Monthly Archives: October 2008

dr. jay and the future of healthcare

With the election only a week or so away, health care reform is on the minds of many Americans. But with millions of Americans uninsured (and millions more underinsured), and with any significant improvements years away (even in the best case scenario from the election), it’s high time for a health care revolution.

Enter Jay Parkinson, a young, hip doctor from Williamsburg who I was lucky enough to see at Pop!Tech this week. Tired of dealing with insurance companies, and wanting to find a way to serve the uninsured, Jay started Hello Health, a revolutionary new approach to health care. Members can log on, pick a doctor, make appointments, chat, arrange house calls, arrange phone consultations, and pay, all through the website. Members can choose and rate their doctors, and the interactive nature of the site encourages a stronger, more personal doctor-patient relationship.

While there are only a few doctors on the site now, it’s sure to catch on, and hopefully before too long it will be the status quo for healthcare across the country and around the world.

pop!tech social innovation fellows

Heather Fleming speaks about her Catapult Design

I could fill a book with all the insights, ideas, and beautiful stories of my time at Pop!Tech this week, but for sanity’s sake I’ll just highlight a few of the most relevant and meaningful experiences and observations. One of these highlights, for me at least, was the expansion of the Pop!Tech Fellows program. This year, Pop!Tech brought 16 young Social Entrepreneurs from all over the world to Camden, Maine for a week of intensive workshops and, of course, to attend the conference. Throughout the conference, they each presented a brief synopsis of their work, and here are some of the highlights:

  • Heather Fleming (shown above), was here representing Catapult Design. Branching out of Engineers Without Borders, Catapult is a design consultancy offering design, engineering and implementation support to organizations working on development and social impact work. They’re in their early stages of development, with only a handful of projects (such as the Hippo Roller and a wind turbine designed for off-the-grid Guatemalan villages) , but have great potential to scale and spread their impact.

electric dirt. seriously.

Well, technically it’s not the dirt that’s sending sparks, but it’s close enough.  Lebônê Solutions, a Massachusetts startup, has harnessed the power of microbes (ubiquitous in mud, cow manure and coffee crop residue) to power simple devices. The fuel cell, costing less than $10 and constructed of (mostly) readily available materials, can power an LED for several hours every night, and is targeted at rural African markets. Cheaper than a windmill and easier to set up than a solar panel, the microbial fuel cell has the potential to be a widely adopted, sustainable, and easily maintained source of energy for those who really need it. 

 

via Technology Review