“We Will All be Patients Someday” – Health 2.0 meets Information Therapy, Boston, MA

I am back from the spring Health 2.0 Conference in Boston, MA, this time combined with Information Therapy, which in my opinion was both a great thing to do in terms of participants, and in terms of bridging the Health 1.0 and Health 2.0 worlds.

Photos below, click on any to enlarge

Some of my favorite health care leaders were in attendance of course, including Holly Potter, Kate Christensen, MD, Paulanne Balch, MD, Anna-Lisa Silvestre, Diane Gage Lofgren, James Hereford, ePatientDave, Trisha Torrey, Susannah Fox, Gilles Frydman, Dan Hoch, MD, Alan Greene, MD, Danny Sands, MD, Jay Parkinson, MD, Jane Sarashohn-Kahn, Lygeia Riccardi, as well was excellent co-hosts Matthew and Indu from Health 2.0, and Josh Seidman, from The Center for Information Therapy.

(Is this dangerous? Attempting to list all of your favorite people on a blog post? I suppose I could just link to my Twitter friends list – I hope everyone remembers what I said on stage about loving everyone and that you’ll add a comment if I’ve forgotten..)

My bias in coming to Health 2.0 is to look for connections and innovations for the established health care system, and I think the combination here supported that, beginning with a debate entitled, “Ix and Health 2.0 – Synergies and Tensions?” moderated by Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, probably one of the few humans alive who can moderate this many energetic people at once. Regardless of the outcome, though, the mere fact of the conversation is evidence that we all need each other, because when we are patients, we are going to need everything we can get to help us be successful.

The Patient Takes Center Stage, from the balcony

Twitter - SusannahFox- <a href=@epatientdave should be on ... (20090427)" title="Twitter - SusannahFox- @epatientdave should be on ... (20090427)" />

The moment of most impact for me was when I was on stage, following a short demonstration of

kp.org (see tomorrow’s post), when the topic of ePatientDave’s work with Google Health and Beth Israel Deaconness (well represented by Roni Zieger, MD, and John Halamka, MD) was mentioned ( start here if you want to get up to speed on this great story ) .

Here’s what happened : When the topic was first brought up, and there were a few audio problems, we heard “Speak up!” coming from the balcony on the right. I turned to fellow panelist and said, “Voice of the patient!” Next, as the discussion was unfolding, with Roni and John describing what they had done in partnership with Dave, I noticed this tweet on the monitor in front of me: “@epatientdave should be on stage too #health2con“.

As Dave got up, in the balcony, to begin talking about his experience, I reflected on the tweet and motioned him to come down, but instead, a really interesting thing happened. Dave stayed up on the balcony, microphone in hand, and spoke to the entire audience below. It was a perfect moment at a perfect time for me (and I think for the rest of the room), when a room of health care leaders looked up to our patients, physically as well as emotionally. I don’t know if there’s a photograph out there of this scene, but it’s gotta be priceless. Even though I could not find one for this post, I like this description of things from Susan Carr.


I can't tell you what a huge sense of happiness this post gives me. And, as you would surely feel in the same situation, it's not about me – it's the joy of seeing so many wonderful people focusing so much on participatory medicine.

Funny, when I was using my best singer's voice to project from the balcony, I didn't notice you waving to me to come down.

Yes, it's personal: each of us will not only "be a patient" someday (we all are, already), each of us will surely face a medical crisis, for ourselves or a loved one. And as I said, people get radicalized when it gets personal.

Thanks for my favorite Health-2.0/Ix post, Ted. I get joy from seeing your vision materializing.

Ted – I am flattered and grateful to be counted among the "friends."

In truth, we patients did feel a HUGE sense of having made our presence known in a very positive way. Unlike some conferences I have attended in the past, where we were treated as more of an annoyance, as if we had no role in a healthcare discussion, we felt welcomed, embraced and central to the conversation at Health 2.0 Meets Ix.

A tipping point? Perhaps. But on behalf of patients, those who attended and those who did not. we thank you for embracing us.

Dave and Trisha,

Wow – I think that's one of the coolest feelings to ever create in another human being, thanks for reminding us what it looks like so we create it in every health care interaction,


[…] room of health care leaders looked up to our patients, physically as well as emotionally.” “We Will All be Patients Someday” – Health 2.0 meets Information Therapy, Boston, MA, Ted Eytan, […]

Ted Eytan, MD