Thursday, October 28, 2010

HealthCampDC - when two worlds come together #hcdc10

As I prepare for a week that begins with presenting on Health Plan Innovation at the World Health Care Congress summit in Alexandria, VA and culminates with HealthCampDC on 2010-11-12 I have been looking at how far HealthCamp has come and the fantastic people I have had the good fortune to connect with as a result of HealthCamp. It therefore seems like a good time to look at how these worlds are coming together. To do that I need to give you a little of my history. So come on a little journey with me....

For a number of years I have worked at CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield. I joined CareFirst at the beginning of 2007 and at the time I was deeply involved with Web 2.0 technology and innovation, actively blogging about how these new technologies could transform businesses and industries. 

I quickly saw opportunities to apply Web 2.0 solutions to health care challenges. HealthCamp grew out of the desire to continue the valuable discussions about the junction of Web 2.0 and Health Care. At the time this was the emerging world of Health 2.0. The barcamp concept of un-conferences seemed the natural format to encourage the vibrant and wide ranging conversations around Health Care and Web 2.0.  Hence HealthCamp emerged and first took place at Stevenson University in June 2008. But it was the HealthCampDC event in 2008 that really kick started HealthCamp. 

HealthCampDC in 2008 had a small but very vocal group of participants. Since Twitter has been such an important part of HealthCamp I am going to use their Twitter names here.... The likes of @jensmcabe, @tedeytan, @lostonroute66, @mjchatter, @anitasmarath, @susannahfox @lygeia they created such a vibrant chatter on Twitter that HealthCamp has never looked back. 

I have to give a special shout out to @tedeytan. It is the definition of Health 2.0 that he developed on his blog with his readers that still acts as the inspiration and guide for HealthCamp.

"How can we rebuild health care on a participatory model using social media, open standards, 

open source and the best that the web and mobile internet technologies can offer?" 

HealthCampSFBay took place earlier this month with over 250 people descending on the Kaiser Permanente hosted event at the world renowned Garfield Innovation Center in San Leandro, CA. The Attendees included Todd Park, the Chief Technology Officer at the Department of Health and Human Services gave an amazing key note speech and then led a session looking at the future of the Community Health Data Initiative. You can catch Todd's wrap up of his session here:

So on Friday November 12th, 2010 HealthCamp comes back to Washington, DC. This time CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield is officially sponsoring and hosting HealthCampDC at their DC Headquarters - 840 First Street, NE, Washington DC. For me this is a case of two worlds converging. CareFirst has been busy for the past couple of years deploying new systems and we are finally seeing the public face of those changes as CareFirst launches HealthyBlue, a product that rewards members for following healthy behaviors and building a relationship with their Doctor. On the Physician side CareFirst has been busy developing Primary Care Medical Home as a platform to reward physicians for taking better care of CareFirst members.

HealthyBlue is a product that can benefit from mobile solutions and social media. I would like to see Health Care visionaries, developers and anyone in the National Capital area passionate about Health Care converge on HealthCampDC and join in a conversation about how we can use social media, open standards and mobile technologies to encourage people to engage in managing their health. I am optimistic that we can have a positive, forward thinking and open discussion. My experience at CareFirst has been that there are a lot of great minds applying themselves to big challenges to deliver better solutions and services to members. CareFirst is also very active in donating to community causes in the area. However, when it comes to Social Media only a few tentative steps have been made. This therefore is an opportunity to share your experiences with using Social Media and encourage further initiatives in this area.

There are going to be some fascinating conversations at HealthCampDC on 2010-11-12. You can join in if you go and register at

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