Hacking Medicine @ SXSW 2012

By March 7, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

It’s two days to South by Southwest! This will be my first time to SXSW and as someone who has been trying to get to SXSW for years, I’m totally pumped and excited to be in Austin next week. There’s a lot of excitement surrounding health tech going into this year (i.e. TechCrunch’s 6 Big HealthTech Ideas That Will Change Medicine in 2012) and as a result, a ton of events and sessions are scheduled around the health track at this year’s SXSW.

All health & wellness sessions will be held at the state of the art AT&T Conference Center, right by the University of Texas at Austin campus. Here are a few of the sessions I’m personally looking forward to:

1. Crowdsourcing a Revolution: Can We Fix Healthcare?

As a nice follow-on to my discussion on prizes and challenges to incentivize individuals and groups to innovate solutions to some of America’s toughest challenges, this panel combining individuals in government and the XPrize Foundation will discuss how we can use challenges to catalyze significant changes in healthcare delivery.

2. Are Wired Hospitals Losing the Patient Connection?

I was lucky enough to see Michael Graves at Social Media Week NYC speak about how his personal experience of being disabled gave him a much needed perspective on how to redesign the modern hospital room and medical tools. The qualitative data I used as part of my thesis work at MIT also indicated that a fresh perspective was necessary to design an effective system for using telemedicine to deliver psychological health care services to active duty service members and their families. This panel seeks to open up a discussion on how best to implement these technologies to improve health care delivery, but ensure that we don’t lose sight of what really matters: the patient.

3. The Future of Digital Health

Consisting of a bunch of rockstars in digital health today, this panel will discuss where they think the future of digital health is headed, from apps to information management and behavior change.

4. Startup Health: Transforming Healthcare in America

This dynamic discussion will focus around what can be done to nurture health and wellness entrepreneurship in America, and why it is so needed now. I would love to hear what Esther Dyson has to say about the potential for public-private partnerships to transform health entrepreneurship and am hoping that it will come up in the discussion.

5. Launching Companies in Regulated Industries

We all know that one of the hurdles faced by fledging startups and entrepreneurs in health and wellness entrepreneurship is the fact that the health care industry is so heavily regulated in this country. Aza Raskin from our friends at Massive Health joins this panel in discussing the many issues that new companies face when it comes to regulations and competition from established entities in these multi-billion dollar industries. Note that this panel will be at the Hilton Austin Downtown.

Of course, there are other health and wellness events going on at SXSW, including:

Social Health Startup Bootcamp, featuring a ton of inspiring leaders in digital health and entrepreneurship, brought together by social health leader Shwen Gwee and the awesome Sara Holoubek (who I had the pleasure of finally meeting at SMWNYC);

iH3 Interactive Happy Hour, co-sponsored by our friends Massive Health;

Code Blue – The Health 2.0 | Startup Health SXSW Party, bringing together all individuals and groups passionate about digital health and health tech startups;

Rock Health’s ZenDen, which will definitely be a welcome respite from all the craziness;

and finally, the 2012 SXSW Accelerator, featuring our friends and MIT Media Lab spin-off Ginger.io.

In addition to myself, founding hackers Elliot, Zen (@accelmed) and Andrew will be on-site in Austin, so please say hi! You can also follow all the action at www.sxswh.com and with Twitter hashtags #sxswh, #sxsh and #ih3.

Looking forward to meeting all of you hacking medicine worldwide. See y’all in Austin!

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