A stethoscope resting on a laptop.
A stethoscope resting on a laptop. - 
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Bill Radke: Technology is changing how patients interact with doctors. Some of the companies hoping to profit from that shift will gather next week at a conference in San Francisco. Reporter Joel Rose has more.

Joel Rose: The Health 2.0 Conference is trying to bring the innovative culture of the Web to the relatively stodgy world of health care.

Matthew Holt: This is a conference which is largely the Silicon Valley, Web 2.0 crazy start-up crowd meets mainstream health care.

Co-founder Matthew Holt says the conference includes a few big names, like WebMD, Google and Microsoft. But mostly it's a gathering of start-ups that want to use tools like social networking and video chat to get patients more involved in their own care.

The conference's other co-founder, Indu Sabaiya, says that more communication between patients and doctors could result in cost savings for the health care system overall.

Indu Subaiya: The more you improve the efficiency of certain sort of mundane operations, I think slowly, we will make a dent in the health care cost debacle.

Slowly is the operative word here. In part because the biggest consumers of health care tend to be a little older than your typical Facebook user.

I'm Joel Rose for Marketplace.