Tim Berners-Lee, Adam Bosworth and the Markle Foundation on Health 2.0 by Adrian Gropper

Tim Berners-Lee, Adam Bosworth and Markle’s David Lansky gave keynotes at the WHIT 3.0 meeting this week. Bosworth and Lansky both mentioned the Markle Conference a few days ago but it’s Berners-Lee that, in my opinion, paints a more visionary picture of Health 2.0.

Lansky’s presentation featured the three layer model with “Global Internet Brands” (as described by David Kibbe) in the middle between consumers and providers. This vision of Health 2.0 as the healthcare equivalent of Comcast / Time-Warner is a far cry from the principles of platform and policy independence that drove Internet innovation and will drive the Health 2.0 revolution.

I saw many other presentations at WHIT that might claim the Health 2.0 keyword – Revolution Health, Minute Clinic, American Well and Humana to name a few. PatientsLikeMe wasn’t there but I assure you that they came up more than once. Not one of the presenters thought to mention the interfaces they provide and how they will participate in any kind of ecosystem with others like themselves. Are we destined to live through AOL/Time-Warner once again before we rediscover the “stupid network” principle that’s currently being debated in the form of Net Neutrality?

The innovation fueling today’s buzzwords and bubbles dates back to academics like Berners-Lee and political allies like Al Gore that had the vision to keep business models and brands at bay for a few years while a few sound principles were allowed to take root in the public’s imagination. I urge the Markle Foundation and our Health 2.0 community to listen carefully to Berners-Lee’s message (click anywhere to move through the slides). It may be the only way to gain the broad-based support for the dream that we all share.

Adrian Gropper is the co-founder and chief science officer of MedCommons, an entrepreneur and medical device developer with training as an engineer and physician. Past ventures include point-of-care diagnostics, telemedicine and radiology PACS. The Internet and collaborative Web-driven innovation methods inspired MedCommons as a patient-centered approach to healthcare that seeks to be equally useful to patients and physicians. He can be reached at agropper@medcommons.net.

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