Health IT Pulse

Nov 7 2014   6:00PM GMT

HealthCamp draws diverse crowd

Shaun Sutner Shaun Sutner Profile: Shaun Sutner

Tags:
HealthCamp
Microsoft NERD center
nutrition
physical therapy

No sleeping bags, overnight gear or headlamps needed.

HealthCamp (technically “HealthCa.mp,”) is the umbrella organization for an irregularly scheduled series of transcontinental, mostly health IT-oriented “unconferences,” as the organizers affectionately call them.

The most recent HealthCamp session was held at Microsoft Corp.’s New England Center for Research and Development (NERD) in Cambridge, Mass.

Health Camp agendas are set by impromptu consensus among participants, who posted written notes on a glass wall describing their preferences for breakout discussion topics.

Among the 75 or so attendees were health IT thought and social media leaders and just plain health visionaries such as Adam Poock, an iconoclastic physical therapist and trainer of “older athletes” who was offering a free “body hack” to campers.

Pook’s idea is that everyone needs a valuable piece of health data to carry around.. In his view, the most critical parts of the body are the hips, and the most critical data associated with them is the standing hip angle.

“With this piece of data, you have a window into a treatment path,” Poock told the audience in the first get-together session.

Because of poor posture and worn-out hips, millions of Americans are doomed to a painful and expensive old age, often requiring hip replacement, Poock noted. “The biggest public health threat is hip mobility,” he told SearchHealthIT.

But other than his Web site, Twitter account and email address, Poock had no tech vehicle for his information. He said he was looking for one at HealthCamp.

“I’m a content guy. I’m an open-source physical therapist and I know how to fix problems,” Poock said.

Poock may well have found his platform on one of the PersonalRemedies family of “Choose This Not That” health and nutrition apps, the president and CEO of which, Mory Bahar, also happened to be circulating and networking at Health Camp.

Bahar’s apps formulate personally customized dietary regimens for people with chronic health conditions. But, and this was more in line with Poock’s PT remedies, Bahar also deals with alternative physical treatments such as PT and chiropractic.

“In the healthcare industry, everyone’s a firefighter,” Bahar told the Health Campers. “Nobody’s focused on how to prevent fires.”

The HealthCamp Foundation’s founder, Marc Scrimshire, showed up a little late – in customary HealthCamp fashion – but he could be forgiven because he was only stopping by in Cambridge en route from his home base of Pennsylvania for a 60-hour trip to Dublin.

Scrimshire, a veteran software engineer and a founder and CTO of Medyear, a cloud-based consumer health information exchange, told SearchHealthIT he’s looking forward to his one-year gig in 2015 as an “external entrepreneur,” or sort of visiting fellow, at CMS.

Meanwhile, see you at the next Boston-area HealthCamp.

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