Highlights of HiSum: Part I

Holly May is a Consultant at Health Advances.

Missed the Health Innovation Summit in San Francisco last week, did you? Today we bring you the highlights from the first of two days.
HiSum brought together over 400 individuals from diverse perspectives: from physicians to investors to entrepreneurs to payers, all sectors of the healthcare industry were represented. The event began with 8 Silicon Valley companies joining Rock Health to open their offices to small group tours, including Castlight Health, IDEO, and PracticeFusion, companies at the vanguard of digital health.

Highlights of the first day include:

In an opening talk, luminary John Sculley set the stage by talking about the future of consumer-driven healthcare and the impact of three trends – mobility, disruptive price, and predictive analytics – on changing the consumer experience in the healthcare system. Sculley highlighted that the average time to get an appointment as a new patient is 20 days, that the average wait time is an hour and all for an average of 7-10 minutes with a physician. This, coupled with estimates that 50%-70% of primary care visits could be handled without in-person interactions, support an increasing investment in telemedicine and alternative modes of delivering checkups and simple prescriptions.


A panel with the CEOs of Fitbit and Castlight Health discussed the challenges of scaling a business and culture, of building a team, of unexpected pitfalls, and monetizing ideas. James Park of FitBit explained his company’s business model simply: “we are a device company so we manufacture a device and try to sell it at a higher price. When it comes to monetizing purely apps, I don’t have the answer and I’m glad we don’t have that particular problem.”


Aaron Levie, founder of Box, described his company’s move into the healthcare vertical and how IT used to be an isolated department at the back of hospitals yet it is now becoming the cornerstone of how healthcare professionals collaborate, and that has generated unique needs for storage and sharing.


The final session of the day featured three panelists who are tackling the challenge of healthcare innovation within big companies – Safeway, Cleveland Clinic, and Faurecia, an automotive supplier and the “biggest company you haven’t heard of”. Moderator Sara Holoubek of Luminary Labs opened with a quotation that “to choose the sure path is treason to the soul”, an invigorating sentiment for the innovators and entrepreneurs in the room. The panelists discussed the unique advantages of innovating within a large company – namely, the resources, personnel, and funding – and the challenges, while acknowledging the slower pace of change and limitations from bureaucracy.
Throughout the day, there were prizes galore: the winner of an on-stage limbo competition between members of the audience took home a LumoBack and the team that named the most 3-letter words for human body parts in 30 seconds took home activity trackers.


After the sessions, attendees enjoyed a cocktail reception featuring the entertainment from BioBeats, which fuses music with heartbeats, and later, BollyX, a Bollywood-inspired fitness program.

Stay tuned for highlights from Day Two.