Sunday, September 18, 2011

Reflections on the Medicine 2.0 conference at Stanford #med2

What an amazing weekend at Stanford! The Medicine 2.0 conference started with a room full of energy and excitement around mobile health, social media, participatory medicine, behavior change, medical education, quantified self, and much more! This was a very unique conference in that it didn't focus on a single element like social media or mobile health. Rather, we had presentations from physicians and other presentations from patients. We saw where the intersection between the health care provider and the patient in the virtual environment of the Internet could enhance patient outcomes. We heard a number of presenters speak about the ways health care professionals are leveraging social media and mobile health tools to help them communicate and improve their clinical workflow. We also saw how patients who share their experiences on social media platforms were able to leverage those networks to make a major difference. This was definitely one of the best conferences I had attended this year because of the diverse nature of the innovative ideas that were shared.

Medicine 2.0 kicked off on Sat with Dr. Jennifer L. Aaker speaking about the power of social media to move the world to help patients with cancer who needed bone marrow transplants. On site, we had attendees swabbing their cheeks and signing up for the Be The Match Registry.

Then, we had some great presentations about innovations in continuing medical education (CME). We saw how researchers had collected data on the "meaningful use" of social media by physicians. How are primary care physicians and oncologists using social media? Is it meaningfully making a difference in patient care? Learn more here. There are still many questions we need to answer regarding the use of social media among health care professionals.

I sat through some inspirational presentations by adventurous entrepreneurs who had started innovative companies in the health technology space. I had the pleasure to spend time with Sonny Vu, former Chairman/Founder/CEO of AgaMatrix. We soon discovered that we knew a lot of the same people from the Boston area.

I also had the pleasure to speak with Kelly Choi, MD, Vice President of Innovation and Customer Solutions, QuantiaMD. I always enjoy speaking with physicians about non-clinical careers and hearing their stories.

There were some great presentations about the power of social media to empower patients to share their stories with others. We heard how patients were joining powerful communities like PatientsLikeMe and MedHelp to learn about drug effects and to find social support.

BJ Fogg from Stanford shared a great presentation about behavior change. B = MAT (Behavior = Motivation x Ability x Trigger). If you're going to change your behavior, aim to change it for a fixed interval and make it simple. We learned how to draw a simple graph illustrating this point. I think I'm going to start using this regularly.

The conference had some fascinating presentations around the issue of the "Quantified Self" or QS. We're seeing more and more patients wear digital devices so they can collect real-time quantifiable data regarding their level of activity, their heart rate, temperature, stress level, brain activity, and much more. Examples include the BodyMedia armband, the Basis watch band, the Zeo Personal Sleep Coach, Fitbit, and more. I think I'm going to try some of these Quantified Self tools and start recording/logging my activity and sharing that information online.

Finally, the conference concluded with an inspirational presentation by Susannah Fox from Pew Internet speaking about the power of social media for patients.

I want to thank Dr. Larry Chu for doing an excellent job organizing the Medicine 2.0 conference this year. This was an amazing conference and I really look forward to attending the 2012 conference in Boston. I hope to see you there.

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