REPORT: EVY Network @ Health 2.0 Conference in London

REPORT: EVY Network @ Health 2.0 Conference in London

David Grim Consultant at Radboudumc, Top Contributor

EVY Network co-founder Matthijs Zwier, EHFF Director David Somekh and me attended the Health 2.0 conference 2014 in London.

The event took place at the Mermaid Conference centre and was attended by several hundred people.

David Grim writes: here is where we met a lot of co-innovators, designers, (software) developers and investors. Funny thing is that they all seem to focus on high potential products and services, but do not always incorporate a multisectoral and eco-systemic approach, which is what we discussed with people we spoke to in the break-out and refreshment break sessions. All apps and devices we were shown CAN help people with measuring and structuring their data, but almost none of them (exceptions were there!) focused on the Venustas principle: make a design elegant, challenging and interactive in order to get people to DO something with an app or a device (see also:

zombies runHealthy behaviour seems to be taken for granted as a logical result for the reason that an app allows people to monitor themselves. This is where we think an important step is skipped and again, this has all to do with Venustas. The exceptions are worth will getting into a little deeper.

Where Runkeeper and Strave just collect data and give you feedback on your factual run results, ZombiesRun for example creates an interactive story in which reality and virtual reality are intertwined (Zombies are chasing you while a story teller takes you through an exciting narrative) to make running exercises more fun.


Mint Labs

Another example of an elegant and interactive application was demonstrated by Mint Labs from Barcelona. They created software for specialists (and for patients as well) to interactively explore the brain of a person in three dimensions (based on medical imaging) in order to prepare surgery or explain details of the treatment and diagnosis to patients.



For those of you who are interested in what people want from health (care) apps, look for the “what do patients and carers want from health apps?” report at It is based on a European population of 1,130 responders. So probably this could help you focus on the right target needs and wishes 😉

Finally, Jack Cochran, Executive Director of The Kaiser Permanente Federation shared a thought on what new technology (NT) CAN do in organisations… but (gladly) also focused on what new technology WILL do, in both new organizations (NO) and especially in old organizations (OO)

His equation of what NT can do in NO was not shown, but can be derived from the equation he did show:


And there is where the message for all organizations AND entrepreneurs AND investors comes together…

Old organizations + new technologies will turn into costly old organizations.

In other words: Innovation will not CHANGE an organisation unless the organisation itself changes.
Therefore, my take home message derived from all of the above: let us be the generation of change and as a young innovator use the EVY Network to really have an impact in your own (old or new) organization!

David Somekh adds: my personal take on the meeting, over and above David Grim’s comments, which I entirely agree with was that although the UK NHS was a co-host and fielded a couple of their high level technology people, the link between Digital Health in Europe and health/tech. policy, e.g. the EIP on AHA which links DG Connect with DG Sanco was simply not evident. A presentation on patient safety was also embarrassingly inadequate.

There was a lot to be excited about here, nevertheless. Just a few samples of what caught my imagination: Ali Parsi is a remarkable entrepreneur. He presented his phone app Babylon (the Doctor in your pocket). If it takes off, it challenges the whole way we deliver primary care and first consultations and COULD be a genuine disruptive innovation – on the other hand if the number of users doesn’t reach a critical mass (which we won’t know until it happens) – it won’t be! I guess that’s how the future emerges, bounded by great uncertainty.

Wellmo, allowing corporate wellness programmes using a cloud based mobile platform looked very interesting provided some national care provider took the leap of imagination and invested in it for influencing the health of the population at large. Anyone out there?

EHFF spoke to Joan Cornet, Director of the mHealth Competence Centre in Barcelona. Look at . They’re currently staging a lengthy online debate on mobile health supports for mental health. We’re continuing the conversation with them.

An exciting example of young entrepreneurs working outside of the system was given by Mark Brown of Social Spider Community Interest Company who talked about mental health and innovation in local settings. Their website is well worth a visit for an alternative view of self-help to that promoted by the technology companies.

Finally EHFF attended a lunchtime meeting hosted by ARCH (applied centre for connected health) which is based at University College Dublin. They’re looking to set up a network of interested partners for further bids to the Horizon 2020 fund. Watch this space!

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