Sex & Drugs & Rock’n’Roll & Health 2.0

I’m so excited that I can’t sleep, so I’m up at 5am giving a Hunter S. Thompson-esque review of Day1 of Heath 2.0

For a start, even before it started you could tell that Health Innovation Week in San Francisco (which we at Health 2.0 put on with Petter Grant at HCCA) was really moving the needle. I only got fewer than half the events but I know there were great turn outs and great presentations everywhere. The three conferences earlier in the week dived into the nitty gritty of EMRs, RECs & HIPAA. Healthcamp was a mosh pit of amazing ideas with 200+ packed into the Garfield Center. Indu and I visited Academy Health and had a great dinner with the research & HHS team talking about the intersection between developers and researchers.

Patients 2.0 was a deeply serious meeting with 10 patient leaders and advocates and a passionate crowd of about 150 more talking about how to spread the movement and what needs to be done to support patients. And the patients came up with 7 principles—that they revealed on stage at the Finale of Day 1. But you must read Jane Sarasohn Kahn’s report on the meeting at Health Populi. Extraordinary.

And then the day arrive. Nearly 1100 of our closest friends swamped the Hilton. The buzz and the energy was filing the room. Indu and I presented our latest take on the expansion of Health 2.0…bubbles are so 2007. We really unpacked the unplatforms and the data utility layer.

I dont think I’ve had more fun at a conference than when I was nominally interviewing our two amazing keynotes Jeff Goldsmith & Tim O’Reilly. Tim gave an amazing presentation about the possibilities of technology emerging from hobbyists—who could have imagined that the HomeBrew computer club would change the world? Jeff forcefully reminded us that American health care is now in a race with Germany to get to $3.5 trillion. But that the system’s innovation is stagnating and its transaction complexity is soaring—and we have the tsunami of baby-boomers about to hit it. And then they just interviewed each other. Fabulous

There was lots of talk about Sharecare. We totally broke the Health 2.0 rules when we heard that they were thinking of having their coming out party. We aggressively pursued them because a major new content (and more) site is big news in Health 2.0 and we gave Jeff Arnold about 10 minutes more than any one else is allowed to demo at Health 2.0. And boy did he need it—there is so much packed into that site in its Q & A format and so many partners that it was almost overwhelming. It’s really an attempt to become a platform for everyone in health…and now its opening to consumers. Plus kinda cool to have a live consult with Dr Oz while he was backstage at Oprah.

(BTW After we talked Jeff and his team into introing Sharecare at Health 2.0, they later decided to make a splash and sponsor our party and Info Booths. We’re very grateful, but speaking and sponsoring are separate at Health 2.0. And if you’re the next monster introduction, we may break our time limit rules for you too…)

And then there were so many great technology demos—First Life Research blew me away with their tracking of absolutely everything on the Internet every said about health—well not quite but almost. MTV Reality Star and cancer survivor Diem Brown stopped me and said that the Healthline 3D heart demo was quote “the most f**king amazing thing I have ever seen” end quote. I loved the new interface of TweetWhatYouEat, while both MeYou Health and Healthseeker on Facebook were amazing. Oh, and that was all in one panel!

All this plus the excitement and coolness of the six Developer Challenge Winners and the raucous intro from Aneesh Chopra, Todd Park and Peter Levin. I tired to give Todd some lunch in the packed 400+ crowded breakout session afterwards but he said “I’m too excited to eat”. Perhaps the pressure of knowing that 1100 people just saw his weight one a hacked LCD scale put into Patient Fusion & Healthvault was too much. but Todd, you do not have 10 lbs to lose!

Last and by no means least were the unmentionables. I’ve never seen so much talk about sex, drugs, addiction and emotion at a health care conference, and I just love love love Susannah Fox who wrangled this group, and love love love Alex Drane who’s idea it was. Honorable mentions to Ron Gutman to reworking his talk back to the original framework he told me months ago and making it damn funny, Doug Solomon for going for and getting the cheap laughs about the IDEO bedsider project, Richard Tate for talking passionately about tweens and exercise, and if you don’t know what is, well you’re soon going to find out. Was this the best panel ever at Health 2.0? I don;t know but I’m pretty sure that Susannah Fox has been on the best panel ever, whichever one it is!

I have to stop, but only because I’ve got to leave to wrangle Day 2–-which is even more complex and may be even better

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