TwHealthCrunch, crowdsourcing health innovation through Twitter and social media

By now you’ve probably heard of the X-Prize/Wellpoint Foundation collaboration for a $10 million dollar prize to innovate in healthcare? Well, I don’t have $10 million but I’m betting that we can use crowdsourcing with some tools from open health to create a bottom-up institution to drive disruptive change in healthcare. Look at this as proof of concept for something like the UK-based Health LaunchPad. I’m going to try a little experiment in the “open health” vein for the next few weeks. I recently posted an overview of some thoughts on tools, examples, institutions that could be configured in a way to provide better health outcomes at a lower price. As a first experiment in this domain I’ve created a wiki (TwHealthCrunch WIKI) to collect crowdsourced ideas that we could look at to create new types of “collaboratories” that would generate new products and services for health, healthcare and public health. Look at this as a kind of user-generated idea lab. It has already been done in Canada through a newspaper column. Ideas for how to reduce traffic deaths were generated rather quickly through a journalist’s column. The wiki is a space for brainstorming so if you’re a diabetic and there is a need that you have that no one else is providing, post it here. If you’ve seen programs fail, well tell us why they failed. Failures can be the foundation of innovation. Have you ever thought that Sony has the tools to provide health or healthcare services better than any of the health players? Why? What if AT&T (when they feel like providing a good service), Kaiser and 24 Hour Fitness worked together to create an iPhone/Blackberry ap that did more than tracking? How could it influence health outcomes and what would the ideal application do? What would “open source” insurance look like? Perhaps we can learn from Islamic insurance, takaful for ideas of group cooperatives to cover health costs and services. Any insights on how we could learn from other industries to provide better healthcare? What examples have you seen abroad that are worth looking at to disrupt the US system?

What we’re not looking for is folks peddling new remedies, therapies, etc. There are far too many sites doing that already. Let’s plant some ideas in the wiki about how we can do things better and over the upcoming months I’ll be working on developing these ideas through collaboratories. Follow @TwHealthCrunch on Twitter for updates and I’ll be blogging about the ideas. Anyone is free to use the wiki–if you’re into closed systems with IP this is not the place. If you want to collectively brainstorm about new business ideas, policy entrepreneurship, social businesses in health, radically different ways to improve the public’s health, etc. and create new types of network organizations to deal with the current mess called the health system, this is a place to begin. Take a look at some of the examples in my open health blog post, think about what has worked or not worked in your experience, and post your thoughts on comments here or on the wiki. Let’s try an experiment and see what happens. If we get off to a good start we may migrate the wiki over to the Public Health Institute’s Dialogue4Health platform.

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