Mobile Health 2011: A Look Back at What Really Worked

Stanford Guest House

Mobile Health 2011: What Really Works at Stanford University (#mh11) is over, so it’s time for a quick look back at the conference.  To borrow (steal?) from conference organizer, Stanford Persuasion Technology Lab director, and quick-change artist @BJFogg – I am going to take a retrospective look at my experiences there through the device of ‘home runs’.  For full speaker slide decks, you can click here.

Conference Atmosphere Home Run
I have been to a lot of conferences…pharmacy conferences, medical conferences, informatics conferences, and social media conferences.  However, I have never been to a conference that seemed more along the lines of an ‘event that happens to be interspersed with speakers’.  This is not an indictment of the quantity or quality of the speakers; somehow there were >50 of them smoothly shoehorned into two days.  The comment is more about the carnival-like atmosphere surrounding the conference that made it fun and exciting, and contributed to a very collegial vibe.  One of the best aspects of Mobile Health was the extended breaks.  They were just plentiful enough and twice as long as an average conference.  If you think about the old chestnut ‘the best value at a conference is the hallway conversations’…voila! Those breaks doubled the value of the conference.  Also helpful was Fogg’s “giving permission” to all attendees to go up to anyone there and say hello, reinforced by the speakers largely making themselves available after panels concluded.  I’m still undecided about a few things (e.g., the birds and the bees); however, balancing all the West Coast wackiness was the fact that the conference was timed and chimed down to the minute.  Seriously.

Lodging Home Run
It’s almost like this place is a secret or something.  I stayed at the Stanford Guest House for their conference rate of $109.  You can barely stay at a Roof Rouge near a major city for that.  The rooms and hotel were basic and a little Spartan, but the beds were comfortable, the place was immaculately maintained, and the staff was gracious and knowledgeable.  The deal-maker was that the Stanford Shuttle (Marguerite) had pick-ups ~ every 20 minutes to take you all over the campus.  There was also a Guest House shuttle that could be reserved (e.g., to take you to the Alumni Center‘s conference venue).  The only drawback was that there were no dining options in-house or within easy walking distance.  Definitely will stay here again next time I’m at Stanford.

Almost Made Me Apply for a Job in Public Health Home Run
Sharon Bogan.  You just have to love somebody with that kind of spirit, fighting the good fight, excerpting Monsters, Inc., innovating in resource-limited settings, and inviting litigation (for others).  Everyone I’ve met from King County Public Health going back to the mhealth Summit has been a gem.

Goosebump Home Run [tie]
Green Goose and Proteus ingestible event markers.  Check them out.  Seriously.  They *literally* gave me goose bumps in thinking of potential applications of their technologies during their presentations.
Honorable mention: Google Cow presented by Google’s Chief Health Strategist (@rzeiger).  Technically he was focusing on Google Body, but since I had already seen Body I was pretty happy to see the bovine version.

Reunion Home Run
It was great to see @chiah @EndoGoddess @JenSMcCabe  KarenCoppock  @LarryChu  @SFCarrie  @SusannahFox and loads of others again!

New Peeps Home Run [misc]
If you are worried about our future, know that we are in good hands with people like @hcolelewis coming on the scene
Most likely to isosceles with regarding mHealth, PAHO, & Uruguay @JuanMZorrilla
Most likely to invite for Skype in guest lecture in my Consumer Health Informatics course @QpidMe
Most likely to explore the mHealth studies based out of our campus in Puerto Rico with @MarcosPolanco
Most surprised to find in my back yard Vic Shroff
Note: any conversations that included words like NDA, lawyer, or launch are not listed here for obvious reasons.

Failed to Connect at All Strikeout
I would have liked to have spoken with @enochchoi

Conversationus Interruptus Strikeout
The Keck and and PHI guys

Best Laid Plans Strikeout
Climate control and the janky A/C resulted in groups of attendees going to the outer hall and watching panels on a screen and/or going outside to cool off.
(Dis)honorable mention: minimal power outlets/juice available was surprising.  This problem was offset somewhat by the length of the breaks which allowed for both networking and recharging.

Least Favorite Panel
The Partnerships panel was my least favorite.  It definitely had eye-opening moments for some attendees and there were interesting discussions and placements (e.g., possibly the least and most idealistic two people at the entire conference were seated next to each other).  However, most of the discussions were pretty familiar to me from having gone through many of the processes described.  So my bias/preference would have been to have instead heard more specifics about MedPedia from James, Medic Mobile or Social from Josh, etc.

