In 2012, artist, hacker and interaction designer, Salvatore Iaconesi got the news everyone dreads: you have brain cancer. He posted the following on his website on September 10, 2012:
Yesterday I went to get my digital medical records: I have to show them to many doctors. Sadly they were in a closed, proprietary format and, thus, I could not open them using my computer, or send them in this format to all the people who could have saved my life. I cracked them. I opened them and converted the contents into open formats, so that I could share them with everyone.
In “cracking” or “hacking into” his scans, X-rays, lab notes and charts, and opening them to the world, Salvatore laid out a model for open-sourcing more than just an online support group, he open the possibility for a whole cure.
He underwent brain surgery in February 2013, “and everything went perfectly.” Listen to his Ted Talk for the full, inspiring story: