The Project Medyear Campaign
Because this is a people's movement, this campaign is focused on supporting grassroots organizing. This takes volunteers. With your support, volunteers will making phone calls, sending emails, and talking to friends and strangers. For the most part, our volunteers will be explaining how it works, convincing skeptics, and mobilizing more supporters.
So - what does the campaign look like? Our goal is to have a small field office, consisting of 4-5 volunteers working there every day and one full time core team member. Operating expenses will include things like T-shirts for volunteers, email accounts, prepaid cell phones, printouts and flyers, coffee and snacks, transportation subsidies, and LOTS of pizza.
We ran the numbers, and $80k is a conservative amount to get the job done the first year. We believe it is sufficient to coordinate a team of about 1000 volunteers (which is how many are needed in total get approx. 4-5 working each day) out of the field office.
Meanwhile, we have amazing technology that can power an entire social movement. And it will become a movement if the people demand change. Let's take back healthcare. Will you join us?
When I, Panha, was 5 years old, I came home crying from school one day. My father, who was a smoker, asks me what was the matter. I reply "In school I learned that you can die from smoking cigarettes, and I don't want you to die, Dad!"
At which point - my father hugs me and wipes the tears. That day, he quit smoking for good. I learned of empathy that day - and of its effect on our humanity and our health. It is truly wonderful that another person's suffering sparks an action in ourselves.
Yet it seems that empathy is fading, as we struggle to live in an increasingly harsh and isolated society. My belief is that in these trying times, the answer probably lies with a revival of empathy. Through sharing. Through communicating. Through action. Like what I experienced when I was 5. But times have changed, and technology is now pervasive. We need a modern tool for modern times.
The search for a modern approach (while also seeing my relatives get sick) is what took me along this amazing journey of a lifetime to learn about healthcare. Along the way, I learned about things like the RVU, the genome, electronic health records, and the microbiome. All very powerful forces at play in what is clearly a massively complex industry.
When there is complexity, there is a chance for simplicity. Is there a simple answer, so obvious and clear that we kick ourselves for not having thought of it sooner? What if - we shared our health records, amongst ourselves? It could lead to epiphanies about diseases, what other people are going through, and our own poor habits we need to fix before they catch up with us.
Then, something very interesting happened. Thanks to a change in the law, health records became available for download. And once you have it, you could theoretically share it...if only the technology existed. Well, that's where we come in - we're building those modern tools. So in the very near future, you can help someone get better, or help yourself get better by simply sharing the records.
Before we know it, these small, individual actions of sharing health records will lead to big realizations and important progress across the board. But it only happens if we collectively express our empathy, and I am optimistic we will. Let's all take this journey, together.
Will you join the movement?
Project Medyear is a people's movement to share health records. We will be assisted by powerful technology, a determined team, and fortuitous timing. We will start a movement that revives empathy in powerful new ways. We hope our collective experience will lead to powerful new insights that will spark the change that is desperately needed.
How? Through a consumer health information exchange. People can download and then share their health records, however they want.
Why? To show empathy, to spark an epiphany for someone, and to take action. Also to help fix a struggling healthcare system.
When? Our campaign runs for 30 days. During this time, we will add new perks regularly. Then, Medyear will launch on or before Feb 14, 2014 - a day for loved ones.
Who? The people. Everyone. You.
A Startling Fact about Your Health Records
A Startling Fact about Your Health Records
$19,590.That's the amount of annual revenue that the state of Washington generated from selling its entire health database 95 times, according to this Businessweek article. So if you are like me and used to live in Washington state, your health records are floating around on various computers - and it only cost someone on average $200 to get your records and millions like you each time.
Now, the trick is that the 'identifiers' such as your name, address, etc have been removed. Its just "someone's health data" and is not attributed to you. But it is still you, and you did not have a say in this. Ironically, the data is actually devoid of what really makes you you, such as your church membership, your artwork, or your family vacations.
So how can this be, in a nation of advanced civil rights, that someone can just buy health data without the person even knowing? Well, they say, it is done under the banner of medical research. So naturally, only those with specialized training should be able to access this data, because if it got in the wrong hands it could lead to disaster, like nuclear energy.
Shouldn't we ask - isn't healthcare already a disaster? Aren't we already disastrously bankrupting our future, spending over $2 trillion a year and getting generally poor results? Something has to change.
Modern Technology for Modern Times
Sharing health records has been done before on occasion, but the methods of doing so are lacking. In one extreme example, someone painted a mural of a health record on the side of a building. In another extreme case, someone posted their entire genome online. Here is a more common example - posting a question about a procedure online:
Yet, these methods seem to miss the mark for the majority of us. Many of us cannot paint murals, nor would we want to. Others are simply not comfortable with asking such questions in a public forum, and would prefer to control who can see the information. We need a better way.
