Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Will Silicon Valley and the Social Media Improve the Economy and Obamacare - A Prose Poem with References

A bunch of venture capitalists are whooping it up in Silicon Valley Salons, with talk of IPOs and unprecedented wealth.

"In Silicon Valley, The Night is Still Young, Despite Investor Fears, Start-Up Money Flows"(NYT, August 21).

"Kleiner Plays Catch-Up: Venture Capitalists Who Jumped on First Internet Wave Get the Feeling Again"(WSJ, August 27).

In San Fran, backers of The Health Blog claim the Health 2.0 Wave will save Obamacare by empowering consumers to find and to do the right thing (

A half continent away, the Mayo Clinic is bent on using the Net to recruit a scad of 400 to study SCAD (Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection) – "When Patients Band Together-Using Social Networks to Spur Research for Rare Disease; Mayo Clinic Signs On"(WSJ, August 30).

In New Hampshire, KevinMd, the nation’s leading physician Blogger proclaims himself "The Social Media’s leading Physician Voice" (

Back in California, Steve Jobs – inventor of IPhone, IPad, IPod, and ITunes – resigns and the world realizes real jobs come from IT sector – not Green Jobs, Wind, or Sun or High Speed Trains- and the Washington Post declares never has one turtlenecked man created so many jobs for so many.

But still the world wonders – where will the Steve Jobs of the future, entrepreneurs of fertile imagination, come from, who will produce the jobs we need so badly, who will strip away those regulations that stand in the way, and what role will the social media play?

Will the digitization of medicine improve Obamacare? Will the Internet and mobile devices be the Holy Grail and OSHA (Our Savior Has Arrived) of Health Reform? By connecting everybody with everybody, will these digital devices empower everybody?

Or will the social media simply bypass the medical establishment, corporations, and government, so individuals can fend for themselves? Will, as Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff of Forrester Research, say in Groundswell (Harvard University Press, 2008), social technologies become “global, unstoppable, and ever growing and reflect an insatiable desire to connect, take charge of their own experience, and get what they need – information, support , ideas, products, and bargaining power, from each other.”

Or will health IT, the Internet and its stepchild, the social media, trigger an unprecedented government boondoggle, a question raised in my book The Health Care Maze (Greenbranch Publishing, 2011).

From doctors re: electronic health records, I keep hearing this constant refrain: EHRS are too expensive to maintain, take too much time the staff to train, from patients does attention drain, time required to enter data is inane, doctors no longer listen patients complain, over privacy government now has free rein, as communicative tools EHRs are inhumane, gives the bureaucracy too much coercion over the doctor domain.


Anonymous said...

I quite agree and have the same concerns. If I may say, my new company is going to be addressing these issues in a big way. Most do not realize that savings in telemedicine come from one basic thing.. transportation savings and the inefficiencies that surround this issue, Emergency Department waiting times, over-triaging, etc. I wrote a brief article about this that summarizes some of these issues. See:

Care Coordination is the "name of the game" here. Commonly, over 80% of hospital admissions are in the Emergency Department. Technologies will play a major role here causing substantial economic growth and jobs.

Richard L. Reece, MD said...

Roger, give me a call at 860-395-1501 or email me at and tell me about yourself and your new company.