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!
Medicine 2.0 Call for Abstracts from Larry Chu on Vimeo.
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
Part 2 may or may not highlight snarky entrepreneurs, bedsore-preventing robots, keynote Star Wars quotes, and actual data.