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Launch! is the demo session where Health 2.0 events showcase new companies and technologies. A few of these featured mHealth angles so I was particularly keen on this session. There were some very interesting companies presenting but the judging bit that followed each speaker made no sense whatsoever. Clive Pinder of Healthy Worlds would make comments about the presentation/company as the speaker came off stage and one minute he’d be discussing how he’s all set against “proprietary systems” yet he didn’t make a single comment without referring to the iPhone. Strange to say the least…
My favorite demos were by Denis Costello (another Irishman!) of Eurordis, Dominique Dupagne of DesBons and Laurent Coussirat of the Mood Institute (the winner). It was great to see this was shared with the other delegates opinions and no surprise to find Orange let the mHealth side down earning “Nil Points” in the public Eurvision-style vote:
The venue was the magnificient Cite Universitaire Paris, and it looked all the more stunning due to the fabulous Spring weather…
Expecting some 400 delegates it was great to arrive to find 540 delegates had made the trip, and the enthusiasm that I encountered was legendary. A who’s who of the “Healthcare Twitterati”, most openly admitting to being a “Geek” or at least a “Health 2.0 Addict” and I wasn’t surprised to learn that >5% had been to a previous Health 2.0 event. From my completely non-scientific counts I noticed about half were using an iPhone.
Whenever I go to a conference I generally notice it is run by one of 5 general types of organisers: 1) The association that needs to connect its members eg. Mobile World Congress, 2)The big conference organiser that has allied skill sets eg. Mobile Healthcare Industry Summit, 3) The big conference organiser who thinks that they should get on this latest bandwagon, too many to mention!, 4) The endless small bandwagon chasers, who move through hype cycles eg. EHR’s, Connected Health, eHealth, mHealth, anything to make a buck! 5) Enthusiast efforts built on a grassroot “with our enthusiasm we can do this” mentality eg. BarCamp, TedCam, Mobile Monday.
Health 2.0 was definitely another example of this 5th group. A successful grassroots driven event that brings people together with an incredible enthusiasm thats somewhat infectious whatever your point of view.
Most of the staff seemed to be volunteers, drawn by the buzz and interesting community/blogs that the Health 2.0 team are creating.
Of all the presentations my favorite was from Suzzanah Fox of Pew Internet Research, who did the job no one wanted to do… dispelling the myths and reminding the audience of the need to “Evolve”.
A great fact for developers to keep in mind… “93% of Chronically ill ask a Health Professional when they need advice” (Fox and Purcell; Chronic Disease and the Internet, March 2010)
I have no doubts that the unshared mobile and it’s as yet massively unexploited completely personal Mobile Internet experience is going to create lots of successful business opportunities for the Health 2.0 community but its still imperative that developers appreciate the fundamental desire for patients to want access to the advice of registered Doctors.