Behavior Change Is (maybe not so) Hard.

I learned something recently that I wish I had learned 10 years ago: Self-motivation is not the way to create new daily behaviors that stick. The trick is to construct a new simple habit and just let it happen. Motivation is hard and tiring and not at all reliable but creating a habit and just doing it because it is a habit is actually quite easy. I credit BJ Fogg’s Tiny Habits program (more on that later) for triggering this profound shift in perspective.

10 Years of Going to the Gym…

I joined a gym 10 years ago – at first of course I was inspired and eager to get there and lift_weightswork out, but before long, trying to motivate myself to go 4 times a week – forever – became hard. I have been going very regularly, about 3 times a week ever since, but just about every time I went, I first had to have this internal conversation to talk myself into it. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t and when it didn’t, I subsequently felt a sense of having failed at sticking to my goals. But whether I made it to the gym or not, the internal motivational dialogue took a tremendous amount of energy.

For 10 freakin years, I have been having this internal battle to motivate myself to go to the gym, 3 or so times a week. Not any more. Continue reading

Posted in Healthcare, Healthcare lifestyle, Healthcare technology, Lifestyle | 6 Comments

Imagine if your health plan was …

Suspend your understanding of your relationship with your health insurance company as it stands today and imagine something different with me…Imagine

Imagine your health plan is a wellness “club”. In addition to providing insurance to help cover the cost of being sick, you opt in to the plan’s Wellness Club – a community with tools, expertise and social engagement opportunities to enable members to work together in order to live healthy and happy lives. Imagine choosing to join a health plan not because it was the better of 2 bad choices provided by your employer but because your friends and neighbors were members and you saw that they were getting together on weekends and having fun and working together towards the bigger goal of reducing our national defecit and increasing our national productivity. Continue reading

Posted in Healthcare, Healthcare Insurance, Healthcare lifestyle, Healthcare technology, Lifestyle | Tagged | 1 Comment

HxD 2013 Pass Giveaway Extravaganza!

Here are some creative healthcare ideas and thoughts of mine in response to questions posted in preparation for the Healthcare Experience Design Conference (#HxDConf) in Boston on March 25 and a possible chance to win a free pass.

(I’m currently between gigs – looking for my next healthcare startup – and am flying out to Boston for this event on my own dime, so wish me luck!!!)

Without further chatter, here are the 3 questions I chose to answer and my answers:

  1. Describe a creative way to encourage healthy behavior. It could be your own original idea, or an existing project/solution you admire.
  2. If you were given $1 million and one year to improve the health outcomes in your community, what would you do?
  3. What are the best digital offerings or practices from the consumer world that could be applied to positively impact health care? If you could only pick one…what would that be?

Continue reading

Posted in Healthcare, Healthcare lifestyle, Healthcare technology, Lifestyle

Is this really a problem to be solved by an MD?

I’ve been quiet.

Been working at a healthcare startup for the past year now – can’t post too much about what I’m working on, no time to post about other stuff. But this front page article in the New York Times has inspired me to start writing again: Young, Obese and in Surgery

It’s the story of Shani Gofman (that’s her in the photo below) who at 17 years of age was 5’1″ and 250lbs and whose pediatrician, that’s right, pediatrician, first started suggesting to her that weight loss surgery might be the answer.

From the article, the conversation with her pediatrician went like this:

“I’ll lose weight,” Ms. Gofman assured her doctor. 

Dr. Vayner said, prophetically, “It’s not your fault, but you’re not going to be able to do it.”

Those are encouraging words from your doctor, who most look to as being responsible for their health. Hmm… I wonder if she is going to succeed. But, wait, it gets better. Continue reading

Posted in Healthcare, Lifestyle

Big Pharma Cashing in on Fee-For-Service

This article in today’s New York Times: Genentech Offers Secret Rebates for Eye Drug caught my eye… err… attention. It highlights one way that drug companies take advantage of our current fee-for-service system to drive their profit.

The current fee-for-service approach to reimbursing providers for care is often held up as a core problem in our “disease-care” system.  By reimbursing doctors and hospitals for individual services such as doctor visits, tests, and procedures we create incentives to provide more technical and more expensive services rather than the most effective and appropriate care.

It turns out that doctors have the option of using 2 different drugs for a monthly procedure they perform in their office to treat age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly.  One of the drugs, Lucentis, costs $2,000 per dose.  The other, Avastin, costs $20 – $50 per dose.  Genentech happens to make both of these drugs but it seems they ‘prefer’ that doctors use Lucentis. Continue reading

Posted in Healthcare technology

Man In The Mirror

Since health 2.0 is at least partially about shifting responsibility from the doctor to the consumer, I figured I’d start my journey into healthcare technology with, as Michael Jackson put it, the “Man In The Mirror”. (This photo is my reflection in “The Bean”, a stainless steel sculpture in Chicago’s Millennium Park).

Getting started with a PHR and self-tracking.

I see a doctor every couple of years, he tells me my blood pressure is fine, my blood glucose is fine and my cholesterol is a bit high but nothing to worry about. “Keep doing what you’re doing, we’ll see you next year.” He has to focus on people with problems that need to get healthy and doesn’t really have the energy or resources or billable insurance codes to help me stay healthy.

A month ago if you had asked me what my blood pressure was I would have answered: “a hundred somethin over somethin less than that”. How has it been trending in the past 5 years? Yea, right. Of course I know that high blood pressure is the “silent killer”, but I’ve always just left it up to the doctor’s office to measure it and tell me if it was high or low… well that doesn’t sound very health 2.0 now does it? Continue reading

Posted in Healthcare technology

Top 10 from Health Innovation Week

On my journey into the world of healthcare technology, I’ve been reading industry blogs, books, papers and learning too many acronyms .  I have begun tracking my blood pressure, weight, and cholesterol in HealthVault and will be blogging about the devices and applications I’m finding helpful.

Healthcare technology obviously encompasses a lot – I’m focusing on consumer facing tools and consumer owned and managed healthcare data.

It was time to get out of the office and start meeting real people in this industry so for the first time in my career, I took out my own checkbook and paid for one of those crazy-expensive multi-day conferences that we always expect our bosses to just approve.  Turns out you get considerably more out of a conference when it’s your dime 😉

San Francisco Health Innovation Week was October 3 – 10, I attended the following 3 events:

Instead of attempting to summarize the sessions, speakers and companies I encountered, I am going to try to distill what I learned to 10 fundamental points.

So here they are, my top 10 takeaways from Health 2.0 – in no particular order of importance. Continue reading

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