We #MakeHealth Fest 2014

In August 2014 the inaugural We #MakeHealth Fest took place at the University of Michigan. This is was an event inspired by the maker movement but with the unique twist of having a focus on health.

What is the Maker Movement?

According to Wikipedia, it’s a technology-focused DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Movement, which emphasizes “learning-through-doing…in an informal, networked, peer-led, and shared learning motivated by fun and self-fulfillment. Maker culture encourages novel applications of technologies, and the exploration of intersections between traditionally separate domains and ways of working.”

The goals of the event were to

  1. Encourage “design for health” at a grassroots level; anyone, even kids should think of themselves as designers;
  2. Learn about new tools and technologies (3D printing, mobile applications) that could be used to promote health (wellness or chronic disease management);
  3. Bridge the gap between a technical and design community whose members want to work on health projects but need a health partner, and health partners (patients, caregivers,
    researchers) who have ideas but need a technical collaborator to bring them to life.

Andrew Maynard, one of the speakers at the inaugural event said it best in his video: “hack your world – make it safer.”

The Fest featured keynote speakers including Jose Gomez-Marquez from the Little Devices Lab at MIT, John Costik, type 1 diabetes hacker, father, community collaborator, and innovator for the #wearenotwaiting movement, and Andrew Maynard, Professor of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. But most importantly, the event was participatory, so the exhibitors and the rest of the speakers all came from the community.

Check out keynote presentations from the Fest!

There were nearly 300 participants of all ages and backgrounds in attendance and there was also a great amount of virtual support! For the social media analytics of the We #MakeHealth Fest visit here.

3,762,502 Impressions

844 Tweets

119 Participants

63 Avg Tweets/Hour

7 Avg Tweets/Participant

Social Media Coverage Before and After the Fest: 




Articles (ordered by publication date): 

University of Michigan Health Blog: Heathcare Design by Us (And You!)

University of Michigan Health Blog: You Can Make Health

Michigan News: Encouraging Community Creation of Tools, Technologies to Promote Health

MakerBridge: Inside the We #MakeHealth Fest

Slideshare: We Make Health Fest Exhibitors 

33 charts: We Make Health Fest

Mott Children’s Hospital: We Make Health Fest Seeks to Inspire Innovate Approaches to Health

Demand Design: Support #MakeHealth

Makezine: We Make Health Fest this Saturday!

Storify: We #MakeHealth Fest

Emerging Technologies Librarian: #MakeHealth was Amazing!

33 charts: The Rise of Medicine’s Creative Class

Makezine: We Make Health Fest Recap

MakerBridge: #MakeHealth Brings Together Health, Tech, And Design