Overall Favorite Panel
Very tough decision as there were several really outstanding ones.  I considered a tie here but was able to pull the trigger and name “Methods and Measures for Research and Evaluation” as my favorite overall panel.  The moderator and panelists all had great content to share and illuminated a lot of the challenges in conducting research in this space.  Plus the Open mHealth initiative is so encouraging!  I think this panel is a ‘must view’ for everyone as it can help in introducing a common language that could lead to better coordination and scaling of efforts as well as providing guidance for individuals.  Overall, the quality and detail of this panel was exemplary.  I ended up choosing it in part based on the criteria of ‘if I could only have the full video of one panel’ because of its high utility for me and in sharing with multiple audiences.  Many of the slide decks from this panel are here.

Final Verdict
I am definitely happy I attended both the pre-conference workshop by @BjFogg (although it mostly served to whet my appetite for the full Boot Camp) as well as the conference proper.  I have been to some good conferences that were one-offs, but will absolutely figure out a way to make it back to Mobile Health next year.  My two most substantial takeaways were that the construct of this conference was singular in nature and that it was probably easier to connect with potential collaborators here than at any other conference I’ve attended.

@kevinclauson

Update: other perspectives on the conference have previously been posted here by @thulcandrian of AIDS.gov and a take on mHealth by @geoffclapp here.

Update 2. Here is a new conference highlights post by Craig Lefebvre (who I wish I had realized was @chiefmaven when I met him there)

Update 3: ‘Text in the City’ founder Katie Malbon has written the most ambitious mh#11 wrap-up to date

Update 4: If @TextInTheCityNY had the most ambitious/complete post, @geoffclapp has added the most thoughtful and thought-provoking review to date

Update 5: From the ‘people I wish I had a chat with’ file at #mh11, @AndrewPWilson has now provided his main takeaways from Stanford

Update 6: Patient-centric thought bubbles and more from e-Patients.net rep @msaxolotl at #mh11

Update 7: Jeff Kellem (@slantedhall) provided a tech-focused list of quick hits from the conference

Update 8: David Doherty (@3GDoctor) has added the most contrarian view of the conference to the conversation here

Webicina Mobile – iPhone now, Android Later

Yesterday, during a lunch chock full o’ watching a live broadcast of a knee surgery from Swedish (courtesy @danamlewis) and checking out a group of smart, passionate folks talk about Women & HIV at the White House (including @SusannahFox), I indulged in a download of the new Webicina app for the iPhone.

For those of you unfamiliar with Webicina, it is one of the best examples of crowdsourced curation of health information I have seen.  At the most basic level, it is a list of resources, by medical specialty (for healthcare professionals) and health conditions (for patients).  Also, if you click on ‘About Us’ (top right in screenshot) from the main menu, it will provide a link to its PeRSSonalized Medicine feature, which has RSS-like functionality…except that a world of contributors has already done the work to pre-select menu items for you.  And it’s available in 17 languages. Oh, and it’s free.  Webicina  has been available online for a couple years, but now it’s available as an app on iTunes, and per its creator/curator Dr. @Berci Mesko, it will soon be available for Android.

I think the best value of Webicina may be that it is a central place to direct healthcare professionals who are looking to get their feet wet with social media/Web 2.0 or alternately, it is a good initial place to direct patients who are a bit overwhelmed from trying to dive into the pool of health information online.   The next best thing about Webicina?  If you think there is a great resource missing from the list, just click on the link to Webicina.com in the app and type it into the ‘suggest a site’ box for possible inclusion!

@kevinclauson

Scroll down for additional screenshots 

 

 

I poked around a bit on it earlier today.

Here are the menus for Medical Professionals and Patients

 

(And below is an enlarged iPhone screenshot of some of the resource types within a section)

Intersection of social media and research

There are a number of initiatives, sites, and platforms trying to capitalize on the power of social media and social networking to enhance research efforts. A few of them are ResearchGate, Health InnoVation Exchange (HIVE), and VIVO.  Each offers something a bit different; for a full list of ‘biomedical communities’ check out this excellent resource by @Berci Mesko.

Aside from those ‘communities’, can social media enhance research?  For me, the answer is a resounding yes.  I have both observed and directly benefitted via plenty of resources.  Here is a random sample: a source of support for grad students that hosts data sets, actual datasets made freely available for conducting research, a how-to for using Facebook to recruit survey participants,  and a prelim study on use of Facebook for health education.

