I am a healthcare hacktivist. I code Open Source software to improve healthcare. I charge to write code, but once I am done, I give it to the community for free.
I do this because I lost my mother to ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is notoriously hard to detect early and as a result, while it is more rare than other forms of cancer, it is more often fatal. It typically progresses too long undetected.
My mothers cancer was mistaken for the flu. By the time a new doctor figured out that there was something very wrong, the cancer had metastasized and it was too late for treatments to save her.
As a software engineer I wanted to create a system that could help the doctor to perform more reliable diagnostics. But I realized quickly that the technology was no where near that stage. Diagnostic software needed an "operating system" of reliable and accurate digital records (an EHR) to work on. So I started working to build open source EHR systems. I became a world-recognized expert in EHR systems, and ultimately testified at the meaningful use hearings in Washington.
But if you break it down, I am just an e-patient who can code.