A few weeks ago Dr. Larry Chu asked me to write a blog post for Stanford's Medicine X. Medicine X is an exciting conference focused on healthcare design, innovation, patients and technology. I'm honored to be a part of their advisory board and ePatient committee along with a bunch of other folks way smarter and more qualified than I am.
I'd been kicking the story of Joseph Paxton around in my had for a while. Here's a guy, totally unschooled in classical architecture, who designed and built a structure they said couldn't be built.
According to Bill Bryson: “The finished building was precisely 1,851 feet long… 408 feet across, and almost 110 feet high along its central spine-spacious enough to enclose a much admired avenue of elms that would otherwise have had to be felled. Because of its size, the structure required a lot of inputs-293,655 panes of glass, 33,000 iron trusses, and tens of thousands of feet of wooden flooring…"
He did it in 1851.
So, what does Joseph Paxton have to do with Medicine X and the future of healthcare? Everything!
Paxton, without any formal training, changed the face of London and, in many ways, global architecture. He gained so much acclaim as an innovative problem solver “ask Paxton” became a comment retort when people asked challenging questions.
Joseph Paxton was a passionate self-advocate. Rather than relying on the committee, he showed his design right to the people of London. Does that sound like ePatients to you too? This year, Medicine X will make 35 scholarships available for ePatients to attend the conference. ePatients are engaged, informed, empowered and most of all, connected. Just like Paxton, ePatients know the power of self publishing, sharing expertise and involving others. Having ePatient scholars at Medicine X means the event will be patient-focused, all the way.
The Crystal Palace pushed the bounds of what people thought was possible. Medicine X is all about healthcare transformers – those boundary busters who think beyond what is possible today, and create the future they envision. This year’s Medicine X will feature presenters who don’t settle for the status quo. Instead, they are fueled by a passion to design patient care experiences in a whole new way.