However, for me, the clearest benefit has been from social networking tools; chief among those is Twitter.  It has helped my research by: 1) connecting me to people with complementary expertise for collaborating on research projects, 2) exposing me to different types of expertise and ways to approach problem solving for research, and 3) creating a filtered source of relevant information about research.

It’s that last item that I want to focus on.  A little over six months ago, I saw a tweet from @mindofandre (who has the excellent Pulse+Signal) announcing a RFP for the Mobilizing for Health grant by the McKesson Foundation.  For some reason, I did not see that RFP on my Community of Science alerts, or any of the other resources I use to stay informed on grant opportunities.  Thankfully, I did see it on Twitter.  It looked like a great match for a study our mHealth group wanted to conduct. Fast-forward 6 months and past lots of heavy lifting by my colleagues, and we are very happy we’ll be able to conduct that study as ours was one of the proposals funded!  Now that I think of it, Andre was the person who put us into touch with several other mHealth researchers about 10 months prior to that as well – quite the Gladwellian Connector, that one.  In any event, this is just one example of the intersection of social media and research.  The tools are there, you just have to use them.

Oh, and in the best pay-it-forward tradition, here are two outstanding mHealth research-related opportunities:

  1. NIH/OBSSR mHealth Summer Institute where early career investigators will get an intensive weeklong experience to learn about mHealth research. (Deadline extended until March 10)
  2. The new cycle for the McKesson Foundation Mobilizing for Health grant has begun and Letters of Intent are due on April 1, 2011.

I’d love to hear any examples of how social media has impacted your research – by creating opportunities, informing you, using it as a tool to collect data, connecting you with potential collaborators, etc.

@kevinclauson

Medicine 2.0’11 at Stanford – Call for Abstracts

The Medicine 2.0 World Congress on Social Media and Web 2.0 in Health, Medicine, and Biomedical Sciences is one of the most valuable conferences I have ever attended.  It has been the meeting in this arena with the clearest focus on actual research and evidence for Medicine 2.0 issues and also offers the best opportunity to connect with other researchers, clinicians, e-patients, business and policy people.  In fact, the very first Medicine 2.0 Congress was where I was introduced to (and/or first met IRL) so many people who went on to become research collaborators, colleagues, and friends. 

In the spirit of that original meeting, I am excited for this year’s Medicine 2.0 at Stanford (September 16-18, 2011).  I have always appreciated the fact that Medicine 2.0 has truly been an international gathering, but am happy to see that it is coming to the United States for the first time.  I am also eager to see another first,  the one-day Stanford Summit at Medicine 2.0, which will directly precede the Medicine 2.0 Congress.  The Summit is lining up to have an incredible array of moderators and panelists.

Given the quality of the attendees and the opportunities for discussion/dissemination of your research (and networking), if you are working in this field I would strongly urge you to respond to the Call for Abstracts, Presentations, Interactive Demos, Startup Pitches and Panel Proposals for Medicine 2.0 at Stanford.  The deadline for submission is a (rapidly approaching) March 1st, 2011.  You can click on the link for the Call or start the process by watching the overview below by this year’s Conference organizer, Dr. Larry Chu.  Also, feel free to contact me with any questions and I look forward to seeing you there!

@kevinclauson

Medicine 2.0 Call for Abstracts from Larry Chu on Vimeo.

mHealth Summit 2010 ATF Part 1

I already miss the sound of the techno music from the Walter E. Washington Convention Center at the 2010 mHealth Summit.  Because I’ve seen a number of questions about what mHealth is, here is my preferred definition from lecture courtesy of @mHealthAlliance: “the use of mobile devices and global networks to deliver health services and information”.  One reason I like this definition is its emphasis on the ‘network’ piece.  It allows for a much broader application.  I understand the desire by some for the term uHealth (u=ubiquitous) and others, like one presenter at AMIA 2-3 years ago from Rockefeller, who yearn for everything to eventually just be ‘health’.  While recognizing that the types of labels like mHealth can definitely be problematic in the long-run, they also can be really useful in the short term for conveying a basic context, getting people to the table, and creating rallying points…which brings me to my next point.  One of the oft-parroted comments of the Summit was that there was too much hype about mHealth.  Unfortunately the word ‘hype’ was being used interchangeably with ‘excitement’ in many cases.  Of course mHealth isn’t a panacea and there are serious obstacles to navigate.  But let’s not lose sight of the fact that it is really hard to motivate people, to excite people, and to generate momentum…and mHealth is accomplishing those things.  So please let’s not be so terrified about overpromising and under-delivering that we squash genuine enthusiasm.  Of course there are speed bumps and as @joncamfield noted, there are definitely some mobile parlor tricks to be wary of out there (he also had the fantastic idea of an implementer track for next year).  In the interest of being fair and balanced, here is an example of a public health/mHealth app featuring augmented reality that may mean well but has questionable execution [EDIT: yes, the video below is for an actual app].

