Forming Nebular Health Tech in Austin

I want to repost this post from the new Nebular Health Tech group founded today in Austin, TX.  As you can tell from this blog, Health IT is incredibly important to me as a human rights advocate, an ePatient, a lawyer, and an activist.

Here is the story about forming Nebular Health Tech in Austin:

While other posts may be more innovation news oriented (guest posts welcome!), I wanted to start with a post about the formation of Nebular Health Tech – what this group is about, who we are, what we’ll do, how we can make a difference in health and healthcare.

What Nebular Health Tech is About:

Nebular Health Tech formed after an explosion of ideas and people coming together in Austin for the development of ideas and solutions around Health IT.  Starting in April 2011, I started cold calling and hitting the ground to meet as many people as I could interested in health in any way – payors, designers, developers, marketers, providers, patients, etc.  At the same time, I formed a Health 2.0 Austin chapter to gather us together to connect and foster innovation.  We started holding monthly meetings – our first presented by DocBookMD and Visible Health in the summer of 2011.  We had fun social gatherings around town.  In October 2011, we held a code-a-thon.  By then the listserv had grown to almost 400 people.

But Austin’s group needed a new direction – something truly unique to our community.  Austin needed a place where limits could be broken and new ideas could spark.  After a few months of hibernation and personal loss, I thought and others told me that we needed to gather again, we needed to reignite – it was too important not to.  And so the idea of Nebular Health Tech began.

As I started to think how we could rekindle, I thought first of a phoenix – rising anew from the ashes.  I then came across the Phoenix Cluster, a nebula having been dormant for possibly billions of years but now know to be one of the most active nebulae forming about 740 new stars per year.

And, I thought how perfect this image fit our community – the phoenix, star creation by joining forces, the wonders of space that have for all time sparked imaginations and led to some of the most important innovations.  We may feel nebulous, but we can come together to form something amazing and world changing. This is who we are and what we can be.

Who We Are:

Nebular Health Tech is everyone.  We are patients, providers, entrepreneurs, hospital administrators, policy makers, hackers & coders, pharmacists, insurance companies/payors, UI/UX’ers, reporters, social media experts, startups, engineers, quantified self’ers, VC’s & Angel Investors, caregivers, mental health providers, teachers, gamers, students, marketers and most importantly

All who want to break boundaries and change the world.

Nebular is founded on the values of innovation, inclusiveness, mutual support, and openness.  The group only works if we are all coming together to create momentum for change.

What We’ll Do:

Nebular will continue the traditions started in 2011 with monthly meetings, social gatherings, and events.  Our first event will be at projekt202 as we discuss how their Interaction designers collaborated with providers to change the principles of user-centered design.  Our next event will feature Regina Holliday and the film about her mural “73 Cents.”  And as these are planned, we’ll send out emails and use social media to invite everyone to join us. (follow us on Twitter @NebularHlthTech).

From there, who knows? We can organize events and meetings however we want.  Nebular welcomes ideas to gather and discuss health IT, for all of our healthcare innovators to make connections, to encourage making solutions for health and healthcare, and perhaps to work with community leaders to create an incubator/accelerator to carry those solutions forward.  We’ll support any ideas and initiatives to bolster the health IT community in Austin.  We can hold other events, partner and team up with other organizations, and just enjoy each other’s company.

How We Can Make a Difference:

There’s no telling what we can do once we get the momentum going.  Our collective talents, knowledge, passion, and personal experiences can help us create stars.  As nebulae, we and the impact we have on the world will be boundless.  I hope you will join us.

The molecules of your body are the same molecules that make up the nebulae that burn inside the stars themselves.  We are star stuff. – Victor Tenbaum


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