June 24, 2008

You are currently browsing the daily archive for June 24, 2008.

So now it’s time to put lessons to work. The Patient as the Platform is my latest post over at Linux Journal, and it proposes something that goes beyond merely giving patients control of their health care records. (As do, say, Google Health and HealthVault.) Specifically,

I believe that having a data store for health records is a necessary but insufficient condition for the true independence and control required for each of us to be the point of integration for the health care we get, and the point of origination for controlling that care — for getting second and third opinions, for summoning data across bureaucratic boundaries, for actually relating to the systems that serve us, rather than serving as dependent variables within them.

For patients to become platforms, we need more tools and capabilities that are native to the patient. All of us need to be able to walk around the world with the ability to jack into any health care system and drive it. How? I don’t know yet. I’m still new to this. But I do know that these are capabilities we need to add to ourselves, as independent drivers of health care services. And that these must be based on free and open standards and code.

The new health care infrastructure must be built on independent and autonomous patients, not on systems that surround and subordinate patients. Once it is, the systems will be vastly improved, and far more profitable for all.

It’s a angle, of course. And it concludes with the same pitch I’ll give here. If you’re interested in putting a shoulder to this boulder, or to weigh in on any of the other development efforts we have underway, come to the VRM Workshop on July 14-15 at Harvard. That page is short on details, but we’ll be filling them in shortly.

Caught a bit of Michael Krasny’s Forum yesterday on KQED, and heard that George Lakoff will be on the second hour today: 10-11am, Pacific time.  Michael is among the most intellectual and probing of interviewers, and I look forward to hearing how he does with George. If you miss that, get the podcast.

What you’ll hear from George about politics, and especially about the appeal of Barack Obama, is unlike anything you’ll hear anywhere else. And perhaps more important as well, because George’s work has had a deep influence on the Obama campaign, and especially the candidate’s speechwriting.

This first post-primary TV ad by the Obama campaign. Listen to Lakoff and you’ll see exactly how it appeals to deep unconscious meanings of shared values across political divides. Reagan did it in 1980, and by the time the next decade was over the Republicans were the party of traditional American values while the Democrats were the party of tax’n’spend Liberals, fading unions and collections of minority interest groups. Blame talk radio and Fox News for that, if you like (or the Democrats themselves, who certainly deserve it); but it was Reagan’s work. And it was genius. George Lakoff has studied that genius. So has Barack Obama.

In the primaries Obama beat the Clinton machine with a much more modern and functional one, geared to a wider, deeper appeal: one targeted across political divides.

Ignore policy statements for a minute. Ignore “issues”. Ignore race, voting records and the bullshit that gasses up TV news. Look at how Obama appeals. Ask What are the deeper sensibilities he is appealing to? Then look back at what Reagan did in 1980, and through the presidency that followed. Then look at how well Obama is raising money and weakening the oppositional resolve of conservatives like George Will.

The best competitors learn from both their own mistakes and their opponents successes. The Obama Campaign has been doing that for the Democratic party from the start.

In November, the best Reagan will win.