Our “Health Maker Lab” Program: A Manifesto—Synergizing The New in Community-Based Healthcare Making, Grassroots BioTech & Citizen MedSci

Our “Health Maker Lab” Manifesto (Rev #1)

The U.S. Healthcare (HC) System is broken. So, it is timely—and apt—that 3D Printing (3DP)-driven medical offerings now promise major reductions in both cost and time-to-market. To say nothing of superior patient outcomes!! So, HCx3DP—Healthcare Multiplied By 3D Printing—presents great potential advancement for individuals in specific and society in general…

Of itself, 3DP is very “HOT.” To paraphrase research firm Canalys: 3DP’s worldwide sales in 2015 will be $5.2 billion. Canalys’ 2019 projections posit $20.2 billion (for a CAGR—Compounded Annual Growth Rate—of 44%!). So, just engaging appropriately with the booming 3DP industrial segment promises to position a proactive player for success…

AND, at my 3DP Media, we’ve refined the focus yet further by concentrating on Healthcare—as modulated by 3DP—offerings. HC is THE fastest growing sector of 3DP. Thus, my creation of “HCx3DP Meetup NY.” I designed HCx3DP to build a Community of players interested in the potentials and possibilities at this empowering interface of two very important industries.

Based on our strategic studies and discoveries—with the help of our HCx3DP Community—we are now creating a new and more ambitious Program: “Health Maker Lab” (HML). This online document—with its initial subsidiary “attachments” and prospective knowledge extensions—is the first (albeit informal) iteration of our HML Manifesto.

The Action at “HCx3DP Meetup NY”

For the last ten months, our “HCx3DP Meetup NY” (Healthcare Multiplied By 3D Printing) Community has investigated the new—and synergistic—intersection of Healthcare (HC) and 3D Printing (3DP).

As a “trade show” aficionado—producing or attending—I enthusiastically and expectantly jumped into our HCx3DP Meetup (MUp)-creation process in October 2014.

I’m a great believer in community building. Meetup.com—the 15-year-old public System based in NYC—has proved to be a ready-made, enabling and accessible tool for our player-coalescing purposes. (And, a tool for extending strategic relationships across complementary affiliation groups.) I became the Organizer (or, in effect, Founder/Manager/Moderator) of the brand-new (and novel mashup!) I dubbed “HCx3DP Meetup NY.”

MUp Organizer 101: Recruit “Leading Lights” as Participants…

My first (and continuing!) goal as Organizer was to identify, meet, engage and compel HCx3DP topic leaders and tech experts. I sought out those who would inform and work with our a-building Meetup Community—mostly as panelists, roundtablers and/or workshoppers—at our individual MUp events. We began accomplishing this “recruitment” objective from our very first Meetup Event. (I was able to build on the momentum—and my contact database—from years of reporting on economic development, technology empowerment and the new 3DP “scene” in NYC.)

This Event “speaker” success also attested to the compelling positioning of synergistic HCx3DP. Hot new topic equals high interest. Our target leader and expert participants responded to the inherent allure of the novel HCx3DP concept.  And, we have continued to build on these leader/expert relationships—among diverse populations and demographics and industry segments in the marketplace—as we advance our HCx3DP Community Projects.

Now—via more OJT (On the Job Training)!—I’m intent on identifying and employing a self-developed suite of “Meetup Marketing” techniques. My goal—within the rich MUp Universe in Metro NYC—is to make the most of Meetup’s wide and deep grassroots/DIY/DIT ecosystem.

Meetup.com boasts 10K+ Meetup groups within 25 miles of Empire State Building! And, I’ve found several hundred complementary MUps “residing” within our HCx3DP interest-envelop. This, across a spectrum of appropriate and promising cross-over industries of interest.

Disrupting & Democratizing…Especially Healthcare

For better or worse, “3DP” or “3D Printing” is now the culturally current meme/”brand” for the more-inclusive term “Digital Fabrication,” or “DigiFab.” 

DigiFab designates Additive Manufacturing (the formal phrase for 3DP) AND Subtractive Manufacturing (the classic production mode of our various Industrial Revolutions), CNC (Computer Numerical Control) technology and a host of other non-3DP/AddMan making and production modes. 

Regardless of terms of art, DigiFab of all stripes is disrupting—and democratizing—many personal, social, commercial and common-good sectors. And—I believe—the greatest of these disruptors is the Bits-2-Atoms of 3DP in Healthcare. 

Today, we enjoy (or decry!) self-empowering tools and tropes—from pocket Super-Tele/Puters (your Smartphone) to DIY/DIT/DIL/DIG (that’s Do-It-Yourself, -Together, -Locally &/or -Globally) to the wonky wonders of our own HCx3DP.

Engines Of Empowerment: Why NYC? Why Now? Why Us?

Please let me present a simple—and compelling—cluster of linked reasons for our HCx3DP focus AND our aborning “Health Maker Lab” Program:

  1. Our U.S. Healthcare System is broken.
  2. 3DP is the Fourth Disruptor (1. PC, 2. Internet, 3. Social Media) and the first to be ALL about Bits-2-Atoms.
  3. NYC is on its way to becoming the center of 3DP in the U.S.
  4. NYC is already the center of HC practice, education and commerce in the U.S.
  5. HC products, services and systems are the fastest growing—and the most innovative—sector of the 3DP industrial segment.
  6. Now, we believe we can help repair the dysfunctions of our HC System with the proactive help of innovative 3DP and DigiFab.
  7. Today’s 3DP is perhaps the most effective means to create:
    (a) a broadly scaled HC industry makeover,
    (b) time-to-HC-market accelerations,
    (c) the slashing of HC costs and—most importantly—
    (d) vastly improved HC patient outcomes.
  8. New technologies, DIY education, commercial modes, broad-effect disruptors and social norms are empowering individuals, entrepreneurs, common-good guerillas, grassroots NGOs, community (h)activists and ecumenical change-agents—at an ever-accelerating pace. (For examples of these newly empowered—those who have grown quickly in scope and at scale—see the Maker Movement and the Meetup Universe.)

