Health 2.0 Maker Faire Recap

The Health 2.0 Pavilion made a big splash at this weekend’s Maker Faire Bay Area 2011. The sold out event attracted 100,000+ attendants that swarmed our health hacking space in addition to other exhibits featuring homemade spacecraft, steam-punk vehicles, and do-it-yourself (DIY) robot welding.  Maker Faire is the world’s largest DIY Festival, started by Make magazine, a publication that features innovative DIYers and “how to” tutorials.  The Bay Area event dates back to 2006 and has since spawned a growing number of satellite Faires in Detroit, New York, Kansas City, Vancouver and North Carolina.

This year, Health 2.0 helped to curated a (rather popular if we do say so our selves) warehouse full of speakers, makers and demos.  Scroll down to see some highlights from the Pavilion and continue reading for details about who Health 2.0 had behind the microphone.


QR Code Hacking: Tag the world with QR codes! Our friend, Fred Trotter, showed us how to do QR code graffiti that is permanent, hidden, or biodegradable. Fred wants people to consider the use of reprogrammable URL shortners to make dynamically changing real-world buttons.
IDEO Step Exchange Game: A popular social step-count game that required players to exchange their step activity with randomly assigned team members. Teams earned points based on individual and collective steps weighted against social interactions. A sleek infographic used various animations to depict different health objectives and cellphone text messaging documented the fastest networkers. We will note that the Maker kid-constituency enjoyed the game almost as much as the Health 2.0 team who racked up the points by jogging  in place behind our demo table. Health 2.0′s own Lizzie Dunklee even won one of the rounds!
Stress Beaters: Dolls designed to help adolescents deal with day-to-day stress. They’re a pair: a kind side and an indulgent side. One had a cuddly exterior with eyes that “breathed” with one’s pulse. The other had snappy bones that can break, spring back, and be re-broken.
Thrive Portion Ware: A cup and set of plates designed to help reduce food intake by 20%. The design concept arose after a year of research and concept development revolved around the topic of obesity prevention. The plates were even weighted in a way that they would tip if food was placed on the marked off area.
Active Theory: Wearable Sensors that aim to provide an easy interface with various iPad games. It put a fun Mario Kart / Sonic twist on an otherwise boring cardio workout. The group is also working on a way to help friends run “with” each other remotely.
RAMPs: A wheelchair DJ interface - the left wheel faded between tracks while the right wheel scratched the music. Makers brought their existing wheelchair skills to the show and found ways to improve their rhythm.
The Explorable Microscopy:  This group wants to enable new science, research, and discovery by providing the ability to effortlessly explore microscopic detail across entire subjects and specimens at a low DIY costs.
GE’s InBody230: Weight alone is hardly ever a good indication of health because it does not distinguish between fat and other types of body mass. InBody used electric impedance to provide Makers a quick full body composition analysis that looked at BMI, LBM, BMR, Skeletal Muscle Mass  and Total Body Water. The scale even calculated the individual weight of limbs and torso.
Tim O’Reilly Stops By: To complete the weekend, the “Future of Health 2.0″ (Matthew Holt’s Daughter and Indu Subaiya’s Son) had their first photo shoot with Tim O’Reilly who, at risk of blowing his cover, stopped by for a quick chat.

The Health 2.0 stage also hosted an exciting and diverse group of presentations. Continue reading for details about our agenda.

