Why We Were Excited about 2012's Health2.0

80 Betaspring companies had a strong showing at this week's Health2.0 gathering. Alums Thryve, Care Thread, GreenGoose and Sproutel were all on the scene, with Thryve demoing their just-launched mobile food coach. Sproutel won the Patients 2.0 Shark Tank for their first product, Jerry the Bear. Thryve CEO Caleb Oller and Care Thread CEO Scott Guelich took home the top prize in the Health2.0 development codeathon.

But…the close-to-home wins weren't the only reason we were psyched. Since 2007, the Health 2.0 Conference has been the leading showcase of innovation transforming the health care system.  This year was no exception and the themes, on stage and off, reflected a powerful, global shift toward end-user focused innovations. And, when it comes to creating a more responsive and dynamic system, that's exactly the trend startups hope--and want--to see.

The new ideas driving the discussion at Health2.0 shared a common thread: technologies to support health and wellbeing are moving to the end user--not just patients, but doctors, nurses, health care workers and administrators. Institutions, their employees, and consumers are finally on this same frequency. Why? Because patients want to be empowered, health care workers want to communicate, and institutions want patients to share responsibility for their own health. 

We may only be in first innings of this disruption, but we don't think the trend is a fluke. Betaspring likes health companies. Located in the largest health care market in North America, our accelerator has had good luck leveraging our strong healthcare network and access to pilot customers to support innovative start-ups in Health and Wellness, Health Communication, and Health Data.

One regret: I wish I'd been there to see the companies I've been reading about in the twitter stream live and in-person. Nice job Health2.0, for yet again bringing serious focus to the technologies and service innovations that someday (fingers crossed) will make it easier for all of us to live better.