Onto the conference proper…David Aylward, Executive Director of the mHealth Alliance, began with a pseudo-demo of wearable body area networking for basic vitals.  Side note: Aylward closed the conference while wearing a Bugs Bunny tie that I speculated was an ode to Ted Turner and his Cartoon Network.  This remains unconfirmed.  Slightly more relevant, the conference was livestreamed and h/t to @planetrussell who noted that videos from the stream are starting to appear in various YouTube channels.

 

The first two WOW moments of #mhs10 for me included the announcement of the 2011 NIH Summer Institute on mHealth Research, which will provide specialized training opportunities for 25 researchers.

 

The second was during a panel presentation by @JoshNesbit in which he shared a word cloud of the tweets from Haiti following the earthquake.  The wow moment was when he pointed out that the second most tweeted word was ‘please’.  That revelation definitely gave me pause. 

End ATF: Part 1

@kevinclauson

 

Part 2 may or may not highlight snarky entrepreneurs, bedsore-preventing robots, keynote Star Wars quotes, and actual data.

Two Billionaires, The White House, The Rockefeller President and mHealth

The title of this post is shorthand for four of the keynote presenters at next week’s mHealth Summit (follow at #mhs10) in Washington DC.  In addition to these four keynotes by Bill Gates (@BillGates), Ted Turner, Aneesh Chopra, and Judith Rodin, there is a great lineup of speakers and moderators.  There is a dizzying array of tracks and talks to choose from, but for me there are a handful that are particularly relevant.  These include  Najeeb Al-Shorbaji, who directs KMS at the World Health Organization, @SusannahFox of Pew Internet & American Life and e-patients.net, who is asking the right questions and always has cool new data right around the corner, Matthew Holt (@boltyboy), who is behind THCB and Health 2.0 [and who will hopefully be bemoaning Chelsea dropping points the Sunday prior], @JoshNesbit whose video about Frontline SMS I regularly use in my informatics course and who presents one of the most compelling cases for mHealth [seriously, you may be dead inside if it doesn’t speak to you on some level].

I am also really eager to hear from @HajovanBeijma from Text to Change and Susan Dentzer, who has been very forward thinking as EIC at Health Affairs, as well as to meet Walter Curioso, whose work I have long admired.  Since some of the biggest issues facing mHealth deal with scalability, policy, and interoperability, the mHealth Summit promises to be particularly useful as this conference brings together most of the stakeholders necessary to enact change.  I am looking forward to it.  I plan to be livetweeting and possibly liveblogging some, but I may very well get caught up in the presentations and discussions so I can’t make any guarantees.

@kevinclauson

ULP Digital Pharma Nine Notables

Two-thumb typing on telephone at twenty to thirty thousand feet while things are still fresh in my mind from Digital Pharma East.

Digital Pharma was the first Pharma-centric conference I’ve attended.  My usual professional meeting haunts are either focused on HCPs or are a blend of healthcare industry and technology.  I wasn’t completely certain what to expect other than I would likely be among the minority as a ‘representative’ from academia and pharmacy.  That’s plenty of preface, onto the Notables

Notable Keynote
As much as I enjoyed keynotes by Ian Talmadge, Dr. Bertalan Mesko (@Berci), etc., the one that completely floored me was delivered by Dr. Ian Morrison (@seccurve).  It was the perfect blend of style (his seamless comparison of Pimp My Ride to the state of US healthcare) and substance (holistic view of drivers of medication non-adherence).  Spot on observations, great timing, and natural, unforced humor.  The clip on his site does not do him justice. 

Notable Conversation
@LenStarnes is just a really interesting cat. I found him to have a fascinating global perspective, wealth of experience, and he is a darn good storyteller in his own right as well as being a fellow ZX81 owner.

Notable Attendee
Phil Cranch (@cranchtweet), MSPharm, MComm at The Crystal Agency.  He was the only other self-identified pharmacist there who I saw and tied for my fave Aussie.

