Going Into The Mainstream: The Health Utility Layer

There’s lots of excitement about Health 2.0 growing up. Partly this means sensible people realizing that the term mHealth (and for that matter Digital Health) shouldn’t be separated from actual health and health care. Instead we should be recognizing that the cloud/web/mobile tools, that make up–in our speak– data utility layer and health utility layer, are now going mainstream and should be built into health care services.

Two little harbingers of this are that cloud physician office technology service vendor athenahealth was actually rated ahead of the mighty Epic in the latest KLAS survey. Jonathan Bush should be happy that the clould buzzword seems to be paying off in reality. The other is that the twittersphere is abuzz with the rumor that Castlight Health is going to IPO at a valuation of $2 billion. And yes, we’re all looking forward to seeing that S1.

But let’s not kid ourselves. Despite the orgy of wearables at CES, most consumers are unaware about the power of Health 2.0 tools, and most of the provider and insurer world is stuck in the mire of dis-interoperability, and the big health tech story of last and this year remains the problems of healthcare.gov and the outright failure of several other state exchanges.

Progress is good and we should celebrate the victories, but this is still going to be a long hard slog.

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