Search This Blog


Monday, January 30, 2012

Bridging the Great Divide

It was time to choose the picture.
Facebook has been rolling out its new Timeline format for a quite a while. Two days ago, I decided to take the plunge and create my new page. Ah, but what picture should I choose?  I settled on the live conference painting: Bridging the Great Divide from Health 2.0 October 2010 in San Francisco hosted by Matthew Holt and Indu Subaiya. 

Upon posting the painting as the “cover” of my page, friends asked to see the explanation of the piece. To my dismay there wasn't a post. Health 2.0 had been hosting a video of my explanation on their site but it was no longer available. It was time to explain Bridging the Great Divide.

(***Thankfully soon after posting this Ramin Bastani came to the rescue.*** 
He uploaded his I-phone recording of the speech in its entirety.  Thank you so much Ramin!!!! So I am inserting the speech into the blog.)

(The speech is transcribed below, the blog explanation is in smal type font.)

"I love Health2.0.  I just love it.  I mean you should clap for yourselves; you are amazing. I go to a lot of medical conferences; I go to a lot of patient centered conferences. I go to a lot of government conferences, I testify, but what I love about Health 2.0 is you folks don’t sit down.  You stand back there constantly researching and tweeting, talking and kibitzing and trying to figure out how to make data work and it is beautiful. That is what innovation is all about.  You refuse to sit still.  It is astounding and it is beautiful.  When Health 2.0 Goes to Washington happened I was amazed. You could tell the gov. folks opposed to the Health 2.0 folks because the people seated in the plush seats oftentimes were governmental. So you are a very amazing crowd.
I have been listening to you for three days and as I have listened to you I created a painting.  That painting is called “Bridging the Great Divide. “ Because a lot of what we are talking about is how do we communicate? How do we bridge communities?  How do we take left-brain thinking and right-brain thinking and combine them? 

So as you look at the piece you will actually see there are two brains.  We have our right brain our very emotional, creative and artistic side.  And that brain is basically a tree of knowledge.  The tree of knowledge has an apple and that apple also is an eye, because knowledge must have vision.  It doesn’t go anywhere if you cannot see what you are supposed to be doing."
Bridging the Great Divide

(The left side offers a vignette story of Diem Brown and her company MedGift.  Diem was one of the presenters that week and I painted her sadness. Diem was only 23 when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She found herself adrift with no one to ask for help. Wedding announcements and baby shower invitations from here friends were arriving in the mail, while Diem was struggling to pay for chemotherapy wigs and to arrange drivers to her various medical appointments. She thought, “Why is this so hard? Why isn’t there a registry for cancer sufferers like those that exist for brides?” Due to Diem’s valiant effort such registry now exists, and it is called MedGift.)

Regina Holiday Painting

And then I don’t know if anybody heard the presentation about creating a cancer gift registry.  It was an incredibly powerful concept.  Which is take the most wonderful day in your life: the day you got married, that day you were in that bridal gown and it was so beautiful and combine that with day you found out you had cancer, and your hair was falling out and you cannot pay your medical bills.  How do you get people to help you?  That’s brilliant; let’s create a gift registry for those people, because those people need those gifts so very, very badly.  They need so much help.  So I combined it into a painting.  (Applause) Yes, isn’t it beautiful and tragic?

Regina Holiday Painting

So if you look at this we also have the coyote.   As Jeff Goldsmith started this whole thing saying his animal spirit is the coyote, but I put it in sheep’s clothing.  Because you do not look at Jeff and think initially he is as powerful as he is.  But then it is like, “Wow, this man is disruptive.”  And you know, that is the kind of inside disruptive that changes things.

Then as you look at this there is a classic radio tower putting out waves and waves of data, beautiful circular waves of data that are going everywhere.  It encompasses all of us.  Also this looks like starry night, this looks The Scream –I got a lot of that.  It also addresses mental illness because under the under current of a lot of these conversations was that people are sad they are not taking their drugs, they are not compliant, they are depressed and how are we addressing mental illness within data access?

As we look at our bridge and it is San Francisco, the beautiful bridge, you know bridging areas bridging geographic regions.  So we have actually all those wonderful dates that we were talking about.  When was the CAT scan developed?  When was the MRI? When was the x-ray developed?  When was Gorilla Glass developed?  Do you know what Gorilla Glass is?  That is the covering tiny micro-thin glass on your droid and it might be on your I-pad they are not going to tell us. It was sitting in a vault in Corning Ware since 1962 waiting for technology to catch up.  And that is what you guys are doing right now.  You’re the catch up.  All of these amazing things are out there that you need embrace and teach us how to use correctly. 

