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#SXSW2014’s Healthcare Innovation Agenda

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Drs_Office_DeathbedLast Friday marked the start of SXSW 2014 in Austin, TX — a meeting that pulls creatives and innovators from healthcare, media, film, tech and more, to learn, exchange ideas and provide a jolt to the collective

Drs_Office_DeathbedLast Friday marked the start of SXSW 2014 in Austin, TX — a meeting that pulls creatives and innovators from healthcare, media, film, tech and more, to learn, exchange ideas and provide a jolt to the collective creative energy that stimulates change. Before the first session had even begun last Friday morning–and before I’d even had a real cup of coffee–I already had had thought-provoking discussions with a content developer from St. Jude Medical, a User Interface designer from Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and even bumped into Guy Kawasaki at the SXSW Bookstore. Those attending the meeting know it’s best to wear running shoes and pack power bars, as trying to absorb and get to as much content as possible requires almost marathon-like training.

Here are some highlights from the health tech sessions I have attended so far:

  1. A hot topic during the session, Doctors Offices on Their Deathbed (shown above), was the idea of flipping the clinic–similar to flipping the classroom in education. According to Dr Gautam Gulati (@drgautamgulati), Chief Medical Officer & Head of Product Innovation at Physicians Interactive, who Skyped into the meeting, our ability to capture increasing amounts of data about patients outside the office will allow clinic time to be used by patients and providers to collaborate on care plans together–care plans that address the needs, values, preferences and goals of the patient.
  2. In the session, You Got Them to Do What…, wearables were the focus! Your Fitbits, Fuel Bands and more are gaining critical mass. While this has truly been a consumer-driven health movement, entrepreneurial physicians, manufacturers and developers, as well as consumers in-the-know, realize what power the data being collected on a daily basis holds for health prevention, treatment adherence and future prescriptions.
  3. And in Hacking Medical Training Through Innovation, the need to embrace the innovative/start-up minded student, provider and healthcare administrator was emphasized. According to the panel, medicine is losing these folks in droves as opportunities are slow to expand in the space, and are exploding in tech, biotech and health tech organizations. Many leading healthcare organizations are rising to this call, developing Accelerator programs and new positions, such as the Chief Medical Innovation Officer, to reward and recognize their entrepreneurial spirits.
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