By Joy Burwell. On Monday, June 7th Health 2.0 took over Washington DC and yesterday the excitement continued with a Disruptive Women in Health Care breakfast. The breakfast would not have been possible without the generous sponsorship of Manatt and the support of The Hill. A huge thank you to this morning’s engaging panelists: Fran McMahon, Publisher of The Hill; Indu Subaiya, Co-Founder Health 2.0; Julie Murchinson, Manatt Health Solutions; Alexandra Drane, Founder and President, Eliza; Marlene Beggelman, Founder, Enhanced Medical Decisions and Linda Von Schweber, Co-Founder Surveyor Health. Robin Strongin, Creator of the Disruptive Women in Health Care blog moderated the program. Below is a very brief summary of the discussions; video and photographs of the breakfast will be posted soon.

(L to R: Julie Murchinson, Robin Strongin, Indu Subaiya, Fran McMahon)

You may be asking what the term Health 2.0 means and luckily for you Indu Subaiya Co-Founder of Health 2.0 provided us with an answer. Health 2.0 applies the same social networks and user-generated focus as Web 2.0 (which has been around since 2003) to the world of health care. It began as a consumer-driven movement with providers becoming involved a bit later. More recently the concept has grown as a result of its partnership with health care reform. Another noteworthy aspect is its ability to foster data-driven decision-making. Currently, there are about 1000 companies actively engaged in Health 2.0.

Bottom Line: Health 2.0 gives you (the patient, caregiver, provider, payer) the tools to be able to get the information to make better decisions.

To better illustrate Health 2.0, the panelists discussed their companies’ developments. Dr. Marlene Beggelman founded Enhanced Medical Decisions which developed an online medical solution that uses “natural language” search technology, to enable users to quickly and easily find accurate information on drug interactions and reactions.. Linda Von Schweber the Co-Founder of Surveyor Health discussed their software’s ability to create an online medicine cabinet for consumers where they can learn the various side effects and interactions of the drugs they are taking. Eliza Founder and President Alexandra Drane detailed the personalized voice-based service they developed that helps consumers make better health care decisions. All of these technologies are innovative, put consumers in the driver’s seat and support efficient, safe and quality health care.

Julie Murchinson the Managing Director of Manatt Health Solutions and the Founder of Health 2.0 Accelerator detailed a workshop that took place at yesterday’s Health 2.0 Conference during which federal government representatives interacted with the companies on how they could address chronic disease, vulnerable populations and personal health management. Robin Strongin noted how critical it is for the Inside-the-Beltway health information technology and health reform decision makers to be engaging with the Health 2.0 developers and innovators as an important step towards insuring meaningful use – for patients.

The most important take-away message from this morning’s breakfast: Health 2.0 technologies empower consumers to get involved and take control of their health care; they provide the information to give patients the courage to not only ask questions…but to push back and engage with their health provider when something just doesn’t seem right.

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