By: Kevin Clauson, PharmD

The Stanford Summit and Medicine 2.0 Conference were three days that brought together clinicians, ePatients, and researchers from nearly 30 countries to present and share about social media in medicine. In the spirit of a greater focus on mHealth topics this year, the full program was also accessible via the conference web app .

However, the real novelty was in the form of the conference badge, which featured a QR code that fellow attendees could scan and use to link to each other. It is also likely the first conference that gave out M&Ms with speakers’ faces on them as part of a networking contest.

Throughout the opening days, panelists such as Jay Parkinson and Wendy Sue Swanson presented their opposing takes about the state of medicine, and ePatient Howard Rheingold shared his own compelling story. Industry giants also made brief cameos as representatives from companies including Epocrates, IDEO, and Google spoke.

However, the first complete surprise of the conference was Jennifer Aaker’s keynote speech. This Stanford marketing professor recounted a story about the use of mobile and social media by friends Sameer and Vinay (who were diagnosed with leukemia) to enroll 20,000 South Asians in the national bone marrow registry.

The following conference day, the opening keynote was provided by Mobile Health creator and Director of the Persuasive Technology Lab, BJ Fogg. The session was closed by a tremendous keynote from Internet Geologist and Pew Associate Director Susannah Fox on peer-to-peer healthcare, beacons, and the coming mobile seismic events. In between those keynotes were most of the mHealth themed panels and research presentations of the conference.

Robyn Whittaker, fresh off the txt2stop smoking cessation study discussed “Issues in Mobile Health” along with Barbara Mittleman (Director NIH Public-Private Partnership Program and co-chair for the first mHealth Summit), and Wendy Nilsen (Health Scientist Administrator at NIH/OBSSR and flashpoint for mHealth training and organizing). Dr. Nilsen also presented separately on “Using Mobile Technologies in Health Research at NIH”, which provided guidance and tips for researchers in this area.

Researcher highlights also included Andrew Isham on his clinical trial using a smartphone and social media to prevent alcohol relapse, Ray Ownby’s work on HIV treatment adherence, and Vineet Singal’s passionate efforts to enhance education interventions at free clinics. An unexpected preview by Joseph Cafazzo was also provided concerning his study using the full version of a diabetes app (earlier demoed by Mark Casselman).  There was also more information from the Canadian contingent via Rachel Fournier’s Montre à La Cigarette C’est Qui Le Bos.

Abstracts and, in some cases, full slide decks are available for these presentations and others from the mHealth track.

Next year’s edition of Medicine 2.0 promises an even greater emphasis on mobile apps and mHealth and will be hosted at Harvard Medical School.

Disclosure: Kevin was a member of the Medicine 2.0 @ Stanford Scientific Programming Committee