the information into the record and it appeared they were upset enough to comment as I did a comparison between methodologies on Google and HealthVault versus their method:)

    It’s nice to have your records just shot in there and be able to pull them up on any pc. When Kaiser turns on the faucet for all their members it’s going to get real interesting as their members already have been accessing their records online and when they go to a out of network MD with their records in HealthVault transfer, some doctors, hospitals and clinics who are not on any electronic system won’t know what to do with them.

    HealthVault actually has a pretty good deal with a vendor for $9.00 a year for an inbound faxing service, so it takes care of all the low tech people being able to fax anything into the Vault, for that matter you can fax your grocery list in there if you want, not a bad internet faxing inbound service for the price.

    The E-prescribing thing is getting hot too as the MDs will get 2% more on their payments if they use technology and there’s a free service they can use if they do not have electronic medical records, and the only bug in this whole deal is the DEA, who still wants paper on the 4 part script, go figure that one, as it’s easy to trace a data trail by all means. They do have a pilot program going with one hospital though for one area in the ER room area, but their last statement said it is going to take around 2 years of testing before they could be sure it will work and go paperless! What’s up with that, 2 years!

    They all worry about security, but shoot I post about more government security breaches on health records than any others, so in it’s perspective, I’m not too concerned over security with Microsoft and Google!

    Anyway, great video and I’ll get it posted in the next day or so, and I just did a pictorial on Google Health that shows some of the vendors they are using and shoot if you go to a Minute Clinic in the CVS stores, they can shoot all the records in there too with both Google Health and Microsoft Health Vault, so the mini clinics are up and ready to go with the records too. If you doctor uses the free e-prescribing service from Allscripts, which I feature the link on the blog, then you can have all your medication records shot right in to Google Health.

    Healthcare is being shifted to the consumer in a big way and it is moving real fast too, almost too fast for many of the healthcare folks. You also have personalized medicine throwing everyone for a loop too as I still call it a Science, but there are some genetic tests that are on the market, but that’s a whole other issue of it’s own.

    Good Post.

  6. Very nice video and good catch there. He’s 100% right about not knowing where to find information on health care and the lingo.

    Google Health and Microsoft Health Vault have the right idea, getting the vendors to data transfer in in there for the consumers, as none of us are going to sit down and enter everything manually, and then you have credible data you can share with another doctor. The big thing here though I think is with the consumer understanding the “sharing” concept and that is going to be a learning curve of it’s own.

    I got in to a little hot water with the Surgeon General’s office about their software which requires an individual to manually type all the information into the record and it appeared they were upset enough to comment as I did a comparison between methodologies on Google and HealthVault versus their method:)

    It’s nice to have your records just shot in there and be able to pull them up on any pc. When Kaiser turns on the faucet for all their members it’s going to get real interesting as their members already have been accessing their records online and when they go to a out of network MD with their records in HealthVault transfer, some doctors, hospitals and clinics who are not on any electronic system won’t know what to do with them.

    HealthVault actually has a pretty good deal with a vendor for $9.00 a year for an inbound faxing service, so it takes care of all the low tech people being able to fax anything into the Vault, for that matter you can fax your grocery list in there if you want, not a bad internet faxing inbound service for the price.

    The E-prescribing thing is getting hot too as the MDs will get 2% more on their payments if they use technology and there’s a free service they can use if they do not have electronic medical records, and the only bug in this whole deal is the DEA, who still wants paper on the 4 part script, go figure that one, as it’s easy to trace a data trail by all means. They do have a pilot program going with one hospital though for one area in the ER room area, but their last statement said it is going to take around 2 years of testing before they could be sure it will work and go paperless! What’s up with that, 2 years!

    They all worry about security, but shoot I post about more government security breaches on health records than any others, so in it’s perspective, I’m not too concerned over security with Microsoft and Google!

    Anyway, great video and I’ll get it posted in the next day or so, and I just did a pictorial on Google Health that shows some of the vendors they are using and shoot if you go to a Minute Clinic in the CVS stores, they can shoot all the records in there too with both Google Health and Microsoft Health Vault, so the mini clinics are up and ready to go with the records too. If you doctor uses the free e-prescribing service from Allscripts, which I feature the link on the blog, then you can have all your medication records shot right in to Google Health.

    Healthcare is being shifted to the consumer in a big way and it is moving real fast too, almost too fast for many of the healthcare folks. You also have personalized medicine throwing everyone for a loop too as I still call it a Science, but there are some genetic tests that are on the market, but that’s a whole other issue of it’s own.

    Good Post.

  7. Great stuff! I agree with Barbara that HealthVault and tools like it are making it much simpler for patients to record their health information by cutting out the middleman – I'm far more likely to plug in a USB device than I am to open up a spreadsheet or even a web tool and manually enter data. The more we can cut out the tedium and stress, the better our records will be.

  8. Great stuff! I agree with Barbara that HealthVault and tools like it are making it much simpler for patients to record their health information by cutting out the middleman – I'm far more likely to plug in a USB device than I am to open up a spreadsheet or even a web tool and manually enter data. The more we can cut out the tedium and stress, the better our records will be.