November 2nd, 2010

BlogWorld 2010 and #SocHealth

There have already been a few recaps of the Social Health Track at Blogworld. Phil Charron and Russell Starke from Brownstone, Kerri Sparling at SixUntilMe, Dr. Kevin Pho and Dr. Bryan Vartabedian at 33Charts have all posted on the day, sharing some of insights they gleaned from the panels as well as conveying some of the passion that was in the room.

As one of the co-sponsors of the event, I was pleased to see that so many attendees shared their thoughts about the day with the world. Far too often, events like the Social Health Track at Blogworld come and go, touching only those who made the journey to attend.

That’s why, knowing that there were no doubt going to be a lot of smart, passionate people in the room, we decided to make the last session of the day an opportunity for the audience, presenters and panelists to have a rich discussion of what they took away for the day – and what we all could be doing as a next step to enhance how health information is shared, found and used by patient advocates, physicians and caregivers.

Thanks to Edelman’s David Armano who tapped into his artistic skills to brilliantly capture the flow of the discussion in a series of images, we have a visual account of the session.

This whiteboard session was the highlight of my day. Very rarely do we have so many people in one room at one time who represent many of the different groups who have a role to play in online health – there were patient advocates, physicians, nurses, caregivers, providers and yes, members of industry.

Yet despite the diversity of the audience, there appeared to be a common sense of purpose – that we were all about trying to identify better ways to help people find useful, actionable and credible health information through the effective use of social media platforms, networks and relationships. And, after hearing impassioned words from patient advocates like e-Patient Dave who described the patient as “the invisible stakeholder”, there was a recognition that despite a growing number of platforms, services and sources of health information, there was more that EVERYONE in the room could be doing to overcome the assorted hurdles and limitations to improve the spread of useful information.

The question left on the table was WHAT we could be doing – and just how that would take shape. Not wanting that idea to end with the conference, we decided to continue to conversation on Twitter, turning to the #sochealth hashtag as a gathering point.

Given the energy level in the room, the continued conversations two weeks after the conference, #sochealth may end up being just the first step in something bigger – or at the very least a means to continue the sharing of thoughts, ideas, learnings and concerns among these diverse stakeholder groups. I’m at least hoping that’s the case.

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