Krista Tippett's On Being Challenge

Last week on American Public Radio's On Being, Krista Tippett closed her interview with Seth Godin with an experiment.  She asked her listeners to spread the word about her show to help grow her audience.

I'm willing to serve as an anonymous node in Tippett's online network this one time because I've been listening to On Being broadcasts for years and can vouch for the quality.  Tippett, along with the show's producers and editors, covers topics in depth and with sensitivity. She pushes me to examine my beliefs -- spiritual and otherwise -- in an engaging way.

It's said that the measure of engagement in a site/show is related to a viewer/listener's next steps. In other words, after one visits a site, was one engaged enough to take a next step? To follow along?  In health we call that activation.

After many On Being shows, I notice myself taking that next step.  I either purchase a book, check out a site or an idea online, refer others to the idea I was introduced to on the show, or in some very extreme cases, spend a half hour penning a blog post to help grow audience.  ...

I consider Krista Tippett an independent influencer and I wouldn't want her style to get too commercial. But a bigger audience for her show would be a good thing for the radio ecosystem, a system that is often subject to pro-growth metrics instead of more meaningful measures of engagement or "next steps" her audience members take when the show is over. 

On Being is uniquely positioned between big ideas and quiet conversations.  If you are interested in the next wave of thoughtful, contemplative communications, listen in.  Recent broadcasts include: 

Encountering Grief: A 10-Minute Guided Meditation with Joan Halifax
Elizabeth Alexander on Words That Shimmer
Brene Brown on Vulnerability

Oh, and don't miss scanning the blog posts. Without Senior Editor, Trent Gillis' quick post about photographer Ian Ruhter, I would never, ever have had the chance to cheer for his amazing work in Silver + Light.


Consumer experience makes it to the future of health!

"The Qualcomm Tricorder X PRIZE is a $10 million global competition to stimulate innovation and integration of precision diagnostic technologies, making reliable health diagnoses available directly to "health consumers" in their homes." source
Finalists for this grand competition will be only those teams earning high scores for consumer experience. Specifically, guidelines state:   

"To emphasize the importance of consumer use and adoption, only the five highest scoring teams from the consumer experience evaluation will be eligible to win."
With such clear context in the guidelines, congratulations are due to competition organizers. By putting a priority on patients and their experiences they are promoting a future health care transaction that leverages technology and human intelligence. The final paragraph of the competition guideline reads:

"The winners will be the (up to) three solutions achieving the highest diagnostic score regarding a set of 15 distinct diseases in a group of 15-30 people in three days (see Guidelines for full details). This diagnosis must be performed in the hands of a consumer, independently of a healthcare worker or facility." 
Learn more:
Read an overview about the Qualcomm Tricorder X-Prize
Get competition guidelines
Sign up to compete


Love needs a billing code

It's the simplest of ideas in health innovation: Give love a billing code.

I tweeted this in the spring of 2008 at Health 2.0 Conference in Boston.  Since then these words have been echoed, referenced and morphed by many friends and even by some I've never met in the industry.   

Love needs a billing code brings the idea of care and healing back to simple.  It rallies good people working in this space, reminding us why we started in health care in the first place.  The expression is activating too. It makes explicit a core value "To Love" that most of us presume is already present as an under layer in health transactions.

Love is not an industry standard.  The presumption that love is integrated into most health care transactions is flawed.  I am tempted to be flip and to say that profit is the reliable standard at work in the industry. While there is good reason to utter such a phrase, I know my tired soul is talking and I don't want to give voice to broken things.  I continue to dream the possibility of a more loving system end to end. One that is as big for love as it is in love with big data.

There are moments of love in today's health centers, doctors’ offices, and hospitals.  We see miracles and extraordinary feats of humanity so great that we cry every time we encounter them.  But my experience is that our health care ecosystem is unloving and … quite frankly … unlovable.

So why is there not a billing code to measure the caring potency of a health care encounter? Why is this idea dismissed as silly, as lacking gravitas, or as poorly matched with western medicine? Is love considered a downstream transaction? First see the doctor and then find the love you’ll need to heal?

We have walked on the moon, created unmanned drones to hit micro-targets far away, spent millions on challenges and prizes promoting health innovation, and yet we turn away from measuring the impact of love on the doctor and the patient. Why? This is a crime of omission.

Pink paper with question handwritten in black ink
  My question since 2008
Many consumers unconsciously approach medicine as if it were God's work.  Imagine what might happen if the industry - including insurance - actually caught up with us and started thinking of itself as doing God's work?  Not God 1.0’s work, but God 2.0, the caring, concerned, tech savvy and adaptive God who functions like a safety net?

What would happen when love met medicine? Would it lead to nefarious intent and abuse of power? Or would it perhaps be instrumental in creating a shift in consciousness? A shift inviting us to learn how to tolerate the unbearable losses and unexplained graces life, death and medicine bring into our lives. 

What if love had a billing code?