Being a platform for your own health

In “Gimme my damn data!” The stage is being set to enable patient-driven disruptive innovation, Vince Kuraitis says,

We assert that to disrupt within a non-working system is to bark up a pointless tree: even if you win, you haven’t altered what matters. Business planners and policy people who do this will miss the mark. Here’s what we see when we step back and look anew from the consumer’s view:

  1. We’ve been disrupting on the wrong channel.
  2. It’s about the consumer’s appetite.
  3. Patient as platform:
    • Doc Searls was right
    • Lean says data should travel with the “job.”
    • “Nothing about me without me.”
  4. Raw Data Now: Give us the information and the game changes.
  5. HITECH begins to enable patient-driven disruptive innovation.
  6. Let’s see patient-driven disruption. Our data will be the fuel.

Well, to point #3, it’s more than just me. I wrote what Vince calls “right“, and that Dave deBronkhart (e-Patient Dave) also cites, when I was in the hospital and observed the system up close and personal, and found that others have been advocating Patient as Platform for a long time, though with different names. Kudos to all of them.

I have one small quibble, and that’s with the word “consumer.” Patients today no longer only consume. They produce.  What they want and need is more responsibility for their own health care. More importantly, a patient cannot be a platform if he or she is only consuming. By nature and definition, a consumer is a subordinate creature. It lives downhill from the flow of services. Platforms stand below what they support, but are not subordinate. They are the independent variable on which the variable ones standing on it depend.

For more along these lines, follow Adriana Lukas here, where (among other things), she has MINT, which stands for My Information Not Theirs.


  1. e-Patient Dave

    COMPLETELY agreed re “consumer.” On a different planet I’ve been asserting for more than a year that it’s a flat-out error for business planners to think of patients as consumers in the ecosystem, i.e. in the paradigm that there are producers of value and consumers of value. Exactly as you say.

    At a marketing conference last fall (where I drummed Cluetrain into a few new brains, btw) I said (approximately) “It’s an *error* to think that all value in healthcare transactions comes from inside the industry. Enormous value is being generated by and exchanged between patients. Business and policy people who see this will be able to leverage it, and those who don’t will miss the mark.”

    But, as I’m sure you know, there’s the vocabulary issue, and then we get all semantic and sometimes political about it. Over on the healthcare planet some feel strongly that “patient” puts us in a submissive / receive-only position, and others feel that patient connotes sick, when a VRM-based view (participatory healthcare) involves being responsible when you’re not sick.

    I confess, in that post I cheesed out and used a convenient word to distinguish us-all-out-here from those in the industry.

    As a final & feeble defensive parry:), the excerpt you cited is in Christensen’s paradigm, and I think in that context consumer is a fair label for you and me: we’re the ones who are left sucking hind hoohah beecause the industry is all about itself, not about its ultimate stakeholder, aka consumer in Lean.

    Anyway yeah.

    p.s. MINT rocks! Gonna run with that! But not tonight.

  2. e-Patient Dave

    Ah, yes, found it – a year ago, after my big PHR data transfer kerfuffle, I said: “Let’s start working, now, on a reliable interoperable data model. … Let’s start working, now, on an open source EMR/PHR system.”

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  4. Rebecca Caroe

    ePatientDave, Doc and Vince sorry to be slow / late to this party. I am working on a beta app for patient self-managed data. it’s a health record NOT medical record and patient controls WHO accesses which part.
    We did demo to Adriana Lukas’ London VRM hub in July 2010. Great feedback.
    Endlessly portable, sharable, tracking health over time with one page summary graph.

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