In NYC, we are positioned at the epicenter of the HCx3DP and DigiFab revolutions. (See our Eight Reasons listed above.) If any geo-location is the logical venue for the first Health Maker Lab, New York City is IT. 

HCx3DP Community Begets “Health Maker Lab”

Now—from knowledge and relationships accrued through our Meetup Community’s efforts together over the last 10 months—we have evolved our HCx3DP focus.

Over the last 100 days—inspired by Kelly Reilly of Maimonides Medical Center and others on our ad hoc Team—we’ve been working to conceive, plan and implement  “Health Maker Lab.”  Within the concept of an HML prototype, we are synergizing new ideas in community-based HC Making, MedSci, Life Science, BioTech, Synthetic Biology and Citizen Science.

Our last two Meetups (17 April at Maimonides Medical Center and 18 June at ThoughtWorks) were ad hoc workshops to advance HML. Our third MUp/Workshop—on 29 July at HUGE Inc. in DUMBO—will continue to plan and design HML enhancement, implementation and maturation.

On 29 July, we’ll be offering an insider look at a conceptual framework and infrastructure for development. All while soliciting more ways and means of advancement from our informal Advisory Team—and our Audience.

Our First “Health Maker Lab” As Prototype For An Ecosystem

Our prototype HML will serve as an Innovating Work-Space/Lab. It will be purpose-built to supercharge cross-collaboration—and cross-pollinizing—among various topic/discipline centers.

Our overall HML objective is to transform concepts into “wellness offerings”—products, services and/or systems to effectively address the Healthcare needs of Communities in ultra-urban NYC. (To include one of the greatest HC “remedies” in the formulary: a Middle-Class job based on HCx3DP employment generation and its extensions.) These HML outcomes—via multi-organizational hybrid combinations of processes and players—will support, foster and advance the future of Health Maker Lab outputs in NYC.

HML, then, is a novel prototype of multi-focused HC innovation at the hyper-local Community level. A DIY/DIT physical “place” for the social commerce and common-good betterment of Healthcare. And, the first of many…eventually comprising an interconnected ecosystem around the world. 

The Initial Disciplines/Centers Within Our HML Prototype

I foresee different disciplines and interests providing our HML knowledge, inspiration and cross-over solution-making. HML members, teams and centers would grow solutions in the physical, intellectual and relationship “space” we intend to provide within our prototype HML. (One HML success “bouquet” would likely grow from the creativity engendered by cross-pollinizing studies, regimes, projects and programs.)

Here is a “starter list” of action centers that might initially populate our “startup” HML’s Community (most likely defined geographically as an existing and appropriate neighborhood in Manhattan or—more likely—Brooklyn):

  1. Healthcare Maker Space
  2. Bio Lab/Synthetic Biology Lab
  3. Maker Nurse/Citizen Scientist Collabratory
  4. Local Neighborhood Medical Facililty Partnership
  5. Neighborhood Economic Development Organization (EDO) Partnership
  6. BioSTEM/STEAM Teaching Lab (Partnering w/Local Schools/HEIs)
  7. NeuroSci/NeuroGaming/NUI Lab
  8. HML “Job-Gen” Research Project
  9. HML Co-Worker/Incubator/Accelerator Office Space
  10. HML as Local Event Space & Experiential Destination

An HML Community Configured: Organizationally, Operationally, Diagrammatically

Organizationally and operationally, our HML will plan to associate closely with three other main Community-based organizations. These would be “action centers” 4., 5. and 6. (listed above). So, our HML will connect to a medical facility, an EDO and a school or HEI (Higher Education Institution). More than one center “co-participant” might exist under each of these three categories.

Diagrammatically, this conceptual group of interconnected centers would look like a square. Each action center would reside at one of the square’s four vertices. Thus, each action center would directly connect—communicate, relate and interact—to the three other organizations or organization-sets in the Community.

Some “HML” Operational Questions/Provocations (To Foster Still Others!)

* How can we best assure our crossover “sweet spots”—at the HCx3DP intersection and other possible technology synergies—will prove nourishing to the growth of our successful prototype Health Maker Lab?

* What is the best strategy to integrate the interests and resources of the most appropriate participants within and around our prototype Health Maker Lab?

* These integrations include 3DP equipment manufacturers, HC institutions, educational institutions, economic development players, 3DP maker spaces, citizen-sci biolabs, accelerator founder/funders, specialized co-workers and more.

* What tactics, alliances and configurations of novel commercial and common-good facilitators, factors and functions will best foster our prototype Health Maker Lab?

* What can we learn from the community-making, organizational and creative successes of DIY/DIT, grassroots making, hacking and lab spaces?

* What is the best means to incorporate and integrate the HML energy and ideas of grassroots Citizen Scientists with more traditional organizations and enterprises?

* To assure the best chances of HML success, what is the best ratio of bottom-up and top-down participants and participation?

* In what compelling ways—from the POV of startup value-propositions—must entrepreneurial participants gain from the hybrid Health Maker Lab Community in which they might establish their businesses?

Come Help Us Evolve Our Health Maker Lab Manifesto…& Plan Successful Implementation

We’re advancing our “Health Maker Lab” Program—of  our HCx3DP Bio/Med Sci Maker-Movement—here in our NYC communities. HML needs your help! Come join-in…NOW! For Healthcare social commerce and common-good betterment!!

Land Grant

Organizer, “HCx3DP Meetup NY”
28 July 2015

Copyright Land Grant 2015. All rights reserved.




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