Let's Talk About ME 1.0 (and a New Way of Delivering Healthcare)

I’ve been participating in the weekly #HITsm tweet chats for awhile now, and had the good fortune to meet many of my fellow healthcare IT tweeters in person at HIMSS a few months ago. It’s always nice to put a name with a face, or in this social media case, with an avatar. One icon that had intrigued me was that associated with @CLOUDHealth. As I knew from the chats, Gary Thompson was the man behind the diaphanous image associated with this particular Twitter account. The concept behind the account stemmed from CLOUD Inc., of which he is co-founder and CEO - also known as the Consortium for Local Ownership and Use of Data, Inc.

Though the organization uses imagery associated with wispy white puffs, there is a solid concept and purpose behind it, as its website states: “The Internet should start with us, not web pages. Our connections are bigger than the edges of a website, deeper than an individual social networking page and broader than any one of us can imagine. But, our connections are broken. Just like HTML unleashed the Web revolution; CLOUD's CTML will unleash the ME revolution.”

What does this have to do with healthcare? Well, according to the website, healthcare is just one of five ecosystems within CLOUD’s purview. “In the midst of the national debate over healthcare,” the website states, “we can not lose sight of the fact that health is about you. ME 1.0 can help both you and the healthcare system achieve that goal.”

But what does that really mean? Gary Thompson was kind enough to clarify a few things for me as he prepared for TEDMED 2012, which kicks off today in Washington, D.C., and from which he’ll be live blogging and tweeting.

Most of us have a basic understanding of what Web 2.0 means. What does ME 1.0 mean?

ME 1.0 is the CLOUD concept of focusing on the individual and their information, rather than the websites into which information is typically entered. Although we are pioneers in this space, we fully expect many others to contribute and advance this new paradigm. Advocating for ME 1.0 is not to say that CLOUD believes the Web paradigm will disappear, but as the many apps and other tools from smartphones and the post-PC era are already showing us, technology doesn’t stand still. ME 1.0 reflects a new design principle for not just the post-PC era, but a new information era.

Your website mentions that CLOUD is “dedicated to re-structuring the Internet to enhance privacy while facilitating connections between people and data.” It seems this statement is very reflective of much of what is going on in healthcare today – particularly healthcare IT as it relates to healthcare reform. How will a restructured Internet ultimately lead to better care?

Interestingly, industries beyond healthcare are attempting to resolve the same privacy, security, data portability and identity issues that are at the core of many healthcare IT issues.