Notable Anniversary
Congrats to the folks at Pixels and Pills who are a very precocious, collective one.  Remarkable energy, nice approach, no doubt headed for great things.

Notable Recruit
You just watch, I am totally going to figure out a way to poach @Shwen Gwee and get him back to academia where he belongs. Academia needs more driven people who are also savvy.  Don’t worry; I’ll still let him help the ExL Pharma folks.

Notable Transparency
None. I detected no transparency of note. I get that it’s canine-devour-canine and all that, but still a bit disappointing.

Notable Mobile Experience
I can’t help but think if I had talked to @CynthiaNorth 6 months ago that it would have cut off about a month of prep time for our mHealth research protocols and that we, in turn, would have added perspective and experience that would have enhanced their patient adherence piece.

Notable Connection(s)
My post. My rules. Multiple parts to this Notable. @PhilBaumann of Health is Social may just end up being the first social media healthcare futurist. I feel like Dr. Mike Sevilla (@doctoranonymous), despite his notoriety, is underrated as a presence especially given his remarkable longevity. Dr. Bryan Vartabedian (@Doctor_V) simply gets the need for rigorous research in this area and authors a thoughtful, relevant blog.  After speaking to Gilles Fry (@gfry) a few times, I finally figured out a one-word descriptor for where he resides on the ‘Rage Against the Machine’ to ‘Endearing Curmudgeon’ continuum: Fierce.

Notable Omissions
See above re: rules and limits. Somehow digilicious by @JaeSelle did not fit into the Nine despite a potent combination of sculptor, visual enthusiast, and embracing the inner geek.  And where was @jonmrich curator of the Social Media Wiki?  Great googly moogly that thing is useful.  I planned to thank him for those efforts and to tell him to cheer up.  Health literacy, while not omitted from the conversation, was limited to cameos.  Civility seemed to be omitted at a handful of sessions.  Barely activated patients and hesitant healthcare professionals would have made fine additions to some panels to give a fuller picture.  I did not omit any of the stargazing targets.  However, I’ve obviously omitted at least one great connection, one great conversation, and one great find.

@kevinclauson

Driving Change with mHealth

Click image to view slides

This should be a really interesting semester since it is first time I will be teaching “Consumer Health Informatics and Web 2.0 in Healthcare” in the College of Medicine – Biomedical Informatics Program and in the College of Pharmacy (COP).  This is the third time I have taught this elective in the Masters of Biomedical Informatics (MSBI) Program, but it is the first for Pharmacy (and obviously the first time concurrently).

The COP elective is more traditional as it primarily meets in a classroom; however, it does have some hybrid aspects in that some of the lectures will be asynchronous Tegrity sessions.  The plan is for the students to view those on their own and then have discussion-driven classes following those.  I am also using an audience response system during the COP course to try and promote student engagement.  It is a course delivered via live, interactive video to two of our sites this semester (i.e. Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach).  One of the most exciting aspects of the COP course is the calibre of the guest lectures who have agreed to participate this semester.  It is a bit experimental as the guest presenters will be contributing lectures via asynchronous recorded lectures, live via videoconference (e.g. Skype) so that we can also have live Q&A, and live in-classroom. 

For the MSBI offering, it is built to accomodate students in a much wider geographic distribution.  Most of the students this semester are in Florida, but there are also students spending much of their time in places as far as Saudi Arabia.  Regardless, South Florida lends itself to a very diverse population and so there is a strong international presence in most programs anyway.  Because of this distribution, the course is basically delivered online through the use of asynchronous sessions and Live Sessions.  This is a really interesting course due, in part, to the heterogenous nature of the students.  Even though the program is housed in the COM, it allows for varying types of students seeking their Masters.  So far I have had students with backgrounds including practicing pharmacists, physicians, nurses, and scientists along with teachers, businesspeople and computer science experts.  It makes for some pretty lively discussions as the range of experience and expertise among the students can be eye-opening!

So that is a pretty long preface to say that I have posted the slides from one of my favorite lectures of the semester – mHealth.  I think there is enormous potential for mHealth.  I am also happy to be involved in a panel on this topic at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Midyear Clinical Meeting in December of this year.  Please feel free to share any feedback you have about the scope, contents, or emphasis of this slide deck.  Every semester in this course I add and delete lecture topics and then tweak and update the existing ones – so your opinions are all welcome.

@kevinclauson