The Formation of Nebular Health Tech

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

Who am I?
Erin Gilmer, Attorney at Law (see my blog and follow me on twitter).
headshot3Erin Gilmer is a patient advocate and health policy attorney in Austin, Texas.  She received her law degree from the University of Colorado Law School and was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 2008.  She spent her last year of studies at the prestigious University of Houston Health Law and Policy Institute.  Ms. Gilmer graduated summa cum laude from the University of Colorado in 2005 with degrees in psychology and economics with an international emphasis and a minor in political science.  She has contributed to several publications including Health Law and Bioethics: Cases in Context and articles in the Journal of Experimental Psychology; Virginia Journal of Social Policy and Law; Journal of Medicine and Ethics; the Texas Bar Journal; and IBM developerWorks.  Ms. Gilmer worked for the State of Texas, involved in the 2009 and 2011 legislative sessions.  She previously worked for several non-profit organizations including Disability Rights Texas, Texas Legal Services Center, and Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center. Ms. Gilmer volunteers for several community organizations including Lisa’s Hope Chest, Austin Involved, and the Austin Young Lawyers Association.
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