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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Painting the mHealth Summit

Yesterday I had the privilege to paint at the mHealth Summit in Washington, DC.  I was in booth 135-6 in the Start-up Pavilion hosted by StartUp Health.  I came to the conference because Chiara Bell was showing her new product: CareTicker and asked me to attend.  I responded by begging to have space in her booth to paint jackets for The Walking Gallery.  She asked Gregory R. Itzenson if we could share the booth.  Gregory responded back there was still time to reserve my own space.  Due to the diligent work of both Chiara and Gregory, I had a booth in time for the show.

mHealth Summit photo by Maisybones

Sadly, this did mean I would miss IHI in Florida this year, but I was sure the many wonderful patient advocates that attended IHI would represent the patient view.  I knew I would be one of the few patient advocates attending Mobile Health.  I also was so glad to hear The Walking Gallery would be represented in both places.  Mary Ellen Mannix would wear her jacket “Never Enough” and Dale Ann Micalizzi would wear her new jacket “Tales Two of Justins.”  It was great to represent both The Walking Gallery and the launch of the new healthcare/patient speaker portal: SpeakerLink.Org.

So at 11:00 am in the far corner of the exhibition hall I painted on the jacket of Robert  J. Filley.  He is an artist member of The Walking Gallery who has painted three jackets and is also the husband of Anita Samarth the co-founder of Clinovations.  He asked me to paint the jacket he would wear.  So I painted the Mobile Health Summit on his back.

This is Bob’s jacket: “mHealth.”


In this painting the logo image of the “m” becomes the center of a clock face.


From the “m” a Wi-Fi signal emanates and grows larger forming into birds.  These are birds of peace and freedom.  For this is the promise of mobile health wherever you are mobile health can help you, be it in an African savannah or a hospital bed.   These birds fly above a curtain created from the colors of mHealth conference.  Behind this curtain two figures stare at the viewer. 

These are the patients.

Several people spoke to me while I was painting.  They asked, “What purpose could art serve at a technology conference?”  Well, art is just tool as tech is just a tool.   They are tools to communicate with patients.  We must never forget all of this exists to help patients have a better health experience.

Finally to the far left and on lower part of the painting, there are clock hands.  It is three o’clock.  It is three o’clock for a few reasons.   One reason is hospitals often have early morning blood draws or vitals checks, which is great for the hospital system but not so good for a sick patient who needs rest.  It is also 3:00pm for moment in a conference day when exhibitors are so very tired, yet they still stand on aching feet and smile as they answer questions.

And it is three o’clock because at 2:55 pm Anita Samarth found my booth and I explained the vision of this jacket.  I am so glad her wonderful husband will get to wear it, but until then it will hang in the offices of Clinovations telling one and all about the communication power of Mobile Health.         

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