Those of you who follow this blog closely know that I’ve started to focus a lot of what I do on finding digital innovations in healthcare and pharma. These are the innovations that use digital technology to improve our health. Here’s my simple manifesto:
“In the future, it will be digital technologies that prevent, treat, and finally cure diseases and not the latest “blockbuster” drug that has yet to be discovered (and might never be).”
How’s that coming from a “pharma guy”? In any event, it’s been my ambition to write a book on this subject and I already have started some content for it, but it’s got a long way to go. However, one of the first steps to spread the word about this concept is an upcoming speaking gig that I have at SXSW. If you don’t know what SXSW is, then check it out on their site, but this is how they describe it:
“SXSW Interactive features five days of compelling presentations from the brightest minds in emerging technology, scores of exciting networking events hosted by industry leaders, the incredible new SXSW Trade Show and an unbeatable lineup of special programs showcasing the best new digital works, video games and innovative ideas the international community has to offer.”
This isn’t a healthcare-focused conference. The focus is on technology, so I’m trying to merge the two: healthcare and technology. I was pleased when my proposal to speak at the conference was accepted (largely thanks to all of your support and comments on the SXSW site). You can read the full proposal here (Note: if you try to find my talk in the SXSW schedule, it’s not there. Apparently, their database has some issues, but I am actually scheduled to speak on Sunday, March 13).
Since being accepted (and for quite a while before that), I’ve been gathering up examples of how technology is being used today to improve healthcare. I’ve shared some of these with you along the way, but expect to see more going forward. This is what today’s post is all about. I’m looking for even more examples of companies and products that are bringing digital innovations to healthcare, which are impacting our health in a positive way. So, if you’ve got a product at your company or have seen one elsewhere and want to be a part of my presentation at SXSW, then I want to hear from you. Use the form at the end of this post to tell me a bit about what you’ve got and I’ll be in touch. I promise to respond to everyone (except you spammers) to let you know if it’s a fit for the presentation. I expect this to be a nice PR opportunity for the technologies that I ultimately include, so here’s your chance to get your name out there.
Okay…before you rush to the form, what am I talking about when I say “digital technology in healthcare”? It’s a bit open ended for sure, but I’m focusing on software (including websites, apps, etc.) and devices (like Nike+, FitBit, etc.). It should be something that is designed to impact someone’s health whether that be to prevent, treat, or cure a disease. I’m not necessarily looking for innovative medical devices such as the da Vinci Surgical System (but it’s pretty awesome), but I’m open to hearing about them too. I’ve got a little bias towards software-focused items, but let’s hear it all. I’ll definitely be including some devices.
Let me give you a great example I just found. Ironically, this innovation was being discussed on the Healthy Thinkers community (join now and contribute, BTW). Someone came up with the idea of needing a way to find people nearby with medical training in case of an emergency (link to idea). The basic idea was this: after you call 911 (to start a formal emergency response), then a secondary alert would go out to the mobile devices of people nearby who have registered as willing and able to provide emergency help. Imagine if you urgently needed a doctor and an ambulance was 5 minutes away, but a doctor (or paramedic) was in the store next to where you were. That person could help instantly if they only knew that someone needed help.
I thought that was an amazing idea. Consider the case of sudden cardiac arrests, for example, receiving CPR immediately is one of the top predictors of survival. Even a minute of delay has a major impact. So, finding someone who is just steps away would have a major impact on survival. So, there’s an example…a digital technology that improves health. In this case, it’s an alert system that could, ultimately, improve the survival rates of sudden cardiac arrests. Great idea, right?
Well, I’m pleased to say that while we were debating how to do this, someone had already been hard at work on bringing this concept to life (independent of our community). I was floored when I found this earlier in the week. Rather than try to describe what it is and how it works, I’m going to just show you the video they created to announce it to the public. I’m showing you this video for a few reasons. First, it describes the technology better than I could and better than text. Second, watch it and remember it the next time you’re in charge of creating a product demo. THIS is how it is done. Third, it’s captivating (not bad for what amounts to a 90-second commercial). If you don’t get the chills watching this, then have someone call for an ambulance for you. Here goes (hint: watch it full screen for maximum impact):
Pretty amazing on a number of levels, right? If you want to find out more about the app, you can go here.
That’s an app from a fire department, but to me is clearly a digital technology that will impact our health. There are plenty more from companies that are focused in healthcare. Stay tuned to see more. In the meantime, if you’ve seen something that you think fits what I’m looking for, I want to hear about it. Fill out the form below and I’ll be in touch.