re:health – 3D Printing, Depression on the Internet, Open Design


Introducing the funky re:health icon; design by Haarhaven & Uestion (CC BY-Sa 2.0)

Our special conference track re:health is breaking new ground in healthcare. We are presenting first contents now, but of course the program will be extended and published in greater detail in the next few weeks. How does society handle the digitalization of health issues, which opportunities arise from this process, and what are the side effects – these are central questions for our focus topic, re:health, opening a wide range of different aspects up for debate.

Making the world a better place with 3D printing – let’s do it! We are looking forward to the presentation of a innovative project on 3D printing in disaster areas, called "Humanitarian Makers – 3D Printing & Manufacturing in Disaster Zones"Andrew Lamb, head engineer with the charity Field Ready, will share his experience using 3D printing to produce medical instruments and utensils for hospitals in Haiti in 2014.

“Digitalization and Mental Health”, the title says it all. In his session, Jan Kalbitzer from the Center for Internet and Mental Health at the Berlin Charité hospital will share some insights from his work. So what does digitalization make possible in terms of a more public and open handling of mental illness? This is a question Hagen Terschüren and Dominik Schott address in their talk "Depression On the Internet", where they talk about how they communicate their own conditions using social channels. 

Speaking of the Internet, there are 40 million people in Germany using one of around 10 000 health apps or online services. There are new health tools spreading in the digital society, developed in a user-centred approach independent of regulations and vested interests. What does that mean for our top-down healthcare system? Alexander Schachinger addresses the matter in his session on these "40 Millionen German Health Surfers".

And finally, this year’s motto, Finding Europe, also features, of course, so we will hear about best practices from all over Europe. We can discover what the British public health service NHS has to do with Open Design, for instance. Anthony Zacharzewski will explain how the NHS is currently experimenting with civic participation and building an open infrastructure to connect up to 50 million potential users.

Another recurring topic is Big Data. Shari Langemak, for example, will give a more critical assessment of the exploitation and monetization of patient data and the definition of "high-risk groups" in her session, "The Dark Side of Healthcare Innovation: 5 Uneasy Questions We Need to Ask Now". We’re looking forward to the rest of the program too!