Health 2.0 Berlin was allegedly a health conference. But at 4:30am on the train back to Schoenefeld airport, sleep deprived and mildly hungover, it certainly didn’t feel like it.
We were on the sharp end of two intense days of talks, demos and crowds of fascinating people to meet. The attendees were varied and impressive – from government representatives to hungry young upstarts to health/tech veterans. There was so much great stuff (DigitFit, HeiaHeia…) but here are a few of our highlights:
There are quite a few ‘self monitoring’ apps out there but I think these guys are premier league. A super interface with the right balance of simplicity, richness of data and game-like motivational cues. The founders are barely out of college but so smart and fired up I reckon they’re going to make it big.
Billed as “the mobile food coach” this app boasts a simple and inventive interface to record your food intake, removing the usual mindboggling expectation that normal people know how to estimate how many grams and calories of food they eat.
Only a couple of months into his new job as National Director for Patients and Information, Dr Foster founder Tim spoke about his plan to open up data on the NHS and allow entrepreneurs to innovate with it. A great idea and about time we caught up with the US – but let’s see it happen!
Jog of War
The result of the hackathon that preceded the main conference, this simple proof of concept was built in 24hrs and was one of my favourite things on show. The idea is brilliantly simple – by jogging you capture territory on a real world map (as tracked by GPS in your phone). Others can jog across your path and steal your territory. So you need to keep jogging to stay ahead of the competition…
Someone who has made ‘open data’ happen is Peter Levin, CTO of the Department of Veterans Affairs in the USA. And his business card has an official gold seal on it (which impressed me at least). The Veterans Association is the closest thing the US has to our NHS, and provides veterans with free healthcare. His ‘big blue button’ initiative now means that any patient can instantly download their patient data. Deceptively simple, mind-blowingly difficult to execute in such a huge healthcare system and incredibly empowering. Now the challenge is to build apps that use that data in helpful ways.
Were you there? What were your highlights? Any health apps you think should have been there that weren’t? Let us know below.