Healthcare “Serious Games” & “Simulation” at Doctors 2.0 & You 2014

Anderson Cooper, look out!

It’s no secret that I try to “cope” with the comprehensive and systemic life-changing effects of 30-years with Crohn’s Disease by advocating for raising global awareness about this auto-immune, chronic, “broad spectrum severity” and often misunderstood disease.  I even started a 501 (c) 3 Charitable Foundation called the “Crohn’s Disease Warrior Patrol” [CDWP] to organize and implement a Patient Care Strategy to help newly diagnosed patients based on the simple adage: Patients helping other Patients is often the Best Medicine.”  In that regard, things are going well with some major announcements soon to come including the CDWP finally commencing a patient-driven Documentary aimed at raising global awareness about the potential severity and pervasive effects of Crohn’s and Inflammatory Bowel Disease [IBD].  But as I do whatever I can, whenever I am physically able to do so, I often interact with ingenious, tireless, dedicated people using innovative and entrepreneurial applications of Digital Healthcare to fight their fight against a disease, a broken healthcare system or to improve the delivery of healthcare and make it accessible to more people.  Accordingly, I can’t help but use this Blog to “report” on these people and experiences so that others not so exposed to such extraordinary circumstances can learn about them and be similarly energized and motivated.  With this mindset, I recently traveled to the 4th edition of “Doctors 2.0 & You” held in Paris, France.  I was also invited to Doctors 2.0 & You to speak about Crohn’s Disease and the CDWP as they relate to the Quality of Patient Data available in Healthcare Social Media.

Healthcare “Serious Games” Designer Evert Hoogendoorn at Doctors 2.0 & You 2014

Doctors 2.0 & You 2014 | Interview with Tal Givoly, CEO, Medivizor

Trials & Tribulations of a traveling Healthcare Reporter with Crohn’s Disease

I’ve been to many of these seemingly “cutting-edge” Healthcare Conferences but sometimes they don’t focus enough on the “Patient Perspective” when they tackle the fast-changing landscape of digital healthcare.  That oversight seems patently counter-intuitive and thus negatively skews the quality of my experience and thus it’s always of concern to me prior to attending.  My biggest concern, however, is always my health, especially with respect to Doctors 2.0, because just the mere travel to Paris, France made me very nervous as it was only a few months after my Hip Replacement Surgery and not too distant from the intense chemotherapy I underwent to treat a still-undiagnosed severe breathing/lung problem likely caused by Biologic medications I took to keep my Crohn’s at bay.  Additionally, during my last cross-country excursion to the wonderful “Medicine X” at Stanford University in California, the air pressure inside the airplane caused my bowel to obstruct mid-flight such that the first few days of “Medx” (and the remaining portion of the flight!) were very painful for me.  Then, immediately after Medx when my Crohn’s had quieted down, I tried to take advantage of being out West and visited some friends in Lake Tahoe, CA.  But within a few hours at such a high altitude (i.e., 6,500 feet above sea level), my “insides” blew up and I looked like “The Michelin Man” and knew I had again obstructed and was forced to drive to lower ground to avoid a certain hospitalization. 

Doctors 2.0 & You 2014 | Interview with Stanley Lee of in China

Since I was scheduled to fly back to New Jersey from Reno, Nevada, I drove there to a nice, secluded well-respected chain hotel near the airport but quickly learned the hard way that Reno, Nevada is 4,500 feet ABOVE sea level and as far as my bowels were concerned that meant I was still at the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro.  So, at 5 AM, back into the rental car I went, headed toward lower ground while struggling with intense abdominal pain, all the while praying my bowel wouldn’t perforate.  Somehow I safely made it to Sacramento, CA, which is only 13 feet above sea level (I was SO thankful for technology and my ability to quickly research the closest city to Reno, NV which is at or near seal level), and I soon began to feel some relief.  My trusted, longtime New York Gastroenterologist, Dr. Mark Chapman, then over the phone instructed me to stay there for AT LEAST five (5) more days as my body would require that much time to re-acclimate itself.  As always, he was correct as it took two (2) days for the associated joint pain, extreme fatigue and, at times, severe abdominal pain to subside to the point I was able to get out of bed with energy and three (3) more days for me to feel comfortable with the thought of flying again.   

“Connected Health” w/ Uwe DIEGEL, iHealth CEO @ Doctors 2.0 & You 2014

Being amongst “THE” Global Healthcare Leaders at Doctors 2.0 & You

Going to Doctors 2.0 & You also meant my first international travel with a very expensive video camera which I would be relying upon to capture over twenty-five (25) Interviews with fascinating Doctors 2.0 & You Speakers and Attendees.  I was concerned about damaging the camera during travel and/or somehow erasing whatever footage I was lucky enough to record.  Then there was the international electricity situation which I had to rely upon to charge the camera after Day One of the Conference.  Would it damage the camera?  Would it damage the footage?  Would I damage myself trying to figure it out?!  I researched all of these issues prior to the trip but as many of you can already guess, nothing went according to plan, BUT everything worked out.  My health even cooperated although upon my return to the United States I was EXHAUSTED.  As a result, I came back from Doctors 2.0 & You with even more respect for Anderson Cooper! 

More importantly, the people who organized Doctors 2.0 & You were extremely helpful and they did a tremendous job in designing the different “Sessions” and selecting the different Speakers and Panel Moderators.  I truly felt as if I were amongst “THE” Global Healthcare Leaders as I learned about healthcare terms and topics which had never been so thoroughly discussed before at prior Conferences.  These new technology-driven terms and topics included Connected Health, Quantified Self, Preventative Healthcare, a Utopian Data Feed, Personalized Medical Research, Serious Games, Simulation, Lifestyle Medicine and Medical Gamification. I tried to take advantage of the situation by interviewing as many of these Healthcare Innovators as was humanly (and electricity-wise) possible.  Thankfully, everyone I approached kindly consented to an interview and embedded in this Blog Post are five (5) such concise interviews which I think demonstrate everything that was absolutely wonderful about the 4th edition of Doctors 2.0 & You held in Paris, France on June 5-6, 2014. 

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