A Slice of Geek Heaven at FutureMed 2013 in San Diego
As I sat in a tufted, white leather arm chair waiting for Dr. Daniel Kraft to introduce me for my keynote, I gazed across the audience. More than 300 of the brightest engineers, developers, academicians, scientists, and clinicians from around the world were gathered in the ballroom of the Del Coronado Hotel. They too were sitting on white leather couches, chairs and bean bags spread across the ballroom. There was so much white in the room, I almost felt as if I was about to give a presentation in heaven. (Empty chairs pictured to protect the identities of some famous folks!)
There’s an amazing energy in a room where so many high achievers are gathered in one place. I won’t even bother to name names of the people in the room. Let’s just say if you follow tech or business or clinical medicine you’d recognize many of the people attending or speaking at FutureMed.
My schedule only allowed me to stay at FutureMed Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning. The conference had started on Sunday. But even in that short period of time I was exposed to more technology, more advances in clinical medicine, more amazing inventions than I typically see in an entire year.
Presentations at FutureMed are abbreviated. The format is very much like TedTalk, with most presentations limited to about 25 minutes. I apologized to the audience for being the only thing standing between them and dinner (and drinks). But even after a very long day, the ballroom was full and the audience was engaged. I shared my personal story of how I, as a physician, ended up at Microsoft. I then provided an overview of some of the coolest uses of technology in health and healthcare that I’ve come to know as I travel the world.
The dinner following my keynote was an event in itself. It was held on the beach in front of the hotel with a live band, and bonfires for those with a penchant for toasted marshmallows. There was even a drum circle for anyone wanting to release his or her tribal rage.
I speak at a lot of technology and medical conferences around the globe. FutureMed is exceptional in every sense of the word. My sincerest thanks go to Dr. Daniel Kraft and his FutureMed and Singularity University crew. I leave the conference with hope that health and healthcare will continue to evolve and improve despite all those things that stand in our way. Rest assured there are some really smart people out there who are doing their best to make it so.