September 29, 2009

Joining consortium to advance consumer health care technology

Participation of the nation’s largest not-for-profit health plan underscores importance of collaboration and innovation in the future of health care.

OAKLAND, Calif. — Health 2.0 Accelerator, a consortium focused on promoting integration of technology and the consumer experience to advance consumer-centric health care, announced today that Kaiser Permanente will join other “Health 2.0 companies” as participants in the Health 2.0 Accelerator.

The Health 2.0 Accelerator (H2A) carves out an important role in a rapidly evolving space where consumer technology tools and health information technology are of increasing importance to both patients and care providers. H2A works with its participants to encourage collaboration around specific business or technical objectives to benefit consumers in ways that are challenging or inefficient for companies to tackle alone. For “traditional” health care participants, H2A aims to foster collaboration among Health 2.0 companies, recognizing that consumer-centric care is not about promoting self-diagnosis in a vacuum.

“Individuals want to be better informed and better equipped to improve their health, but not without guidance from health care professionals. Kaiser Permanente has long been a leader when it comes to patient-centered care and patient empowerment, but continually looks for ways to achieve even higher levels of patient engagement. The joining of both large organizations with those newer to the health care scene creates a dynamic that truly fosters innovative thinking and collaboration,” said Julie Murchinson, Executive Director of the Health 2.0 Accelerator.

Kaiser Permanente is widely recognized as a leader in health information technology, a reputation that was further reinforced by its significant investments in Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect®, its comprehensive electronic health record system. More recently, Kaiser Permanente has earned accolades for its attention to patient-provider connectivity through their personal health record, My Health Manager on kp.org, early adoption of telehealth technologies and use of medical devices for managing chronic conditions. The increasing focus on engagement beyond the four walls of the hospital has yielded a great deal of attention and support for the “Health 2.0 movement.” Kaiser Permanente’s participation and support of the Health 2.0 Conference since its first event in the fall of 2007 is now reiterated by its membership in the Health 2.0 Accelerator, where it will work with like-minded organizations to enhance current approaches to managing and improving health through the use of web and mobile tools.

“Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to providing unprecedented connectivity to its members, which manifests itself in a number of ways: e-mail capabilities through My Health Manager, proactive outreach and preventive measures by care providers, telehealth efforts, etc.,” said Phil Fasano, Kaiser Permanente chief information officer. “Our joining with H2A is a natural fit and expands possibilities for furthering our goal of helping patients manage their health inside and out of the Kaiser Permanente environment.”

The Health 2.0 Accelerator and Kaiser Permanente have also joined forces with HealthCamp SFBay to host a pre-conference event called “HealthCamp: Accelerating Health Care Innovation,” on October 5 at the Kaiser Permanente Sidney R. Garfield Center for Innovation, the day before the Health 2.0 Conference in San Francisco. This event will be a participatory exchange enabling peers in health care and technology to interact and create a space where people can introduce topics they want to present and discuss in a trusted environment with the goal of advancing innovation of strategic, technical solutions in health care.

“Kaiser Permanente’s involvement with the Health 2.0 Accelerator, HealthCamp SFBay and the Health 2.0 Conference demonstrate its commitment to this interwoven community of innovators and events that have evolved over the last three years,” said Murchinson. “I am excited to witness the fruits of this labor through the addition of self-management tools, increased access to providers and overall healthier communities.”