It’s been a busy winter. Amid all the Facebook scandals and new government regulation work that’s going on, I thought I’d send an update on travels. Here are some visuals from a recent 17 day, six country, seven speech trip. (Fun facts: nine different hotels, and doing laundry in a Vienna laundromat that only takes instructions from a smartphone app.)
The background image is the HIMSS19 (health IT systems conference) logo repeated over and over and over and over, because that brutal exhausting conference is like that :-), and is the background of everything else.
Counterclockwise from left:
- “All About Data“ – I had the closing keynote at this fascinating event at UMCG (University Medical Center Gröningen). One intriguing talk was about how dairy farming has exploded in productivity since they started measuring everything. In my closing talk I asked, “How would we change things if the cow could express opinions about what she likes and doesn’t like?” (i.e., if the cow (like a patient) were not just a source of data, but had preferences that we cared about). Got to connect with Bart Brandenburg, who first met me at my TED Talk. Groningen is way up, two hours north of Amsterdam by train, almost up to the North Sea.
- Digital Health Insider networking – one of the 850,000 receptions at HIMSS. If you don’t care about your feet and love cocktails and snacks, HIMSS is the place for you.
- Merakoi: after Groningen I traveled to Basel, Switzerland to visit long-time friend Silja Chouquet (pronounced “Celia”), one of the most committed evangelists in the world regarding finding a role for expert patient voices in the pharma industry. As the Merakoi site says, “Meraki is the Greek word for doing something with so much love and devotion that you leave a piece of your soul in it.” And KOI is for “key online influencers” – the patient voices they’re developing.
- DIA Europe, Vienna: In the opening keynote for this energized and energizing event, I introduced the idea of my upcoming book Superpatients: Patients who extend science when all other options are gone. The concept is getting great response everywhere I speak about it. This event was the first time an audience interrupted with rousing applause before my last slide appeared. :-) (Great subway system, btw.)
- Ask Me About Digital, Budapest: A real thrill – got to visit with @Berci, the “Medical Futurist” who wrote about Let Patients Help, “How can we ensure that every medical student reads this book?” We have collaborated on a Digital Health Manifesto (2018), my lecture in his course at Semmelweis University (2013), and I reviewed his book My Health, Upgraded (2015). On this visit we spent an afternoon with his video production team (he has an amazing business for someone half my age!), then we had a speech and discussion at Budapest’s “Smart Health Meetup,” a hybrid of future-oriented university thinkers, startups, and health-oriented people. Several things will come from the visit; the first is this quick highlight video from the meetup. (Email subscribers, click this post’s headline to come online and view it.)
- From Budapest I flew to Orlando (via Stockholm!) for HIMSS, and ended up sitting next to Mikael Bäckstrom, CEO of ImagineCare, a company he bought from Dartmouth Hitchcock Hospital, right near my home! They help keep track of people with remote sensors, and give a call if it appears someone could use a help. Guess what: having someone stay on top of things like this reduces trips to the emergency room!
- Travel tip: Norwegian Airlines is the hot new great deal for international long hauls. This trip in premium economy was just $836! Really good seats, too.
- Before HIMSS I hopped down to Fort Lauderdale, where I again had the thrill of doing a shared keynote speech with my famous physician Dr. Danny Sands for a Pri-Med continuing education conference for primary physicians. In this series of speeches we teach the principles of participatory medicine by recreating two of my actual doctor appointments, before and after my cancer diagnosis. Then we end by illustrating doctor-patient harmony, by singing a duet. :-) The video of this speech will be published this week.
- AND then, the four days at HIMSS, with 43,000 other people. Here I spoke at the FHIR booth (the new software standard that we hope will truly liberate everyone’s health data, eventually), then participated in a panel in their booth on the last day.
Important tip if you ever want to attend HIMSS: in addition to comfortable shoes (urgent!), get one of the hotels within walking distance of the convention center, because the waiting time for cabs and Ubers to get “home” to the outlying hotels is unbearable! Best decision I ever made.
Up next on the agenda: several more speech bookings (increasingly overseas) … and getting that book Superpatients written.