This is the 2nd year of the event, and there are close to 1,000 people here, with representation from pharma, biotech, VC firms and investors, agencies, and reporters.
The purpose of the conference is to showcase the evolution of the healthcare space in general, thanks to the proliferation of various web 2.0 tools available.
There were plenty of demos from big players and small ones, and everyone in general is quite bullish on where things are headed. There seems to be a general consensus, however, that these are still early days, with much innovation and greater adoption ahead.
Clay Shirky gave a great keynote address, helping us all see the power that can come from individuals and their web-based tools of empowerment. His book “Here Comes Everybody” looks like it is worth the read.
Google Health is clearly on a path towards success. They outshined Microsoft, Aetna, Yahoo, and WebMD with what they are building, and the smart money remains with the big G. Look to them to make the personal health record a reality – and soon – and it will be a tool that finally makes sense for the consumer to use with ease. Of course, this will also make sense for Google, as they will figure out the right way to monetize this with the series of other free tools that they offer. Which is why they are Google. And which is why they will win. They have the creative license to succeed where the other guys will fall short.
Sermo and PatientsLikeMe stood out as leaders in the pack of Health 2.0-companies, both are now a couple of years into their business model, and both doing well. They are challenging the status quo, and should be applauded for their good work thus far.
Much discussion centered around patient communities, The Long Tail, and search. Organized Wisdom proved that they are on to something, and I suspect they will remain a strong player in vertical search in the coming years.
Edelman released a new report today that explores consumer attitudes towards healthcare and information. You can access the full report here. Of note, friends and family rank as the #1 source for health information, more than a physician (69 percent vs. 65 percent). Amazing…
Stay tuned for more highlights from Day 2, coming tomorrow.