Friday, November 07, 2008

600 thought leaders, influencers, and global change agents from the worlds of technology, business, social innovation, science, the arts and more

Pop!Tech 2008 was plugged into change.

Pop!Tech 2008 took place October 22 – 25 in the seaside village of Camden, Maine. This year’s event charted the core scarcities humans and organizations will encounter this century – and how a wealth of new innovations, bottom-up approaches to collaboration and insights into collective wisdom might hold the keys to addressing the challenges that lie ahead.

You can view and download presentations at

One of the presenters was Dr. Jay Parkinson, who was called “a doctor you can Friend” in a blog posting.

Here’s what Michelle Riggen-Ransom reported from his presentation --

Dr. Jay Parkinson is helping health care providers and their patients connect in new ways. Using a variety of new technology tools and platforms, Parkinson is flipping the idea of healthcare around, putting the power in the consumers’ hands and making healthcare more personalized.

We’ve written about Dr. Parkinson and his company Hello Health before. In today’s talk, he gave us a deeper dive into the reasons why he created his company and his innovative thinking on the future of health care.

He asked the audience: what is the fundamental reason that relationships fail? The answer of course is poor communication. This is equally true of marriages, friendships and — it turns out — health care.

Hello Health’s website says:

We love technology, the Internet, and especially our iPhones. You can talk to us like you’re talking to a friend: through emails, texts, phone calls, instant messages, or face-to-face conversations. Also, everything’s online, from making appointments to accessing your records.

Parkinson not only uses current technologies (his website, Google calendar, PayPal and iphone updates) to improve doctor/patient communication issues, but he’s also reinvented the payment model of the healthcare system, charging a $35 a month subscription fee in addition to flat rates for things like answering emails and video or IM chats. He states that 50% of office visits are unnecessary: he’d rather the patient spend less time and money by communicating about what the problem is and determining what the next steps are based on that initial (virtual) conversation.

True to 2.0 form, Parkinson’s also has both a personal website and a blog where one can read his further thoughts on how technology, politics and pop culture impact the kind of health care we’re getting.

Michelle Riggen-Ransom is a writer who focuses on social media, technology, nature, parenting and increasingly, the intersection of those topics. She is also co-founder and Communications Director for BatchBlue Software, which makes online tools for small businesses. Having lived at various times in Boston, London, Rome, Florida, Los Angeles and Seattle, Michelle currently lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

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