Monday, March 24, 2008

Open Sourcing - Help (and possibly make some money), Follow or Get Out of the Way

Regular readers may recall this blog’s prior posts on the option of ‘Open Sourcing’ by the disease management industry. Advantages include the good will generated by transparency and the likelihood that others will be able to glean additional insights from the data. I also pointed out that the asymmetric patient-physician information gap could dissipate, leading to emnuclear powered patient-amateur scientists and profound changes for the medical profession.

Here’s a glimpse of the open sourcing that is already possible, courtesy of the New York Times. The Disease Management Care Blog thinks this makes for astonishing reading. In truest web fashion, individuals are not just “self-aggregating” into an anecdote-sharing and support community, they’ve gone open source and are using their own subgroup analyses to come up with measures of central tendency that takes “translational research” to a whole new level. There is some needed discussion about managing the privacy trade-offs and the expected tut-tutting from physicians – none of which is insurmountable. What goes unmentioned is how users are also bypassing the traditional peer-review/scientific publication process.

How will health insurers, health/electronic medical record vendors, on-line personal health record “aggregators,” scientific journals and the disease management industry respond? The DMCB is only distantly aware of that science known as “marketing,” but it knows that where there is demand for disruptive technology, there is also opportunity.

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