A short overview of the major digital health events this year to date, plus our experience at Digital Health Live 2015
It's May 8th, and I’m on EK161 from Dubai to Dublin, returning from the first Digital Health Live conference. It’s been a hectic few weeks. It started with HIMSS and HX360 in Chicago, closely followed by Wired Health in London, HealthXL Global Gathering in Boston, and Health Evolution Summit in California.
Before talking about DHL and Dubai, I wanted to provide a short overview of the major digital health events year-to-date. Digital Health is an exciting area with many different opportunities to network, so we thought it might be useful to compare and contrast the options. Below are a list of some of the key events:
CES (Consumer Electronics Show) – Vegas
- As the name suggests, very much focused on the consumer and electronics.
- It’s in Vegas in January - say no more.
JPM (JP Morgan) – San Francisco
- Exclusive life sciences event (however not sure how many people actually go to the conference vs. set-up office in SF for meetings).
- Have attended last couple of years and didn’t step inside the Westin.
- Increasingly more focused on digital health
- Great networking
- 4-day event
SXSW – Austin
- This enormous festival of tech and music continues to expand
- Digital health is one relatively new addition
- Not for the faint-of-heart
- 45,000-attendee event focused on HIT with all the traditional IT vendors present
- Think boat show without the boats
- 3-day event
- In contrast, it’s more akin to Exponential Medicine - a mixture of futureologists (real word?) and innovators discussing the latest research and ground-breaking technologies.
- 1-day event
Health Evolution Summit
- An invite-only event for 700+ C-suite providers, payors, investors and industry executives.
- A Who’s Who of key decision makers in the US market.
- Focus is primarily on key strategic policy and commercial drivers vs. innovation/technology.
- Seriously good content
- 3-day event
- Invite only events for 100-200 innovators from around the world
- A mixture of industry, entrepreneurs and investors.
- 1-day event focused on specific topics by the members to identify areas of collaboration.
Digital Health Live and Dubai
First time to Dubai (aside from routing via airport) and first-time event. Arriving at 2am, the first thing that struck me was the heat - 31c at 2am. I was assured this was quite normal and that I should come in the summer to experience real heat. The second thing of note was the infrastructure. Six-lane modern highways, skyscrapers, world’s tallest building, etc. Mind-boggling to consider how Dubai has developed over the last 25 years from a trading port on the edge of the desert into a global mega city. This was part of the motivation to travel - to understand more about Dubai in general, and specifically the Dubai Healthcare City.
The other reason was that Tamer and the team had laid out solid foundations and attracted an amazing group of international partners -- so happy to see our logo among these.
We were delighted to be asked to host the panel on ‘Entrepreneurship and New Agents of Change’ with panelists:
- Gary Fingerhut (Executive Director - Innovations, Cleveland Clinic)
- Jim Joyce (Director and Co-Founder, HealthBeacon)
- Jack Young (Senior Director, Qualcomm Life Fund)
- Michael Dillhyon (President, VitalConnect)
- Seemant Jauhari (CEO – Research and Innovations, Apollo Hospitals)
Our discussion focused on collaboration and what was needed to catalyse change. A big thank you to Gary, Jack, Jim, Michael and Seemant for ensuring a lively and open discussion.
As a side note, I was invited by Roland Daher from Wamda and PK Gulati from TiE to join a separate panel at the IN5 accelerator to discuss digital health. Inspiring to hear about local companies developing solutions for emerging markets - including Afghanistan, Morocco, Iraq and beyond.
Also encouraging to see Qualcomm supporting the Maker/IoT lab complete with drones and 3D printers. Hopefully we’ll see the emergence of a local digital-health-focused accelerator/seed fund/ecosystem develop to encourage more entrepreneurial activity in the region.
OTHER EVENT HIGHLIGHTS
- John Scully on Moonshots and working with Steve Jobs
- The power of serious games
- Kick your fears – live your life
- Innovations at Cleveland Clinic
- Telemedicine and behaviour change
nuviun also did an excellent job of setting up a series of exhibition areas with demos of everything from bathroom mirrors which monitor your vitals, to fridges that advise on your diet and nutritional needs.
Just not sure we are ready for this level of transparency yet!
Congratulations to Tamer and the whole nuviun team. Events are hard. First events are even harder. Getting recognised international key opinion leaders in digital health to travel 14+ hours from the US is no mean feat. The production was very professional and the content was excellent. Healthcare is a global opportunity and events like these are key to sparking more collaboration and connecting people from around the world to drive innovation. Keep going…
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