Vol. 122 April 1, 2015 Athena Health Buys Myspace!

March 31, 2015

hub“Even as the public decries government spying programs and panics at the news of the latest data-breach the daily traffic to sites like Facebook and Twitter—especially through mobile devices—not only stays high, but continues to grow. Both the collective behavior of social sharing, and the technology for analyzing and interpreting social data, are already widely in place. The trick is to actually merge the two—which does not necessitate a whole new system.”

– Victoria Wangia, Professor of Health Informatics, University of Cincinnati
quoted in “The Facebook Model for Socialized Health Care” by Edgar Wilson, The Health Care Blog, 2/26/2015

Athena Health, a major provider of electronic health records (EHR) NOT to be confused with Anthem, has announced its purchase of MySpace, the pioneer social network.

MySpace (original spelling) was the first social network on the internet, but has steadily lost users to its competitor Facebook. Myspace (current spelling) was bought by Justin Timberlake in 2008. Despite efforts to revamp and redirect, Myspace user registrations continued to decline, and it has become a limited network for musical performers. Mr. Timberlake is confident that this move with Athena Health will broaden the scope of his company positively, “I am looking forward to making a more significant contribution to society than singing “D**k in a Box” on Saturday Night Live’s Christmas show”.

Jonathan Bush, CEO of Athena Health and related to both presidential Bushes, says he is making this move because it is time that health care providers make more innovative use of the social networks. Athena Health, based in Massachusetts, already provides electronic medical record (EMR) capability to health care providers nationwide. AthenaClinicals, its popular cloud-based electronic medical record and billing program, is available on desktop and mobile computers via AthenaNet. Its 2007 initial stock price of $18 is now at $120.

Using well-tested Facebook-like methodology Athena Health will create a wall, “The Health Wall”, in everyone’s Myspace account which will be renamed AthenaFace. This will add new meaning to “updating your status”. “Sick”, “Well”, “Recovering nicely”, “Waiting to find a doctor”, and “A little worried about what is happening to me” will be examples of clickable boxes.

Pop-up ads and informational banners will be health-oriented. Such as:
“Check your immunization score FREE”,
“Need help figuring out your Health Insurance deductible, Obamacare tax credit, or fine?”,
“Find the Nearest Medical Marijuana Dispensary”, and
“Special discounts on fitness club dues”.

AthenaFace representatives neither denied nor confirmed plans to link up with Groupon, another semi-floundering internet company, that provides discount coupons for a whole variety of services and products.

Record entries will be encrypted and saved, of course, though users will have the “Snapshot option” of having certain parts of the record being deleted within 30 seconds of being read. “The Health Wall” will accept postings of pictures and videos which will certainly enhance the robustness of the medical record for skin rashes, wounds, gait disturbances, and seizure disorders.

Efforts to link with relevant mobile apps like “Breathalyzer”, “Fitbit”, “Sleepbot”, “Whazthat!?”, etc. have already begun.  An app to link with Uber for the “Next available doctor to see you” will be in the first upgrade. However, that app, UberDoc, will include a charge. Prices will vary depending on circumstances, so customers will be urged to settle on the price before taking the appointment.

In response to critics who worry about the security of personal information in a combined health care/social network platform Jonathan Bush has stated, “Lots of people are obviously not at all concerned about such privacy issues. They are sexting and sending pictures of their genitalia all over the internet. Why would they care if somebody knew their blood pressure and cholesterol level? ”

But, AthenaFace will have different levels of privacy options that can be set by the user. On the user-sharing side the options will include:
“Family and Friends”,
“Just Family”.
“Just (insert name here) ”, and

For provider-sharing the options for the customer will include:
“Specialists Only”,
“Primary Care Only”,
“Dr.(insert name here)” , and
“Nobody, especially that nosey office nurse who thinks she runs the place.”

Why wait until your physician and hospital catches up with the federal EMR incentives for establishing a patient portal?

Do it yourself with AthenaFace!

Coming soon to your internet browser, but most probably after 2016 … depending on election results.


Vol. 26 August 1, 2010 The YELLOW STICKIE Ain’t Dead Yet.

August 1, 2010

I’m sure that many of us “old timers” can remember the early days of computer implementation in our hospitals. At that time you couldn’t help but notice the dozens (or more) yellow Stickies plastering the nurses’ station computers, usually around the monitor’s edges, filled with keywords, short cuts, new jargon, and other information helpful to them as they strived to give up their dependence on paper. Well, thirty years later, the yellow Stickie ain’t gone just yet.

I had to go into my hospital last week to get an intravenous infusion to help me with the effects of a neuropathy. The receiving desk at the IV Infusion Center had three computer monitors with two people sitting at them. My physician’s orders were already printed out and were attached to my computer printout encounter form. After receiving my computer generated ID bracelet with bar code, I was lead into a room with four chairs, each one next to a computerized infusion pump with blinking lights and various sounds to convey different messages to the nurses caring for me. Each pump had  touch-screen data entry and a multiple color display combined, was capable of at least three distinct alert sounds, and was neatly packaged to fit on a standard IV pole. The combination of four such poles, two automatic blood pressure machines with their display screens and alert sounds, the usual wall of oxygen, suction, electrical outlets, and signal lights, a R2D2-size  mobile air conditioning unit standing in the middle of the floor with its coiled, white PVC exhaust duct winding to the wall, and four brand new baby blue Barca Loungers made me think that this is what a passenger cabin on a space ship would look like.

I was to receive intravenous medication following a protocol of precisely increasing amounts over several hours, so I lay back, opened my book, and relaxed while surrounded by all this reassuring technology.

And then I saw it. There stuck to the top of my chart…right there next to my chair… hardly noticeable…seemingly insignificant in the midst of all this electronic wizardry…nicely framed by electric wires and IV tubing…was a small piece of yellow paper.


On it was written the settings for the proscribed stepwise increase of my medication.The physician’s orders were computerized. The pharmacy’s filling of that order was computerized. My registration and ID bracelet were computerized. My clinical record for the day was computerized. The correct step-wise increase of medication for my weight had been calculated and displayed by the computer at the nurse’s desk. …But, that computer couldn’t “talk to” the infusion pump computer, so the actual entry of correct information into that infusion pump by a nurse for each of 10 stepwise increases depended on that yellow Stickie.

When my chart got covered by a discarded newspaper the yellow Stickie was temporarily “lost” which caused a brief flurry of nurse concern. It was moved to the blue plastic of the infusion pump which repelled the yellow Stickie in a few minutes. It was next moved to the center of the IV pole itself, and there it stood, prominently and proudly revealing its data for the nurse as she entered the numbers every half-hour or so on the touch screen below. …That is, until the Stickie became unstuck while I was in the bathroom and fluttered silently to the floor, just missing the toilet bowl. An extra piece of scotch tape solved the problem of a Stickie not being sticky enough.

The medication was delivered as on the protocol, so all is well that ends well. My next post in two weeks will review some of the new data on clinical errors associated with computer use. I may title it, “THERE  AIN’T NO FREE LUNCH.”

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