On the 6th and 7th of November, the Health 2.0 Europe took place in Berlin. At the conference, which took place in Berlin for the second time, about 200 entrepreneurs, investors and experts met for discussion panels with various focal points revolving around digital technologies in healthcare. Already in the days leading up the two-day conference, several additional Health 2.0 events took place. On the 3rd and 4th of November, for example, a number of developers, designers and entrepreneurs took part in the Code-a-thon, which was endowed with a prize money of ten thousand Euro. For this competition, seven teams developed apps and services for the Health 2.0 sector, and in the end, the smartphone app “Jog-War” emerged as the winner with an interesting game mechanism. In the GPS-based game solution developed by a four-person international team, the athlete marks a virtual territory by running and has to defend it against other joggers.
The Health 2.0 panels covered such topics ranging from open data and the financing of Health 2.0 technologies to gamification and wellness. For each main subject, solutions from various companies were presented and their specific trends and challenges were examined. From a technological standpoint, according to one of the speakers, healthcare has a ten-year lag behind other sectors. In this context, it was unanimously agreed that the main lesson learned from other European projects was that progress in using digital solutions required absolute transparency and had to be demanded by patients. In other areas of the system there were simply not enough incentives, so that the potential of digital solutions in improving medical care could only be realized through civil participation. This premise was impressively demonstrated by the start-up MySugr, which presented a smartphone app for measuring blood-sugar levels. The founders and employees of the young business are themselves diabetic, and have to record their blood-sugar levels up to eight times a day. That’s why the game mechanics integrated into the app help make the regular logging of blood-sugar levels, a necessity due to illness, as easy and pleasant as possible. The founder of the Viennese business clearly demonstrated how technological progress driven from the bottom up can lead to a better quality of life for patients. On top of that, numerous other experts and entrepreneurs gave further insights into services and solutions that will certainly improve the conditions of patients and caretakers significantly in the next years.
With two day’s conference and its accompanying events, the Health 2.0 delivered a wide thematic overview and good networking opportunities for developers, entrepreneurs, investors and policy-makers in the health market. The regular event will be hosted in Berlin again in 2013. Already, at the beginning of next year, the Health 2.0 Middle East and the Health 2.0 India will be taking place. Meanwhile, the innovators of the Health 2.0 network will also be meeting at regular local events. You can find information about the Berlin group here.