5 SXSW panels you need to vote for

austin sxsw night

Yea, it’s that time of year again. With only 6 months until SXSW, the first critical step to an awesome time in ‘Silicon Hills’ has arrived: panel picking. To make sure the most stellar topics in digital health are included on your whirlwind trip to Austin, we’ve created this handy guide to make voting easy peazy. So put your coozie-covered Lone Star down and vote now. Polls close September 5th.


1. Radical Healthcare
The statement “healthcare is broken” has become a cliche, but most attempts to fix the system focus on relatively incremental changes.  However, there’s a brave new world of exciting ideas (for example Massive Open Online Healthcare) that have the power to truly change things at a fundamental level.  This panel discusses these radical new ideas, and we put forth a thesis on taking them from idea to reality.

2. Digital Health: Where are the billion $ unicorns?
Digital health companies purport to transform a $3 trillion U.S. healthcare system, yet comparatively few multi-billion dollar companies have emerged relative to other industries. Despite the lack of high-value exits, venture funding in digital health continues to experience explosive growth. This raises two questions: Where is the Facebook of digital health? And without one yet, why are investors pouring capital into the space? In this panel session, top digital health investors will discuss why they are excited about digital health, the metrics billion dollar companies will demonstrate, and how to spot a unicorn.

3. Will healthcare be reduced to probabilities?
What happens when healthcare and medicine are turned into a series of probabilistic models? Healthcare has turned to technology, in the form of predictive analytics, to address behavioral challenges—mobile apps make food and exercise recommendations and clinical decision support engines suggest treatments to doctors. With 75% of U.S. spending going towards the treatment of chronic diseases resulting from individual lifestyle choices, it’s hard to argue with the need for behavior change in patients. Consider the over 1,000 preventable deaths each day that result from medical errors and it becomes inarguable that we need a behavioral shift in medicine as well. But what is the correct model to induce that behavior change for both patients and physicians? Our deep desire to correct human flaws—in an attempt to improve the cost and quality of the healthcare system—may have unintended consequences, including the steady replacement of human will and judgement with statistics.

4. Design Rx:Digital Medicine Combats Chronic Disease
For the first time in history, more people (3/4 of Americans) will die from a preventable chronic disease than infectious. Why aren’t they being prevented? Replacing habits that contribute to disease with those that promote health typically requires education, guidance, support, and accountability. However behavioral therapies have been proven effective at enabling people to reduce their risk of disease. Programs like the Diabetes Prevention Program have a 58% rate, but are expensive and difficult to scale. Luckily for the first time in history, tech advances make it possible to deliver behavioral medicine digitally to millions of people. So how do we make millions of people want to ‘take their digital medicine’? By using design as our coated pill. This panel will provide real-world examples of how integrating behavioral medicine, tech & design conquers this problem.

5. Crossing over: the new guys/girls of healthcare
This panel will provide a robust discussion around the experience/journey of entrepreneurs from non-healthcare backgrounds into the highly regulated healthcare industry. We will focus on why they made the leap and explore the benefits and challenges of crossing over to healthcare, while establishing best practices and setting targeted expectations for first-time founders in the digital health space. The goal is to extract insights from seasoned industry experts and entrepreneurs who have extensive experience in health care innovation and to share those learnings with new and growing cohorts of developers and professionals who are joining the the digital health movement.

Now head briskly over to the panel picker and send out your votes! See you there!