Since no existing form of technology was really suited for the task, we went out and built our own. We are calling it Medyear - and it is a consumer health information exchange. Simply put, it allows you to download your health data (from your hospital or doctor) and then lets you share it with whoever you want, however you want.
For you the user, it works like a social network. You create groups of people to share things with - and yes, doctors and nurses can be part of those groups (they're called Care Rings). You can share your records, post about your symptoms and measurements, upload images, and use hashtages (@CareRing and #Chronicle). It can be as open or private as you want. You are in complete control. Everyone who participates will do so in their own unique way, reflecting their beliefs and values.
Here are some screenshots from our current prototype, which is being readied for launch by our amazing team of computer geniuses:
Doctors also participate. Your doctor can follow your progress and answer questions. It is a lot better than email and phone calls.
The Medyear platform is a bit like today's popular social networks, so it is easy to use and understand. It goes a step further by providing very useful features for controlling privacy, asking questions, managing a condition, and sharing your experiences. Here are some of the unique features on Medyear, we call them the 5 C's (Care Ring, Chronicle, Consult, Clinical, Caregiver):
- @Care Rings. You can create specific groups called "Care Rings" and invite people to join them. By setting up Care Rings, you can control who is able to see what information. Doctors and nurses can be part of Care Rings.
- #Chronicles. Your posts can become part of a topic, called Chronicle. A chronicle can be about anything, just like the hashtag (#). You can also set which Care Rings are allowed to see which Chronicles by default.
- Consults. You can ask someone (like a doctor) a question. As part of the consult, your Chronicle is included for their review. You can then have a private dialogue with your doctor online.
- Clinical. Download your existing health records, including things like your lab results and your procedure history. You'll download this data from your hospital/doctor and then you can share specific items as posts.
- Caregiver. As a caregiver, you can use Medyear on behalf of someone else. You might need to care for a newborn baby, or care for an elderly parent who is sick (for whom you have power of attorney).
With all of those advanced features listed, there is a lot you can do to take charge of your own healthcare. Here are some general everyday uses:
- Compare health records with a stranger that has the same disease
- Let your doctor know the symptoms have been flaring up a lot recently
- Remind your brother to take a parent to the doctor today
- Invite a new doctor into the family health conversation
- Gain insight about an upcoming procedure from those who've had it before
- Show your support to a good friend going through a hard time
- Get your latest medical records and test results all in one place
- Share the kind of images you don't want all over Facebook
We have assembled a team of doctors, technologists, patient-advocates, and legal experts. We call ourselves Personiform, and Project Medyear is our first initiative together. Our team has senior leadership experience from organizations like Kaiser Permanente, 3M, One Medical, and Deloitte. We have seen the good and bad of healthcare. We are idealists and dreamers, but we also know how to get things done. View the gallery to meet the team members and you can also learn more about them on the Personiform website.
About the Perks
There are two types of perks. The first type is a perk meant to those who wish to support the technology and its use. The second type of perk is for those who wish to support the movement and its growth. Across both types of perks, we also will provide unique artwork and experiences that can inspire. More perks are added regularly throughout the campaign, so please check here often.
Technology Perks include: The Checkmate manual, digital Checkmate, provider accounts, advocate accounts, beta tester, and the convertible note.
Movement Perks include: participation in a volunteer events, participation in our annual Gala, membership in the Society for Participatory Medicine, and limited edition prints of our future murals.
Here is some information about some of the perks provided by external parties:
Regina Holliday - Regina Holliday is a renowned artist/patient activist. She paints and makes art that reflects her own very powerful experiences with the healthcare system. She is best-known for the Walking Gallery, a collection of paintings on the back of jackets, like the one our Mark Scrimshire is wearing in his profile photo. Regina individually paints each one, based on the personal story of who wears the jacket.
Society for Participatory Medicine - The Society for Participatory Medicine is the leading advocacy group for cultivating stronger and more open collaboration between patients, providers, and caregivers. They also publish the Journal for Participatory Medicine, which examines the different ways in which health collaboration is good for everyone.
Room for Good - An art collective based in Berlin/San Francisco that makes T-shirts, hoodies, and wall art from their original designs that pay tribute to their Tibetan heritage. All clothing items are handmade in Germany, by the artist Jonas Reissinger. He does the art himself and does the screenprinting by hand on sustainably-produced organic cotton. Not to mention, a significant portion of their proceeds go towards supporting chartible organizations.
Checkmate - The Checkmate ER/Trauma reference manual is used by emergency medicine professionals. The manual covers a range of topics from cardiac, emergency meds, diagnostics, respiratory, ortho/neuro, pediatric/neonatal, trauma, and others. In a nutshell, this little manual can save lives. Additional manuals in the Checkmate series includes Critical Care, Biochem, EMS, and perianesthesia. The entire Checkmate series is being turned into digital form and will be incorporated into the Medyear platform.
thank you. Thank You. THANK YOU.