Sunday, March 29, 2009

HealthCampPhiladelphia (#HCPHL) - that's a wrap!

Yesterday saw the first HealthCampPhiladelphia take place. This is the largest HealthCamp event held so far and took place thanks to a great local organizing team led by Mary Ann Geier.

The others on the team included: Kelani, Gloria Bell, Mark Magliocco, Whitney Hoffman, Phil Baumann Melissa Thiessen (who organized the Jefferson University facility) and Maumi Chatterton . A special thanks also has to go to Carl Lusby who provided and supported his fabulous Ruby on Rails based scheduling app. If you are planning to run a barcamp event you need to talk to Carl about his mobile schedule app.

People travelled in to the event from as far afield as Maryland, DC, Connecticut and New York. The event's hashtag (#HCPHL) hit the top twitter trending topics more than once during the day. People were following the Twitter feed from across the UK and Europe.

The level of interest and active participation in the event only serves to underline the importance of addressing and encouraging change in Health Care. The idea behind HealthCamp is that the healthcare system is broken and we need to rebuild it, together, on a participatory model that leverages the best the social networking, open standards and Internet and mobile technologies have to offer.

I was encouraged by the discussions that took place at the end of HealthCampPhiladelphia. Requests were made for a HealthCampNewYork and for a follow-up event in Philadelphia that will involve more medical practitioners. Those from the medical community that were at this event seemed committed to spreading the word to their colleagues.

Health Care is a complex beast. Making change is not simple. But change is something we have to do. Because it is such a complex environment it is imperative that we look for ideas, inspiration and solutions by casting a wide net. This is the purpose of HealthCamp. It is a venue for conversation that can spark solutions. It is my desire to see all parts of the health care industry represented, together with entrepreneurs, developers and consumers and patients. This is not a place to come and just complain about the current situation. Come and make suggestions on how to make it better. It is out of these discussions between Doctors, nurses, developers and consumers that new and innovative solutions can come.

If you are interested in getting involved in the HealthCamp movement then please drop me a note. The best way to reach me is either by commenting on this blog or sending me a message on twitter (@ekivemark). We have an evolving HealthCamp wiki on Wetpaint that you are welcome to join. (

If you are in San Francisco this week come to the Web2Open Un-conference at the Web 2.0 Expo and get involved with an impromptu HealthCampSf. There is also a Birds of a Feather HealthCamp session as part of the event on Wednesday April 1st at 7pm. You can get a free ticket to the Web 2Open sessions by checking out the special discount code on the Web2Open page.

On Tuesday April 21st in Boston HealthCampBoston and SocialPharmerBoston are hosting a joint Camp event. It takes place at Microsoft's R&D facility in Cambridge, MA. If you were planning to attend Health 2.0 then come a day earlier and get involved in HealthCampBoston. Tickets for this event go on sale this week. Check out I am looking forward to the event because it will be an opportunity to extend the HealthCamp message in to the Pharma sector at a very opportune time. The Pharma sector is actively experimenting with Social Media and trying to understand how Social Networks will shape their market and community outreach plans. From a HealthCare perspective any plans to transform HealthCare have to involve Pharma.   

Finally, if you are interested in getting involved in HealthCampMd 2009 please let me know. If you have a base in New York and can help provide a location for HealthCampNY please get in touch.

In signing off: To everyone who came to HealthCampPhiladelphia. The event was a great success because of your active participation. Thank You!

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