Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Health 2.0 conference in India

I've just come back from attending the Health 2.0 India Conference held in Delhi. The conference was a lot of fun and I enjoyed myself thoroughly. The format is extremely interesting , because they compress a lot of information in a small amount of time without ever letting it get boring . For example , the demonstrations are just four minutes ; and the panels last for about 1 hour, so attention does not flag.

The themes are intriguing ; and I was very impressed with the ability of the Health 2.0 conference organisers to get such a diverse group of people with such different interests all together on one platform . These are people who come from various different backgrounds - designers; software geeks - and even some doctors ! ( The pharmaceutical companies were notable by their absence - it seems that they do not think they are in the business of providing healthcare ! )

They all share one passion - How can we use our skills to be able to provide better health care - whether the healthcare is for someone who is a multimillionaire living in Bombay ; or someone who works in a small village in Rajasthan. The common denominator seems to be the clever use of technology and it was quite interesting to listen to these presentations . I enjoyed the chance to meet people from all across the world, all of whom work in the same area - this bolsters your confidence that this is work which is well worth doing !

The star of the show was Mr Anil Swarup an Indian government bureaucrat who's actually completely revolutionized how health insurance can be delivered . Thanks to his innovative scheme, the Indian government actually provides health insurance for over 90 million poor illiterate people . They need to pay less than 50 rupees to sign up; and do not have to fill up even a single form ! This is something I will blog about more later, but what I really liked about him was his can-do attitude and his positive infectious enthusiasm !
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