So we have a little baby and you know what that baby is doing?  That baby is crossing what is called the visual cliff.  Can you walk on glass?  Can you take a step forward when you don’t know what is supporting you?  Do you have faith in the technology that you are speaking about even if you cannot see it nor prove it nor say that it is currently effective?  Can you convince others about how it is going to change absolutely everything? 
(Thanks to Derek Wade for his post When Promoting Transformative Change, Have Faith in Your Convictions”  Prior to Ramin's upload of footage, Derek' quotes pertaining to this sectiion were the only remaining elements of the speech.)

Regina Holiday Painting
So this mobile device has sacrificed its glass so a baby can cross, but it is still doing its job.  It is going downward.  It’s letting go of its circuit board and it is becoming a life raft for all us that at home online, researching trying to get help for our diseases.  That mobile device, mobile technology is going to change everything because those of us who are swimming in waters that we don’t know how to get out of, it’s saving us.  Those people in our society that are the most underprivileged, inaccessible to care, you know what they have?  They have a cell phone, and they are texting and you can reach them.  You can communicate with them, and bring them to be part of this and get rid of this great divide.  
Regina Holiday Painting
Then as we go deeper in, does anyone have arachnophobia: fear of spiders?  Okay, there is a spider motif within this painting.   As you notice the bridge becomes a web, over here we have a black widow concept.  The black widow is a web spider; she waits for her prey.  She waits for it to come and for many, many years that is why we called it the web.  It just sits there, it does not go out and find people, and we just wait for them to find us.  We have to change that.  That is part of what innovation is.

Over here we have a gentle man who is actually a brown recluse.   They are called fiddle backs.  They are hunter spiders.  You don’t hear them coming and they are coming, and they are going to get you if you do not watch out.  One of the things is watch out.  Things are changing; embrace the innovation that is coming.

But also we heard some amazing things about sex in the last couple of days.  So we have our device and a beautiful woman without a face.  Showing you what he has for you.  And that is a lot of what we do with those mobile apps.  How can we communicate, how can we bring her into this communication.

(The babe is trying to reach for a beautiful woman without a face. She in part represents the story that Ramin Bastani founder of told at the event. He was part of the unmentionables session. His service provides texts detailing a list of current STD’s or the lack thereof within a 12 month window. He called it with boyish good humor "a modern, flirtatious, I'll show you mine, if you show me yours."  She beckons with her heart in her hand as if to say: “Here know all there is to know of me and see if you love me still.”) 
Regina Holiday Painting

As we go deeper in, I heard a lot about privacy. So I have this apple peeling around Deborah Peel.  And she has got a statue of Liberty and it is off it is smoking.  The light is dead.  And she is holding a lock instead of a book.  That is what privacy is about; it is about closing down information and making it not accessible to us. 

(Deborah Peel symbolizes the many conversations about the importance of privacy in health. But privacy over knowledge is not desired by all. Many of us want know about our health and share that information with others. )

Regina Holiday Painting
Then we have a brain on the other side, the analytical side.  I have been hearing a lot of ROI, ROI… You know it is more than that.  Return on Investment is a nice thing, yes, but we are talking about saving people’s lives.  I heard a decent amount about pills too, about pharma.  And how are we going to make sure people are medically compliant and take their drugs.

I do want you to look at this there is not a hell of a lot about medicine in this painting.  And there is not a lot about patients.  There was a lot of talk about innovation and data and access, but we are not necessarily talking about where that is taking us and how are we going to help people.  I want you to think about that really strongly.  

Because the reason we are doing all of this is to help those patients, to help those people, to make this time in their lives that is absolutely the absolute worst time in their lives better.

(This painting was purchased by Ron Gutman founder and CEO of Health Tap during the auction at the Health 2.0 event in October 2010 and post about it can be viewed on their site called Bridging the Great Divide. The post explains the intent of the piece that we must bridge the right and left brain thought.  We must use the tools of technology to save lives.   I hope every day he and his team are inspired by it upon their wall as I will be inspired viewing it on mine.)

1 comment:

  1. Honored to be have been a part of this painting. It was / is an amazing piece of work...brilliant.

    And in case you wanted to see a video of your "explanation" - here it is from my iPhone :) --->