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Bringing together designers, ePatients, and medical personnel


Authors: Richard Anderson
Posted: Fri, May 23, 2014 - 11:06:54

Back in 1989–1991, I served on the committee that founded BayCHI, the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of ACM SIGCHI. I became its first elected chair and served as its first appointed program chair for 12 years. I also served as SIGCHI’s Local Chapters chair for five years, supporting the founding and development of SIGCHI chapters around the world.

Much has happened since then. Perhaps of greatest significance were my horrific experiences with the U.S. healthcare system. My healthcare nightmare changed my life and has prompted me to focus on what can be done to dramatically redesign the healthcare system and the patient experience. Indeed, several of my Interactions blog posts reflect that focus, with a large part of that focus being on changing the roles and relationships of and between patients and medical personnel and designers. You’ll see that in, for example, “Utilizing patients in the experience design process,” “Learning from ePatient (scholar)s,” “Are you trying to solve the right problem?,” “The importance of the social to achieving the personal,” and “No more worshiping at the altar of our cathedrals of business.”

All this has led me to start a new local chapter, but this one is not of SIGCHI. This one is for a combination of ePatients, medical personnel, and designers. This one is for changing the healthcare system. This one is the first local chapter of the Society for Participatory Medicine.

Topics/issues to be addressed by the chapter should be of interest to many Interactions readers. They include the ePatient movement, peer-to-peer healthcare, other uses of social media in healthcare, human-centered healthcare design and innovation, doctors and patients as designers, the quantified self, patient and doctor engagement, empathy, healthcare technology, patient experiences of the healthcare system, and more. When Jon Kolko and I were the editors-in-chief of Interactions, we published lots of articles that addressed this level of topics/issues. One of those was a cover story entitled “Reframing health to embrace design of our own well-being.” (Somewhat coincidentally, two of the article’s authors made a presentation about the content of the article at a BayCHI meeting.)

If you reside anywhere in the San Francisco Bay Area and are interested in the topics/issues listed above, I invite you to join this new local chapter. If you know of others in the San Francisco Bay Area who you think might be interested, please let them know about the group as well.

The chapter is just starting. Indeed, our first meeting has not yet been scheduled, as I'm still seeking venue options (and sponsors). If you know of any venue (or sponsor) possibilities, please let me know.

It feels good to be getting back into the local chapter business. I hope you’ll check us out.



Posted in: on Fri, May 23, 2014 - 11:06:54

Richard Anderson

Richard Anderson is a consultant and instructor who can be followed on Twitter at @Riander.
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