Gamification Comes Second

Stack Overflow celebrated its fifth anniversary earlier this week. For those who don’t know, Stack Overflow is an incredibly popular Q&A site for programmers. Over the past five years, the site has grown into a brand name for most software developers, and in the process it has compiled a valuable, huge, user-curated, and up-to-date data store related to programming.

Gamification Comes Second

What’s more important than being a brand name is that Stack Overflow is almost always at the top of Google searches for programming-related questions. This is brilliant because the site, just by virtue of the service and the continually updated data, continues to improve its search engine rankings. People are asking and answering questions in the same way others are searching Google, so the match is close and the site is always near the top of the results. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever searched on Stack Overflow, I think I always get there through general Google searches.

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The Rising Cost of Documentation

There was an interesting study published last month in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. It looked at how interns — medical residents in their first year of post-graduate training (PGY-1) – spend their time. It broke down daily activities into direct patient care, indirect patient care, educational actives, and miscellaneous. The last time a study like this was done was prior to 2003. Here’s a pretty good commentary about the study and the source of the graph below.

The Rising Cost of Documentation

The findings are interesting and troubling.

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Going from Point Solution to Platform

I’ve really come to like Asthmapolis. It has a very cool model combining personal health management, adherence, and public health. It’s brilliant in that it supports and improves care, but requires very little behavior change on the part of the user. In an industry with patients who aren’t always the most motivated users, making it simple and passive is huge.

Going from Point Solution to Platform

The big new this week from Asthmapolis is that it isn’t Asthmapolis anymore. The company has changed its name to Propeller Health in preparation for its planned expansion into other respiratory conditions. It’s now more of a respiratory management platform with support for COPD as the second condition beyond asthma.

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AirStrip Goes Beyond Mobile

I love mobile health. I get asked about it a lot, even in social settings, because people are curious to learn about examples of mobile apps. It’s a fast-growing industry, projected to grow by anywhere from about 16 to 26 percent depending on the research you read and believe.

AirStrip Goes Beyond Mobile

I also get asked about the biggest players in mobile health. Epocrates always seems to come up, especially if I’m with physicians. Another example I often give when asked about companies with the most early success or used the most widely is AirStrip. AirStrip was very early in freeing up data from medical devices, initially focused on OB and fetal monitoring during labor. It then expanded to cardiology (EKGs) and eventually more broadly into a huge range of patient monitoring devices.

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Aging in Place is Getting Much Bigger

I wrote last week about white spaces in healthcare technology, which I think more accurately are white spaces in healthcare generally. Neither of the examples I gave — healthfinch and Ring-a-doc — are meeting changes that are a part of Meaningful Use. They aren’t for data sharing, patient engagement, care coordination, population health, self management, or e-prescribing.

Aging in Place is Getting Much Bigger

Both were created to help providers be more efficient and both sit on top of an EHR (or at least interface with an EHR.) Similar areas could be targeted to create efficiencies for providers. If you’re looking for ideas for a product, spend a few weeks at a practice observing how things are done and I guarantee you’ll find lots of opportunities. My wife is building her own solo practice right now (we realize that’s an uncommon thing to do these days, but it seems like the right thing for us). In the process of helping her get things set up, I am seeing tons of areas for improvement, and she’s not even in practice yet. Of course it’s a matter of being able to filter things that are one-off solutions and those that have a larger market potential.

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