autoimmune research, digital health, patient stories

Crowd Power

Bringing a fresh approach to collaboration and sharing of ideas, HealthIMPACT West, did not include lectures or powerpoints. Instead, when Megan Antonelli first envisioned her goals for Purpose events, she wanted to bring about a “face to face” meeting where a shared focus could bring forth “new insights, a clearer sense of purpose, and solutions that impact performance.”

Having recently curated the 2014 NY eCollaborative Digital Health conference, I can personally appreciate how challenging it is to get participants actively involved in a conference setting. Megan Antonelli, through HealthIMPACT, created an atmosphere for collaboration where all participants were on an equal playing field. There were no power differentials and the participants could be highly interactive.

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Using this new interactive format, HealthIMPACT crafted a story with a theme of bringing value to patients, deftly told by Shahid Shah. His captivating storytelling of how to use IT and mHealth to achieve patient engagement, to how we can build infrastructure for innovation and population health management, provided a foundation for solving the complex healthcare challenges.

Shah began with a brainstorming working breakfast. He engaged the audience in questions that had meaning for them and got the gears moving for an actionable outcome. As a result, the meeting’s participants could take home new plans of action.

We explain the implications of trends to your daily work, figure out how to operationalize innovations, and provide actionable advice so that you can do your job better.”-Shah

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The meeting proved to be an illustration of Antonelli’s purpose of, “working to move beyond meaningful use to meaningful outcomes. To bring meaningful outcomes to patients.”

While Antonelli’s goal is moving forward, I couldn’t help but think about bringing meaningful outcomes to the lonely voices of autoimmune disease.

Given my passion for using digital medicine and chronic disease management with an emphasis on autoimmune disease, the pessimist in me was gripped by the stark reality of challenging issues such as interoperability, privacy, and security. At the same time, the optimist in me concluded that there are many opportunities to use these tools in chronic health management to help the large and growing needs of the autoimmune disease community.

How can we use the power of the crowd and this interactive format to create innovation salons that will answer the calls of the “Lonely Voices of Autoimmune Disease?”


Attention! Calling for stories of your experience with multiple autoimmune diseases!

At an upcoming Stanford Medicine X workshop, I will be using these stories to create an empathy map that will identify problem areas that need new solutions.

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