- Simple: "We must create ideas that are both simple and profound. The Golden Rule is the ultimate model of simplicity: a one-sentence statement so profound that an individual could spend a lifetime learning to follow it." eHealth and health informatics is complicated; there are many technologies, architectures, standards, data models, software systems, and so on. We need to find a way to communicate the value of that to stakeholders who are not eHealth experts.
- Unexpected: "How do we get our audience to pay attention to our ideas, and how do we maintain their interest when we need time to get the ideas across? We need to violate people's expectations. We need to be counterintuitive." Rather than incremental improvements in eHealth, what could we imagine that is counterintuitive about eHealth? Already, the idea of poor countries using computers and
information technology in their healthcare system in counter-intuitive to some; how can we add meat to this idea?
- Concrete: "How do we make our ideas clear? We must explain our ideas in terms of human actions, in terms of sensory information." Any outcomes from an eHealth vision should be something we could hold, touch, and allow anyone to know that it is accomplished.
- Credible: "How do we make people believe our ideas? When the former surgeon general C. Everett Koop talks about a public-health issue, most people accept his ideas without skepticism. But in most day-to-day situations we don't enjoy this authority. Sticky ideas have to carry their own credentials." The organizations represented at this conference represent some of the leaders in this field - whether from the research, academic, donor, multilateral, technology, or country perspective. This lends us a natural credibility that we need to leverage, provided we can come to consensus.
- Emotional: "How do we get people to care about our ideas? We make them feel something." Computers are inert; software has no feelings. But what we really care about is improving the individual
condition - better health for all. How do we ensure that the human connection to eHealth is not lost?
- Stories: How do we get people to act on our ideas? We tell stories. Firefighters naturally swap stories after every fire, and by doing so they multiply their experience; after years of hearing stories, they have a richer, more complete mental catalog of critical situations they might confront during a fire and the appropriate responses to those situations." We need good stories for eHealth, that reflect the difference it can make to individual lives