In June, the digital festival of Central and Eastern Europe, Iceefest attracts several thousand visitors to Bucharest. They enjoy not only the keynotes, start-up pitches, and exhibitors, but the “show”, with a comedic emcee, great live music, and a very warm welcome.
The digital health track takes places on the second day, under the responsibility of Lorena MacNaughtan. Thank you Lorena! I was honored to moderate a session and want to share with you the important lesson of that session.
I call that lesson “Digital Health: from Romania with Love.” The inspiring panelists showed us not only how citizens can take healthcare problems into their own hands and find new solutions, but that it is very important for these doers to express their story in public.
Through communication and exchange, 1) the doers can feel the wonder of what they have accomplished and 2) the listeners can be inspired. Indeed this session was the embodiment of the principle that life’s challenges can be conquered with love. And this message of hope must be presented far and wide.
The panel was composed of two caregiver activists, Alexandru Tiberiu Dan and Ruxandra Mateescu, a pediatrician, Mihai Crahu, and a health system designer, Simona Raph. Alexandru and Ruxandra explained their situation as caregivers, Alexandru, the brother of a woman with Prader Willi syndrome, works at Radio NoRo, the voice of patients: www.radionoro.ro and volunteers for various other organizations. Ruxandra, the mother of a daughter with cognitive disabilities, is the initiator of the Superheroes among us (Supereroi printre noi) project, which promotes the social inclusion of people with special needs through personal stories. Dr Craiu, developed, with his Emergency Department team, an educational tool for pediatric asthma, “Virtual Asthma Hospital,” which has proven its efficacy in saving lives. Simona Raph, created HCR Central, a virtual hub for change agents in healthcare, and was a catalyst for opening D4AHS, the first healthcare innovation lab inside a health organization in Canada. Lucian Ionita selected the speakers.
This inspiring session was preceded by Nick Adkins “hug” moment. Nick, a former suit who “found himself” while attending Burning Man, is the co-founder of the pink socks movement which features the concept of paying it forward by gifting pink socks. Nick got us all to stand up and hug our neighbor, right in the middle of the conference.
All of these people reminded us that, when we are inspired, we can move mountains, and what inspires us, is doing both little and great things for people.