  • Health 2.0 Lizzie Dunklee
    Interested in learning about how you can engage in health and technology? Makers found out about the Health 2.0 Developer Challenge.
  • Sign Wave Erica Newman
    Taking advantage of the Microsoft Kinect’s powerful yet affordable technology, we have created a gestural interface as an alternative to the traditional keyboard-and-mouse computer setup.
  • HealthSeeker: Engaging and Motivating with a Facebook Game
    “Facebook” and “health” are words that don’t typically belong on the same sentence. This presentation showed us how a diabetes nonprofit that has been a pioneer in social media partnered with one of the world’s most important diabetes centers to create a social game that helps you develop healthy living habits.
  • Workspace Wellness: Design in Hacking and Health IDEO
    Attendants learned about things they can do to promote/build wellness in the workplace.
  • Hacking Taste Alan Greene
    Do you know how food taste preferences develop? Did you know you can change yours to have the palate you want? Some of what we like is hardwired, most of it is software. Dr. Alan Greene, founder of & the WhiteOut movement, shared how you can upgrade your own software. Implanting electrodes in the brain is one way. He’ll share 5 others that are cheaper, easier, and DIY. Also - the single biggest thing we can do to help the next generation start out loving the foods their bodies want (the core solution to the childhood obesity epidemic revealed).
  • Hacking Your Diet to Match Your Needs Brian Witlin
    Are you sure that what you’re eating isn’t conflicting with the medications you’re taking? Do you really know what is in that bag of chips, anyway? Attendants learned about what they’re eating, and why the should be personalizing their diet.
  • The “Smart Patient Room” Peter Tu
    GE Computer Scientist Peter H. Tu will discussed Computer Vision and Visualization technologies and how they will create the “smart patient room of the future.”
  • Biopunk: DIY Scientists Hack the Software of Life Marcus Wohlsen
    In the new book Biopunk, Marcus chronicles a growing community of DIY scientists working outside the walls of corporations and universities who are committed to democratizing DNA the way the Internet did information. The “biohacking” movement, now in its early, heady days, aims to unleash an outbreak of genetically modified innovation by making the tools and techniques of biotechnology accessible to everyone. Borrowing their idealism from the worlds of open-source software, artisinal food, Internet startups and the Peace Corps, biopunks are devoted advocates for open-sourcing the basic code of life. They believe in the power of individuals with access to DNA to solve the world’s biggest problems. Health 2.0 Makers met a new breed of hackers who aren’t afraid to get their hands wet, from entrepreneurs who aim to bring DNA-based medical tools to the poorest of the poor to a curious tinkerer who believes a tub of yogurt and a jellyfish gene could protect the world’s food supply.
  • Hacking Health Devices Kyle Machulis
    Kyle spoke about the reverse engineering of the Microsoft Kinect Camera to create open source drivers for the research and hobby communities.
  • Technology in the MD Office Daniel Kivatinos
    A look at Dr. Chrono, Daniel explained what it takes to build tools for the Doctors Office.
  • Purple Beat Purple Beat
    A great presentation for pregnant moms and dads: We hooked up an Ultrasound Doppler to an iPhone to help the ultimate Makers capture, record and share the heartbeat of their most important DIY project.
  • BodyMaps: Visualize Your Health in 3-D John Emerson
    John showed us a new and different way to learn about health through a live demonstration of Healthline BodyMaps. He explored the body by interacting with rich 3-D images, watching videos and searching related content. Makers discussed the technology choices, usability considerations and the development of product roadmaps. During the presentation the group considered  personalization, literacy and empowerment in the online health world and what it means to visualize better health.
  • RAMPs - wheelchair DJ interface John Schimmel
    John provided an overview off a wheelchair DJ interface and gave Makers the chance to try their hand at wheelchair mixing - see photo and description above.
  • An Interactive Educational MultiTouch Table Liza Singer
    An multitouch table designed to educate children with autism and other learning disabilities symbolic representation through interactive play that has real-world application. Liza explained how gameplay encourages collaboration and gives audio/visual feedback.
  • Swim Rehab NYU ITP
    Swim Rehab is a program designed for rehabilitating stroke patients. ITP showed us how to use the Microsoft Kinect, as it asked users to use their hands to pop on-screen bubbles, which were arranged so that the patients perform correct movements.
  • Wireless Medical Monitoring Jeffery Ashe
    GE Electrical Engineer Jeffrey M. Ashe spoke about wireless medical monitoring of hospital patients, a cutting-edge healthcare platform expected to increase patient mobility and lessen recovery time.
  • Hacking QR Codes Fred Trotter
    Tag the world with QR codes. How to do QR code graffiti that is permanent, hidden, or biodegradable. Fred showed us how to use reprogrammable URL shortners to make dynamically changing real-world buttons.
  • DIY Clinical Trials (Or: How to guinea pig your way to scientific truth and better health) Greg Biggers
    What if you could break open the bottleneck for new health science research? What questions would you ask? Rather than waiting for the NIH or big Pharma to fund studies, individuals (the people doctors call ‘patients’) have banded together, designed health study protocols, shared data, and performed collective analysis. These open crowdsourced clinical trials-participant-driven health research, are answering questions like ‘Which Vitamin B formulation is best for my body chemistry and DNA?’ and ‘Is this generic statin more or less effective than the brand drug?’ and ‘Do butter and coconut oil make you smarter?’ and ‘Which of the 3 techniques for ACL surgery produces the best long term outcomes?’ Users create profiles, upload and track data, create and participate in group health studies. This crowd-sourced research focuses on learning by sharing, and lets the people who stand to most directly benefit from research be involved at the ground level, deciding how studies are run, analyzing data, and finding ways to measure outcomes. Techniques used by researchers, including clinical tests, gene scans, and personal tracking are now cheaply available to all. Low cost means it is possible to explore areas that companies have no economic incentive to address, such as rare diseases, personal epidemiology, off-label drug testing, supplements and lifestyle changes. In this talk, Greg described the first open, crowd-sourced heath experiments performed. We spoke candidly about breakthroughs, pitfalls, and lessons learned.”
Health 2.0