HealthFoo Recap

Last weekend a group of us Rock Healthers trekked to Boston for the first ever Health Foo.   Health Foo is a spin-off of Foo Camp—  a no-structure, no plan, weekend unconference hosted by Tim O’Reilly and co.  It was co-sponsored by the amazing RWJF and hosted at the sleek Microsoft NERD offices.

After the opening reception, where each of the 150 participants introduced themselves, individuals and groups began filling the agenda board with topics like “Good Data, Big Data, Better Outcomes” and “Super-humans: Prosthetics and Beyond”.

Participants included beloved patient activist Dave deBronkart (better known as e-Patient Dave), who reminded us all that we need to include “patients” in the dialogue.  And Stephen Bezruchka who asked the important question “do you want health or health care?”

The conference was not short of progressive doctors, like Dr. Mark Hyman who wants to flip healthcare on its head by focusing on the root cause of chronic illness instead of simply treating symptoms.  And Rock Health advisor Daniel Kraft, who inspired us all with his vision of the future of medicine.  I also got the chance to sit down with Mayo Clinic physician David Rosenman, who is spending the year as an MIT Sloan Fellow in Innovation & Global Leadership.

In the playful session on Sensors & Sensemaking led by folks from GE and Intel Labs, I finally got to see the sensor stickers created by GreenGoose folks.  These little stickers can be used to track movement on anything from your water bottle to a pet.  Their commitment to fun and games may also have a critical place in health.

Like drinking from a fire-hose, it was impossible to consume the entire abundance of dialogue amongst passionate health leaders.  This was just one event, and it’s important that we continue to bring together diverse voices and perspectives to discuss one of the most pressing issues facing our world.