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Health care delivered, via technology, at very low cost

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Social networking and cloud-based tools enable low-cost healthcare delivery: 'you couldn't do this 20 years ago.'

The US health care system is a multi-billion-dollar bloated, broken monster, dominated by competing special interests.

As with all revolutions, sometimes, all it takes is one individual with a common-sense idea to change things. With some cloud and social networking technology thrown in.

Jay Parkinson, a doctor frustrated by Big Health, did just that -- through a $1,500 startup. As reported by Inc.'s Nicole Carter, Parkinson opened a tech-savvy practice in Brooklyn, based on a Website and link to Google Calendar that enabled patients to book their own appointments online. He also employed a PayPal account for payments, and used Formstack for medical histories. He keeps in touch with patients via e-mail, Skype video, or phone.The $1,500 went to his doctor's license and medical equipment.

He built it, and people came. Even people with insurance plans. As he put it:

"You couldn't do something like this 20 years ago. But we live in a time now where we can go back to traditional face-to-face business practices, but use technology to augment the experience on both sides."

Parkinson is partner in a newer venture, HelloHealth, intends to take this low-cost virtual clinic model nationwide, providing a free Web-based patient communication, practice management and electronic health record environment.

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Joe McKendrick

Contributing Editor

Joe McKendrick is an independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. He is a co-author of the SOA Manifesto and has written for Forbes, ZDNet and Database Trends & Applications. He holds a degree from Temple University. He is based in Pennsylvania. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure