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SXSW is a unique time in Austin, TX. Since 1987 this annual festival has scaled in both size and the array of industries represented. Whether you are invested in music, film, comedy, healthcare or tech, SX provides a space for innovation, disruption and networking that is largely unmatched. Here at W2O Group we take part in the festivities in our own way, and hosting a few stellar events of our own!

However, SXSW can be a double-edged sword. With access to so many amazing speakers and talent, deciding which panels to attend can be difficult. Luckily our Tech team waded through the plethora of panels and curated a group of tech-focused events meant to inspire application of new or old innovation to better reach your audiences. From NASA’s next telescope to the state of the internet, we’ve got you covered.

(Event summaries provided by SXSW.com)

March 10, 2017

W2O Group’s 7th Annual PreCommerce Summit

9:00am-6:00pm

The PreCommerce Summit is one of our signature events (one track/one day) and is free to the 350 invite-only attendees. The event consists of a series of brief keynotes, 10-minute TED-like talks mixed with select 20-minute fireside chats and by industry leaders. The focus is on business innovation and spans the health, tech and consumer industries.

How Tech is Shaping the Future of Entertainment

11:00am-12:00pm

Pete Cashmore, Founder and CEO of Mashable, will sit down with leaders in the entertainment and technology space to discuss how television and film are working hand in hand with Silicon Valley to not only reach consumers in the new ways they’re watching videos, but adjusting their creative process based on new advances in audience data. The talk will cover a wide range of formats, from short-form and distributed channels to featured films to uncover where the future of television resides.

Imgur’s Fight to Keep the Social Internet Authentic

11:00am-12:00pm

Imgur’s brother-sister leadership team are at an inflection point. In just a few years, Imgur skyrocketed to millions of users and became one of the most-trafficked sites in the world. Now, Imgur is on a mission to democratize the social internet. In this session with Inc., hear how Imgur became the top social and entertainment destination by breaking people outside of their feeds and friends’ lists, and into a world of authentic, serendipitous content and community.

Live Q&A at SXSW: #AskGaryVee with Gary Vaynerchuk

12:30-1:30pm

You may have seen Gary Vaynerchuk’s keynotes or watched his day-in-the-life videos showing this business leader and true hustler in action. Now, get ready to go even more in-depth with @GaryVee in this SXSW edition of #AskGaryVee. In this talk, you’ll get to ask SXSW legend and master of business-building, marketing, social media, entrepreneurship and life-hacking anything and everything you’ve ever wanted to know. Expect no-holds-barred answers.

Tech’s Lessons for Healthcare

12:30-1:30pm

For all of the technological challenges and bureaucratic hurdles, the most important healthcare puzzles are among the most basic: how do you get people to follow their prescriptions, show up to doctor’s appointments, or modify their homes so they can live safely in the place they want to be. This panel will explore how inventive collaborations with Transportation Networking Companies (TNCs), Short Term Rental (STR) entities and others in the sharing economy can improve health outcomes.

March 11, 2017

Apprenticeships and Solving the IT Skills Gap

9:30-10:30am

There are nearly one million open tech jobs in the US today. This gap will increase significantly in the coming years, as older workers retire and the expansion of cloud, cybersecurity, and big data devices require more people to create, manage and monitor technology. Sen. Orrin Hatch introduced the EARNS Act to expand apprenticeship in the U.S. Apprenticeship pairs on-the-job training with classroom instruction, and it’s one of the best ways to prepare workers to participate in the workforce, and to train loyal, skilled employees so businesses compete in today’s economy.

W2O Group’s 3rd Annual Movers & Shapers

10:30am-2:30pm

Movers & Shapers is our newest event and takes us back to our early roots of the PreCommerce Summit. With only 150 people in attendance, this event also leverages the 10-minute TED-like talk format with a few select fire side chats.

B2A Marketing: Selling to the New AI Consumer

11:00am-12:00pm

Increasingly the power of making decisions is being delegated to algorithms and “bots”. From self-driving cars to robo-traders, people are more-and-more comfortable allowing software to make critical day-to-day decisions. As comparison shopping tools, automated personal shoppers, and shopping bots mature purchase consumer purchasing decision-making power rapidly being ceded to algorithms, requiring that we completely reframe the marketing industry. To put it another way, the AI robot overlords are coming, and they have credit cards. This panel will discuss the potential implications and methods of a B2A marketing and the industries most likely to see an impact.

Dawn of the Labs: The Next Gen of Tech Innovation

11:00am-12:00pm

To keep up with today’s rapidly evolving digital economy, organizations have introduced “labs” programs, where an elite team of engineers has the freedom to think outside the box and test new solutions without the pressures of delivering immediate results or adhering to rigid roadmaps. On this panel, leaders of some of today’s most compelling labs programs will discuss why they’re breaking the rules and conventions of the past in order to build the products of the future. They’ll answer questions on why this is essential in the age of new technologies like artificial intelligence and virtual reality, and how these programs help identify and tackle new challenges.

Ready Or Not, The Bots Have Risen!

12:30pm-1:30pm

Advances in contextual search, and the rise of bots and digital assistants, are changing the way consumers search for and discover information. Executives from Yahoo, Facebook, Assist and Pandorabots, will discuss how this new interaction model will be the future of how we find the information we want and need from the brands we love, whether it’s from a bot or not

Payments Gone Viral: The Rise of Social Commerce

3:30-4:30pm

Augmented reality. Hashtag payments. Messenger bots. The payments space is fundamentally changing: cash and checks gave way to credit and debit cards, which are now being replaced by apps. In an era where social proof reigns supreme, how is social media shaping the future of commerce?

Extreme Medicine: Quality Care Anywhere

5:00pm-6:00pm

How would you treat a kidney stone on the way to Mars? What if a climber developed an excruciating headache on Everest? How would you know whether a serious respiratory infection is viral or require antibiotics in a field clinic in Malawi? Providing quality healthcare in extreme environments presents challenges and opportunities. Medical technologies must be portable, minimally invasive, and easy to use and maintain. Devices must be robust and require only low power and consumables. Meds need to be very stable and safe for a long time. Healthcare solutions meeting these high standards have commercial advantages in driving revolutionary care for more traditional settings. By setting the bar high, we are driving border-less innovation in medicine, and creating new business opportunities.

W2O Group’s 8th Annual GeekaCue

6:00-10:00pm

This eight-year long tradition started with 50 employees and clients out at local BBQ legend, The Salt Lick and has evolved into a 700-person party. This year’s event will be at the historic Scoot Inn and will feature Terry Black’s BBQ and two amazing bands . Oh, there will also be plenty of liquid refreshments and our mainstay photo booth.

March 12, 2017

The Future of Research: Capability or Culture

11:00am-12:00pm

Every medicine today was made available because people took part in clinical trials. Participation and awareness remains low, yet the future of our health depends on new medical advancements. Is it technology and data that will pull us up, or must we rely more heavily on culture change – and not just of scientists, but the general public as well?

Hot to Bot: Chatbots & the Conversational Economy

11:00am-12:00pm

Customers spend 90% of their time on mobile devices and rapidly migrating from apps to messenger platforms. In this Conversational Economy, communication and commerce will happen via Chatbot, disrupting the way customers interact with brands. This session will discuss the next battleground — the rise of the Chatbot — and how traditionally transactional brands are using A.I. and machine learning to transform the way they interact with customers, impacting their lives in a personalized, relevant way. Join the speakers as they demonstrate specific Chatbots transforming the way major brands across Retail, Telecommunications and Utilities engage with customers and, most importantly, make them feel like they matter.

Measuring Media: Big Dreams, Big Data

12:30-1:30pm

Human behavior is the soul of every big data algorithm. This typically includes observable behaviors (tweets, posts, reviews) and anticipated behaviors (intentions, product recommendations, suggested friends and articles). What is the value of the data hidden in our dreams? This panel explores the differential merit of two sources of data – conscious and non-conscious, unified by the same data currency: language. What can we tell about people based on the language they use- their interests and influences in each context? Are dreams a marketer’s next frontier?

Non-Obvious: Trends of the Future

1:00pm-1:30pm

Join trend curator Rohit Bhargava as he shares ALL NEW research from the latest edition of his best selling book Non-Obvious. How can a holographic Holocaust survivor offer a glimpse into a career of the future? How do self-repairing airplane wings predict the next trillion dollar industry? Learn the answers to these questions and how to use the power of non-obvious thinking to grow your business.

A City’s Pathway to Inclusion

3:30-4:30pm

Learn from mayors of large technology hubs on how they are working to forge new paths towards inclusive economies that support thriving tech & innovation ecosystems in a way that creates equitable opportunities for underserved populations. Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser will discuss the release of the District’s first “Pathways to Inclusion Report”, providing a roadmap to create an inclusive ecosystem where the tech and innovation economy can grow.

Is Government Disrupting Disruption?

5:00-6:00pm

Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb are a few of many companies whose business models have been challenged by government regulation of late, and it’s shaking up daily lives (notably so here in SXSW’s hometown of Austin, which Uber and Lyft left in May). Car insurance comparison marketplace The Zebra made its mark by disrupting a highly regulated industry despite complex state governing processes. Speakers will discuss how they’ve worked both with and against government regulation in achieving successful disruption (particularly in marketplaces such as travel, ticketing, and now insurance), and what some of the biggest hurdles have been and will continue to be.

March 13, 2017

Data & Insights on Powering a Connected Workforce

9:30-10:30am

There’s no denying the power of an informed workforce. Using exclusive data and insights recently pulled from thousands of employees using the Dynamic Signal platform, Jim Larrison, co-founder of Dynamic Signal, will share how companies can drive productivity using social and mobile communication platforms. Keeping employees connected and informed is a major pain point for many organizations. Gallup research shows that disengaged employees cost companies billions every year in lost productivity. But when knowledgeable employees are rallied behind a common narrative, they drive productivity and revenue. Join us to learn how best-in-class brands keep their workforce connected and informed.

Embrace Digital Disruption to Reinvent Healthcare

9:30-10:30am

While healthcare has lagged behind other industries in adopting new, disruptive technologies, consumer expectations have continued to shift. We live in a world where convenience trumps all, and most services are available at the push of a button. Why can’t healthcare be the same? This panel will discuss how patients will access healthcare in the future as the traditional care delivery system is augmented by digital innovations and how Baylor Scott & White Health has embraced these innovations by collaborating with entrepreneurs and startups to redesign traditional care models and simplify complex problems.

Zero Day Software Vulnerabilities: Deal With It

11:00am-12:00pm

Software of any complexity always ships with bugs. Given our reliance on a staggeringly complex web of data and services, how do we, and how should we, deal with these security vulnerabilities when they are discovered? What are the social, legal, and ethical norms around discovering and disclosing software vulnerabilities? This session is a guided tour through the semi-secret, often misunderstood world of vulnerability research and development and how it affects your life and business.

Best Behavior: Prompting Preferred Patterns

11:00am-12:00pm

 “Nudge theory is about hacking human nature using subtle, context-driven interventions. We all sometimes buy into the shampoo commercial dream that our products can make us into better people, but what if that were true? Thanks to IoT, we’re designing products that make and break our habits. We applied nudge theory to our healthcare wearable, Under Currents, to solve billions of dollars’ worth of medical errors and save lives. When common sense fails, common sensors help us be the best version of ourselves.”

GAFA: The Relentless Rise of the Tech Giants

12:30-1:30pm

 This session explores the rise of the big four tech companies – Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon. How will their relentless monopolization of so many industries affect competitors and consumers? Will the death of competition see reduced choice and rising prices? Should you be concerned for your privacy as you give up more and more data to a handful of companies? Will your view of the world narrow as fewer and fewer gatekeepers control the flow of content? From fake news to Alexa, come along to discover how GAFA influence every aspect of your lives.

Ray and Amy Kurzweil on Collaboration and the Future

12:30-1:30pm

Ray Kurzweil, best-selling author, recipient of The National Medal of Technology, and a director of engineering at Google, in conversation with his daughter Amy Kurzweil, New Yorker cartoonist and author of the critically-acclaimed graphic memoir, Flying Couch (NY Times: Best of 2016). The two will discuss their creative work, inspirations, and collaborations across disciplines, while speculating about the future of storytelling, the arts and technology

#Laugh: Creating Art Among the Stars

3:30-4:30pm      

World renowned artist Eyal Gever and Made In Space, Inc. founder & Chief Technology Officer, Jason Dunn discuss the inspiration and challenges of Gever’s vision to create humanity’s first sculpture in space. With Gever’s keen artistic sense, and Made In Space’s expertise in space based manufacturing, the two have come together to deliver something to the world that everyone can relate to: #Laugh

Movement Tracks: Where Biotech and Music Converge

3:30-4:30pm

This dynamic panel will provide examples of music’s power as a core catalyst to restore, maintain and enhance health by highlighting music biotechnologies developed to improve and recover the ability to walk for children with cerebral palsy and adults with Parkinson’s disease. Panelist will inform and discuss new possibilities to improve patient outcomes through the integration of music technologies, smart sensors and data analytics to improve both the scale and impact of global healthcare solutions initiatives to transform people’s lives.

March 14, 2017

Making the Leap from Dev Ops to No Ops

9:30-10:30am

Companies are navigating a global, online marketplace and the challenge they face is not “whether to become digital.” Instead, the focus is how to continually and efficiently transform a business for today’s digital marketplace—the key to being Agile. Many companies have already embraced DevOps in the enterprise, with organizations streamlining their process for pushing code out of test/development environments and into production. One of the benefits has been greater capacity for continuous delivery. The pivotal move is toward NoOps, defined by Forrester as “the goal of completely automating the deployment, monitoring & management of applications and the infrastructure on which they run.

Reimagining Death, A Design Challenge & Movement

11:00am-12:00pm

Dr. BJ Miller’s call to “let death take us, not lack of imagination” reflects a growing hunger to reimagine the personal experience of the end of life. Our final chapter, long the domain of family and spirituality has become shrouded in taboo and medical process. A growing movement to reimagine dying has emerged and was strengthened by the global conversation and collaborative innovation of OpenIDEO’s End of Life Challenge. This panel of diverse co-conspirators – an IDEO visionary, a health system innovation officer, a palliative care physician-agitator, and a health policy guru – discusses how seeing death as a design challenge is giving life to patient-centered movement for better endings.

Beyond B-8: When Robots Start Acting Human

12:30-1:30pm

Deep learning, a new wave of artificial intelligence research, is enabling technology to achieve the unimaginable. What happens when robots can learn, adapt and make intelligent decisions? This technology, enabled by the cloud and highly sophisticated robots, has the potential to revolutionize manufacturing, change our approach to rescue missions, more effectively administer medications and make self-driving cars a reality. And we’re creating the infrastructure to make it happen now. In this panel, organizations that are researching and implementing this technology will discuss the impact, risks and massive shift deep learning will bring to every industry and every day.

New Eyes on Our Home System: NASA’s Next Telescope

12:30-1:30pm

NASA’s upcoming infrared-optimized James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) offers scientists unique capabilities to measure changing conditions on planets, comets, and asteroids – and measure the atmospheres of extrasolar planets for key markers (ozone, carbon dioxide, and many others). The panel will discuss the discovery space for infrared space telescopes like JWST in Solar System and exoplanet science.

Psychopaths in Silicon Valley: A Guide

3:30-4:30pm

There are uncanny parallels in the description of a glorified tech exec or online troll and the clinical definition of a psychopath, and the latter can cause massive damage to an organization or community. How do you know if you’re working with/for a psychopath? How do you manage him/her? This panel features a clinician, social scientist, and venture capitalist, each with a different intimacy with psychopaths. Learn how to identify and deal with a psychopath, whether a colleague, troll or date from hell.

March 15, 2017

The State of the Open Internet In the Age of Trump

11:00am-12:00pm

History shows us how closed systems destroy innovation and tax entrepreneurs to death. In our fight to protect the open internet, we all have something to lose. Join me to discuss how this battle could shift with the unknowns of the Trump administration.

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When we see science in its raw state, it is mind boggling and inspiring.

The researchers who dedicate their lives to science make our world a better place. Whether they are creating new medicines or devices or they are figuring out the fundamental laws of nature, they are advancing our ability to navigate and prosper on this spherical mass (technically an oblate spheroid) we call home.

This week, I had the opportunity to visit the team at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, based in Geneva. CERN is home to physicists and engineers who are helping us understand the structure of the universe.  For those of you who know me, you know that I did not visit to discuss the latest particle accelerator and I did not add value on the fundamental laws of nature. Rather, I shared insights into how CERN can reach the next generation of scientists around the world and discussed how their work can more effectively educate and inspire the current world we live in via effective use of digital media techniques.

We all know the intellectual power of CERN in our daily lives. The most prominent example for digital leaders is the worldwide web. As CERN states on their website, “(Tim) Berners-Lee had defined the Web’s basic concepts, the URL, http and html, and he had written the first browser and server software” by Christmas, 1990. Info.cern.ch was the address of the world’s first website and web server.  And the first web page address was http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html.

You may also have heard of the Large Hadron Collider, launched Sept 10, 2008, which beams protons around a 27 kilometer area to understand what gives matter its mass and to identify what the invisible 96% of the universe is made of and much more. Wow! I can barely find the big dipper on most nights.

CERN is filled with knowledge that can lead to new ideas throughout our world. CERN serves as an inspiration for young people to focus on scientific research as a career. CERN  also reminds all of us to remain humble in our views of what our world is all about, knowing that we will be learning the rest of our lives about where we live in the universe.

From my perspective, scientific researchers at CERN represent the “quiet role models” of our world.  They don’t make movies, do anything flashy or even want you to know who they are to any great degree. Their body of work is what we need to know about. The key is how to share their knowledge and struggles and authentic lives and insights with the world in a way that furthers science.  That is really the only goal.

How will the next generation of scientists decide to make this commitment?

Can we inspire a much wider group of young women to enter the field of science and start to even out the gender gap in science and technology?

How and why will our governments decide to invest more in innovation?

What can we all learn by listening and reading the work of CERN’s researchers, even if we are not scientific people ourselves?

This is why I was asked to speak to the CERN team.  They are amazing and they do a very professional job of telling their story. But just like in science, whatever the status quo is is simply not enough.

The new models…the disruptive models…the new formulas..in the case of digital, the new algorithms….they unlock how to more effectively tell the CERN story….and a more effective story is simply good for science and our world.

It was an honor to speak at CERN in the conference room named for Georges Charpak, a Nobel Prize winner (1992) in physics for his invention and development of particle detectors, in particular the multiwire proportional chamber.

I know the closest I will ever get to a Nobel prize is visiting Oslo as a tourist. But like you, we can all see “noble efforts”, which is why we can all do our part to help scientists, researchers and technologists share their insights to make our world a better place.

Thank you to everyone at CERN for your pursuit to understand the unknown.

Best, Bob

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We are witnessing a new style of media with the ascendancy of President Trump.  The simple way to describe his style of media is to say that he chooses to speak direct to the world via Twitter.  That’s true, but it sells short what is actually happening.

President Trump and his team understand the value of driving a narrative to shape our behaviors, whether it is pro or con.  Inherent in this approach is the ability to reach us emotionally, distract us and motivate us to action, depending on the circumstances.   As a result, it is not just that we have the first president who is using direct media.  We have the first president who will shape our thinking on a daily basis, as he pursues short, mid and long-term objectives.

What we know about ourselves, as individuals, and for communities and groups, overall, is that when our emotions are triggered, we are often thinking of what is short-term … in fact, only what is short-term.   This side-effect of thinking emotionally allows us to be distracted or misdirected by the way a story is told.  It’s a bit like a magician who gets us to concentrate on the wrong thing as they get ready to unveil a card.  You can do this now by going direct to the world via social media in ways never possible before via journalists.

And this is why we are building a new algorithm that provides a four-dimensional view of what is really going on.  Our data science team is using a combo of algorithmic and machine learning knowledge to create an approach that centers on key variables, such as how to analyze Trump’s following (his own, his appointees and his wider team), all members of Congress and key staffers, the media and other important audiences.  We compare this against normative data sets.  In the case of twitter, we’re talking about normative panels that are 1 million people or more and other normative data sets that give us a great insight into what is truly resonating.

The result is an approach that allows us to see what is a distraction vs. what is the Trump team is interested in truly pursuing vs. what is resonating with key target audiences.  As an example, we may now see that key target audiences deeply care about a topic President Trump is discussing, but it is not being pushed or discussed by the majority of his team.  Or his team is clearly pushing a certain message … we can see that federal and state officials are also interested in it, yet the general public is not.   There are many variations that can show us when a topic is truly gaining traction with the people who can either support or stop the momentum of an idea.  In other cases, we’ll be able to see quite quickly what is falling with a thud … not by examining the mainstream media … but by understanding what voters and those with influence to create or support legislation think.   Tracking the right people, knowing exactly who really drives influence and understanding how support is evolving, either way, will become increasingly obvious over time.

Inherent in this model is also a deep understanding of subconscious behavior.  Just looking at what everyone says or retweets is interesting, but insights become powerful when we look at the meaning of silence for certain groups or apathy and withdrawal from a topic.  It is equally important to look at the intensity of protagonism or antagonism to understand what is true passion that may move the needle and what is really just slacktivism or people kind of going through the motions.  Subconscious behavior and looking into psychological changes are keys in the algorithms we now build.

It’s interesting that new models like this will certainly include mainstream media, but they are not at all dependent on them to draw conclusions that will accurately inform companies of what reality is forming for their reputation or brand.  In fact, in many cases in the political arena, they are actually a false positive.  Whether it was this past election or BREXIT or other recent campaigns, this is borne out over and over again.

We’ll be sharing some of our initial work at the Holmes Report’s IN2 Summit in Chicago on Feb 16th.   And for our clients, we’ll be ready to ensure that every tweet or new idea is met with a system to judge its real impact, now or in the future, as it relates to their actual business objectives.

Best, Bob

They’re the questions on everyone’s mind. What is the fate of the Affordable Care Act? If “repeal and replace” becomes reality, what exactly does that replacement look like? And for those at the intersection of healthcare and technology, how will these policy changes that impact digital health investments in 2017 and beyond?

At the 35th J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, W2O Group hosted its 3rd Annual Digital Health VIP Luncheon to find out the answers to these questions and more. W2O’s digital health practice leader, Rob Cronin, teed up the discussion, reminding the audience just how much communications – from media to influencers – still matters in driving policy decisions and broader health IT discussions. “The election taught us a lot, or reminded us a lot, about communications,” he said, where data is at the core and influence is its own form of currency.

But when it comes to how the new administration will influence healthcare policy, while there will no doubt be significant changes, “I think value-based payments will stay,” said Jodi Daniel, partner at Crowell & Moring, formerly with CMS. Daniel spoke to the importance of population health management, noting that “anything that helps population health management will be very much aligned with the policy in Washington.”

Also emphasizing the importance of value, Sean Hogan, general manager of IBM Healthcare & Life Sciences, spoke to the needs of the consumer. Regardless of what shakes out at the policy level, “we need to help consumers make better health decisions,” said Hogan, who also pointed out that achieving success in a value-based environment “calls for tools that can help people deal with the enormous amount of information thrust upon them.”

Enormous amount of information is right. As of 2011, more than 150 exabytes — or 150 billion gigabytes — of healthcare data existed in the U.S alone. That river of information is only going to flow faster as industry interoperability (slowly, but surely) continues to progress.

For IBM Watson Health, this has meant doubling down on the application of cognitive, natural language processing (NLP), artificial intelligence (AI), and now blockchain, to improve care, control costs and advance health globally. On January 11, IBM Watson Health and the FDA announced a new partnership focused on using blockchain to enable the secure, efficient and scalable exchange of health data.

And to advance health globally, the industry needs to have a better understanding of both specific populations and the individuals within them. In fact, Lisa Suennen, healthcare’s Venture Valkyrie and senior managing director of health investments at GE Ventures, isn’t sold on the term population health. “What you’re really doing is personalized healthcare within a population,” Suennen said, reminding attendees that “one program doesn’t fit all. One program fits one in 57.”

The idea that care must targeted at the individual level is not a new concept in the industry. It is also one of the chief reasons that healthcare technology companies are starting to “look an awful lot like healthcare service providers,” pointed out Matthew Holt, panel moderator and Health 2.0’s godfather. Why? “That’s where the money is,” noted Suennen.

It’s also where the savings are – and the ability to guide consumers on the path to better health using a blended tech/services approach. Rajeev Singh, CEO of Accolade, Inc., has seen the impact that this can have on both consumers’ health and their level of engagement. The company’s on-demand healthcare concierge service is transforming how consumers engage with their care, with human compassion playing as big of a role as science and technology. Singh said that eighty percent of Accolade’s employer customers are already implementing some form of value-based payment structure.

“Services are where the solutions are,” said Singh, stressing that “you can’t have a real solution without a component of services in your story.” Singh also feels a shift in mindset needs to occur at the investor level before we see more significant movement. However, he does not believe that pending policy will stifle innovation or oust value-based frameworks – “undoing the private sector’s desire to move in one direction seems to go against the Republican ideology,” he said. Accolade’s latest $70 million series E round in 2016 brings total funding to $160 million.

One reason for the relatively early phase of investor interest in the space, said Livongo’s chief executive officer, Glen Tullman, is that “Silicon Valley tech has typically not understood how to navigate healthcare. Now, there’s a healthier level of respect.” Livongo is working to change the face of diabetes care management by using technology and health coaching to help diabetes patients better manage their chronic condition.

Given that chronic disease — diabetes included — is set to have a global impact of $47 trillion come 2030, the need to have both solutions and services dedicated to improving care and decreasing costs has never been more urgent. Tullman also believes the industry will see massive disruption in the way that technology companies, healthcare providers and healthcare purchasers – employers included – contract and integrate with one another.

Daniel said that we’ll continue to see new players in the healthcare space, but cautioned that the “technology is only as good as the improvement the services allow.” Her 15 years spent with HHS gave her a front row seat to healthcare technology’s growth. Her experience tells her that those tools that help reduce cost, increase transparency of cost and quality data and help consumers make smarter choices will take priority for VC dollars.

Speaking of those coveted VC dollars, as we are amidst one of the biggest shifts that healthcare has seen to date, what types of companies and services will reign supreme moving forward? Moreover, is now a good time for healthcare technology investments overall?

“Under any scenario, the focus on cost will continue,” said Hogan, noting that innovators and investors alike are going to focus on growing offerings that provide a better service at a better price. Singh agreed, saying that these types of technologies are where “there is money to be made and that’s what investors will follow,” regardless of what happens at the policy level.

Suennen was quick to point out that provider insolvency is going to be one of the main reasons that technologies designed for value will continue to see traction. “Value-based companies are making progress because hospitals still need to improve their efficiency,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if they buy in to (value-based care) or not – they’re going to have to.”

Please see here for the full panel replay, and be sure to follow both @W2OGroup and this year’s stellar group of panelists to stay in the know on all things #JPM17 and digital health.

Every year, healthcare IT plays an even more prominent role at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. In fact, JPM-related conversations that fell under the digital health topic umbrella surpassed that of biotech on Twitter at last year’s event.

As San Francisco prepares for its annual invasion of healthcare and biotech visionaries, W2O asked Senior Managing Director of Health Investments at GE Ventures, Lisa Suennen — otherwise known as the Venture Valkyrie — to share her perspective on the state of the industry today and what she is most looking forward to at this year’s event. Below, she discusses what needs to happen for the community at large to realize that when it comes to healthcare technology, “Trendiness does not equal value. Technology does not equal good.”

Q. What conversations/discussions around digital health advancement are you most looking forward to having/hearing while onsite at JPM this year?

A. I am most looking forward to hearing about real success stories, particularly those that demonstrate how the confluence of IT and pharma, or IT and medtech, have meaningfully improved clinical outcomes and reduced cost while doing so. I’d also like to hear some evidence of how all of this big data/AI/machine learning work is resulting in actual activity to change physician behavior, particularly around improved diagnoses and avoidance of medical errors. So far, most of the talk has been about technology and too little of the talk is about results.

Q. What individual (or group/company) in the digital health community has inspired or impressed you in the past year? Why?

A. There are many here, but I am particularly inspired by the people who truly care about serving the entire spectrum of people, and especially those whose situations make healthcare access and use more difficult due to socioeconomic status, ethnicity and language differences, age, disability, etc. Using digital technologies to empathetically and effectively serve underserved communities is essential to the successful improvement of our healthcare system. There are a number of people and companies focused on this, finally, and as we incorporate social determinants of health into effective care delivery, we will all be better for it.

Q. What area of digital health do you feel is ripest for innovation/primed for growth going into 2017

A. I think we are going to see a lot more uptake, vs experimentation and dreaded pilots, for the “beyond the product” activities of pharma and medtech. The results are starting to come in for some of these products and there is evidence that some of them can make a material difference in clinical outcome and cost, as well as improve patient experience. Any product that can demonstrate those results in less than 12-month time frames will gain traction.

Q. As a new Administration takes the helm, what is your outlook for digital health progress and HIT advancement over the next few years? 

A. It’s impossible to guess the impact of the administration as there are too many variables. What we know is that no matter who runs the place, we need to find our way to better value in healthcare. I think that the convergence of IT and healthcare is here to stay and the trick is making it useful not cool. Trendiness does not equal value. Technology does not equal good. We will see advancement in this field as long as the technology can demonstrate it is an effective tool to advance the delivery of better results by clinicians on behalf of patients. Hopefully we will also start looking for ways to more effectively align our financial interests to advance products and services that focus as much on prevention as treating the sick. The next few years will be about evidence of efficacy because the whole Field of Dreams approach to digital health (if we build it, they will come), has, unsurprisingly, proven to be entirely wrong. I also think we will soon see an end to the term “digital health.” In our US economy pretty much everything is digitizing and yet we don’t call it digital banking or digital transportation. We healthcare people need to get comfortable that technology is as much a part of the everyday armamentarium (or the medical bag) as are drugs, devices and services.

Be sure to follow the #JPM17 conversation on Monday, January 9, from 12:40pm – 1:45pm PST, as W2O Group hosts its 3rd Annual Digital Health Panel Discussion in San Francisco. Lisa will be joining a dynamic group of industry leaders to discuss market changes, challenges and opportunities across the ever-changing health IT landscape. Learn more about Lisa’s incredible work by checking out her blog and her podcast!

As I mentioned in my kickoff post, we are hosting a series of blog interviews pre and post SXSW with speakers from our PreCommerce Summit (March 10) and Movers & Shapers Summit (March 12). Today’s interview is with the Kyle Flaherty, VP of Solutions Marketing at security company, Rapid7. Kyle spoke yesterday on the topic why marketers are easy targets for cyber security breaches. To say that it was eye-opening would be an understatement.a - KyleFlaherty

Before we jump into our interview, here’s a little bit more about Kyle. According to LinkedIn, Kyle is a “technology marketing executive [who has] worked with early-stage startups to $1 billion+ high-growth companies changing the worlds of big data, IoT, BYOD, SaaS, open source software, network security, fraud detection, data analytics, marketing automation, and network management. Known for launching high profile technology startups, with four successful exits, [his] passion is to not only message technology and brand an organization, but build award-winning marketing teams that work in lock-step to rapidly produce marketing campaigns that drive measurable results to impact the bottom line.

Now on to the interview:

  1. Aaron: How do you define innovation?
    Kyle: The word innovation is so overused it’s makes me nauseous to even think about the definition. Honestly we must start to think way beyond innovation and start thinking about technology aiding human life; what I call human-driven alteration (well I didn’t invent the words, just the use). For two decades we’ve seen a rise in ‘innovation for innovation’, with technology being spit out that does pointless things like order us more Amazon boxes via a mysterious cylinder cone in the corner of our house. That’s not what I call innovation, it’s laziness masked as technology. The next few years will see a good healthy dose of closure around pointless and directionless innovation, instead a focus will be held on pragmatic uses for technology that will actually make us more secure, our earth cleaner, and our bodies more healthy. That’s what I call alteration.
  2. Aaron: What are you or your organization doing to drive innovation?
    Kyle: Working in security the past two decades I’ve seen my fair share of “innovative” introductions and great new technologies. Yet we are now in an era where we are more insecure than ever. We have all been hit by data breaches, and if you think you haven’t it’s simply because you don’t know yet. One of the reasons is that our industry often times focused from the outside in, building a stronger or smarter firewall, rather than helping to amplify the talents of security pros to make them smarter or more talented — because we all know the attackers can get past the preventive security solutions. I recently joined Rapid7 because they have a vision of creating products that have the human-being in mind, not simply the bits and bytes. Our entire mission is to build technology that restores confidence and control back to the security team, and ultimately back to the business.
  3. Aaron: Who is someone in your industry (or outside) that you admire? Why?
    Kyle: Jennifer Leggio, a mutual friend of ours. Fortunately I met “Mediaphyter” many moons ago when she just happened to sit in on a webcast I was doing for a PR agency about this new-fangled technology called Twitter. Ever since that time we’ve crossed paths and have even been able to do some work together in the security industry. Jen is a rock star in our community and has taught me that it’s not enough to just know marketing, you have to understand the community that makes up security because not only is it truly unique, it will feed your soul. I consider myself blessed to have her as a contemporary and a friend.
  4. Aaron: Where do you see your industry being in 3 years? 5? 10?
    Kyle: In the next few years the security industry will begin to understand that we can no longer prevent attacks, and thus the era of rapid detection, fed by user behavior analytics, will take hold. As we move into the 5 to 10 year frame we will actually see the security teams begin to better mesh with their contemporaries in IT as they understand their shared resource of the data that courses thorough their company and the ability to harness it so that security becomes only necessary for incident response, and IT is now handling the rest. That would be a monumental achievement if it can happen.
  5. What book are you reading right now? How did you choose it?
    Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ by Giulia Enders. I’m trying to better understand the effect different foods have in my body, not only so that I’m not a big lard ass, but also how it changes my moods, triggers my Psoriasis and arthritis, and more. It’s a fascinating, and often times disgusting, read.
  6. For fun: what three things would you make sure you brought with you in a zombie apocalypse?
    Kyle: Chuck Hemann, Pops, and a bottle of great bourbon.

Thank you Kyle. Good choices for the zombie apocalypse. I’ve heard that that Pops is a really zombie killer.

Our PreCommerce Summit started off our events with a bang. Hard to believe, but 2016 marks the 6th annual version of the summit. We built it around a series of 10-minute Ted-style talks, and rounded it out with a few panel discussions and a couple of fireside chats.

These discussions featured insights from executives and leadership from some of our top clients and partners. It’s a view into what’s next, the technology that’s impacting all of us, how its changing business, as well as other aspects of our lives outside of work.

  • Lord Peter Chadlington, Founder of Shandwick and Huntsworth Group; See Lord Chadington’s preview interview here.
    Lord Peter Chadington discussed global communications trends with our own Bob Pearson. In terms of global trends, Peter pointed out that 50% of the world’s population have just started getting access to the Internet.  Lord Chadlington is someone who’s dedicated much of his work to politics and shared his thoughts on the impact that social media is having on politics. According to research they did in the UK, 72% said social media and the Internet made them more involved in politics. They feel empowered. You can watch Bob’s interview with Lord Chadlington at about 33:15 mark in the PreCommerce livestream.

Lord-Chadlington-Bob-Pearson-SXSW-SXW2O

  • Amy von Walter, EVP Global Communications and Public Relations, Toys ‘R’ Us
    During Aaron’s introduction, he shared the news that Amy is now EVP at Toys ‘R’ Us. Amy gave a powerful talk about first impressions. She’s passionate about encouraging confidence in her employees. It’s an extension of her confidence which comes from her experiences overcoming first impressions.  And she’s an expert there, based on her reality of being from South Korea and raised in Minnesota by her adopted parents. She referenced the work of Dr. Hendrie Weisenger’s about the many ways you can build confidence. You can watch Amy’s session at 58:04 in the PreCommerce livestream.

Amy von Walter - SXSW -SXW2O

  • Manny Kostas, SVP and Global Head of Platforms & Future Technology, HP
    Manny discussed breaking through silos to get into more conversations with customers. He’s a person with unique perspective since he’s been CMO at both Symantec and a division of HP and now he’s responsible for 3,000 engineers working to reinvent HP’s printer business. Manny’s passionate about not imposing our business structure on our customers, which breaks the dialog with our customers. You can watch Manny’s session at about the 1:07 mark in the PreCommerce livestream.

Manny Kostas-SXSW-SXW2O

Before the first panel, my friend and someone I really respect, Robert Scoble joined Aaron on stage to share his recent news that he will be joining UploadVR as their Entrepreneur in Residence. All the best to you in the new gig Robert. Your early work at your Channel 9 days at Microsoft and you (and Shel’s) book Naked Conversations helped me prepare for taking the reins as Dell’s chief blogger back in 2006, Onward and upward, my friend! You can watch Scoble’s news at about the 1:24 mark in the PreCommerce livestream. Thanks to Jeremiah Owyang for the live pic.

Robert Scoble #SXW2O

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  • Susan Glasser, Editor in Chief, Politico and Peter Cherukuri, EVP Audience Solutions & President, Politico
    Susan and Peter discussed the evolution of sponsored content. Interesting perspective from the two of them and how they’ve made a new publishing model work for Politico. To do it, they re-invented what it means to be an online news platform in an era where journalistic speed a given in the space. That meant diving deep into new types of stories and experiences to stay ahead of their competition. You can watch their session at about the 2:16 mark in the PreCommerce livestream.

Susan Glasser-Peter Cherukui-SXSW-SXW2O

 

  • David Kirkpatrick, CEO, Techonomy, author of The Facebook Effect and Graham Weston, Founder/Chairman, Rackspace
    David sat down with Graham to get his take on where the cloud was headed. Before jumping into the conversation, Graham took a minute to thanks Robert Scoble for his 7 years at Rackspace. Rackspace is a $2B company who provides cloud infrastructure and integration services for AWS and Azure clients. His company’s still focused on providing “fanatical” support in the midst of a changing competitive landscape. Lastly, David asked Graham about his considerable community efforts in the city of San Antonio and beyond. You can watch their fireside chat about the 2:47 mark in the PreCommerce livestream.

Graham Weston-David Kirkpatrick-SXSW-SXW2O

  • Jeremiah Owyang, Founder/CEO, Crowd Companies
    My good friend Jeremiah spent a few minutes getting into the future of Crowd business models. He shared examples of how the collaborative economy is already disrupting traditional businesses and also shared his take on how it would evolve moving forward . Key takeaways 1) Common digital technologies empower people to get what they need from each other. 2) The crowd is becoming like a company—bypassing  inefficient corporations. 3) Like the Internet and social, corporations must use the same digital strategies to regain relevancy 4) This requires a business model change: Product>Service>Marketplace>Repeat. You can watch Jeremiah’s session at about the 4:08 mark in the PreCommerce livestream.

Jeremiah Owyang-SXSW-SXW2O

  • Greg McCullough, Senior Director Partnerships, Medtronic and Gail Day, VP, Publisher Harvard Business Review
    Greg and Gail sat down to discuss what’s next in brand/ media partnerships. Gail attributed part of HBR’s success to the organization’s commitment to a goal to rid the world of bad management. That focus also extends to their partnerships. They’re strict about working with their brand, and that’s why they choose to work with limited partners. Medtronic was one of those partners. Their collaboration resulted iYou can watch their session at about the 4:31 mark in the PreCommerce livestream.

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  • Becky Brown, VP Digital Marketing & Media Group, Intel
    Becky spent a few minutes discussing The New Digital. Becky reiterated that marketers are all aware of consumers’ aversion to ads—look no further than ad blockers and the fact that they are willing to pay a premium for services without ads. Intel is answering this co-creating with companies like Buzzfeed and Mashable. And now, taking that idea with new ESPN where they integrated technology into the X Games, which allowed both companies to create new kinds of content. And they are building on the success of their online magazine called Intel IQ, where they will introduce original programming next month. You can watch Becky at about the 5:28 mark in the PreCommerce livestream.

Becky Brown-SXSW-SXW2O

 

  • Amy Hoopes, CMO, Wente Vineyards
    Amy took some time to discuss how user experience is becoming the new marketing. The family Amy works for has been in the wine industry for 133 years, in the Livermore Valley area of California. They were always good at making great wines. To understand the history of Wente Vineyards, Amy did extensive interviews with the family. Through that research, it was clear that the Wente family had been doing many innovative things, like operating a full-service white tablecloth restaurant that recently celebrated it’s 30th birthday. Amy talked about here SMS strategy: Simplify, Motivate and Share. You can watch Amy’s session at about the 5:43 mark in the PreCommerce livestream.

Amy Hoopes-SXSW-SXW2O

  • The third panel of the day, All Hype Aside featured 1) Michael Putnam, SVP Consumer Marketing, AmericanWell 2) Lorie Fiber, Global Corporate Communications, IBM Health and 3) Jeroen Brouwer Director of Marketing, Sales and Business Development, Philips
    Our own Rob Cronin moderated this esteemed panel of guests to discuss how digital health will impact our lives in the future. You can watch the panel discussion at about the 6:20 mark in the PreCommerce livestream.

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  • Alex Gruzen, CEO, WiTricity Corporation
    Alex discussed the future of wireless charging and how it will impact us with all the smart devices we carry with us every day. When he says wireless, he means it. Their technology doesn’t require a charging pad to be plugged into on outlet. It’s about moving power over a distance. WiTricity Corporation’s technology works with all kinds of devices: from Bluetooth headsets, to laptops and tablets, and event electric cars. You can watch Alex’s session at about the 6:56 mark in the PreCommerce livestream.

Alex Gruzen-SXSW-SXW2O

  • Amber Naslund, SVP Marketing & Chief Evangelist, Sysomos
    Amber used her time to discuss the Future  of Analytics: Social Data and Beyond. She started by talking about how much customer expectations have changed. They expect answers in 30 – 60 mins, and they also expect those answers on nights and weekends. She  also talked about how creative design is even more important as a way to reach customers. Then, she discussed the importance of bridging the gap between data scientists and marketers or communicators. Analytics is currently a specialized skillset. But back in the 50s, typing was a job that was done via dedicated employees. Amber argued that data analysis will ultimately become a core skill just like typing did. You can watch Amber’s session at about the 7:10  mark in the PreCommerce livestream.

Amber Naslund-SXSW-SXW2O

  • Shiv Singh, SVP Global Head of Digital & Marketing Transformation, Visa
    Shiv discussed how to open source your brand.  He started with a simple but painful premise: that customers don’t trust your brand. And then he offered examples of how Visa reached out to the startup community for innovative ideas. One outcome: they are opening up the Visa network as an API for developers. You can watch their session at about the 7:20 mark in the PreCommerce livestream.

Shiv Singh SXSW SXW2O

  • Hugh Forrest, Director, SXSW Interactive and John Battelle, CEO of NewCo and co-founder of Wired Magazine & The Industry Standard
    This fireside chat was a blast. John interviewed Hugh on the past, present and future of SXSW. See my earlier blog post here for a much more detailed summary of that lively discussion. The interview covered a lot of ground. My favorite quote from Hugh? “TED is this finely curated meal. And that’s wonderful. [SXSW] is a 24-hour all-you can eat buffet, and that’s wonderful at times too.” You can watch Hugh Forrest’s interview at about the 7:40 mark in the PreCommerce livestream.

Make sure to tune into W2O Group’s Movers & Shapers event.

 

On the annual springtime migration to Austin, our clients, partners and friends—without fail—take one look at the super packed SXSW Interactive schedule, get excited, get overwhelmed and then proceed to have nasty flashbacks to first year course selection at university. Well, with deep gratitude to my esteemed colleagues Kristen Grant and Melissa O’Hara for their SXSW sleuthing skills, we’ve tried to take out some of the guesswork.

The team waded knee deep through the SXSW Interactive Health & MedTech stream of events to find what we hope will be some of the golden nuggets. Just think of us as your team of guidance counselors, here to help you pick your major, minor and maybe a couple electives.

But before we get to the list, I want to highlight our own MDigitalLife team who will have a standing presence at the SXSW Health & MedTech Expo. They will be showcasing how we can help you understand and leverage the online healthcare ecosystem, having mapped the digital footprints of over 700,000 stakeholders worldwide. Be sure to stop by and visit them as you make your way around the sessions.

Now, let’s get to our recommended sessions. Each link takes you to the relevant page on the SXSW site where you can add the event to your schedule.


Friday, March 11, 2016


2016 SX Health & MedTech Expo

Time: 10:00am-6:00pm

Location: JW Marriot, 110 East 2nd Street

SX Health & MedTech is an integral part of SXSW Interactive, brings together many of the conversations being discussed at SXSW – not to mention that everyone has a personal relationship with health. Look for the 2016 event to expand the number of exhibitors, broaden and deepen the discussion topics, and make it even more accessible for the SXSW community to participate in the conversation.


Saturday, March 12, 2016


Value Revolution: Transforming the Health Business

Time: 9:30am – 10:30am

Location:  JW Marriott, Room 203-204 110 E 2nd St

This panel will explore the groundbreaking solutions to the problems that have driven the system to the breaking point, along with specific regions and ecosystems that are making those solutions real.


Apps and Better Medical Outcomes: Real Solutions

Time: 11:00am-12:00pm

Location: JW Marriott, Room 201-202 110 E 2nd St

This panel will discuss cutting edge mobile solutions that help with communication among caregivers, educational or job re-entry, organization of medical records and independence


Virtual Health: Is it Real or Just Fantasy?

Time: 11:00am – 12:00pm

Location: JW Marriott, Room 203-204 110 E 2nd St

Experts will speak about a number of topics including the historical legislative and policy initiatives that have hindered and promoted the use of virtual health at the state and federal levels and the rapid development of technology that is enabling these platforms to provide improved access and quality driven outcomes.


A New FDA: A Partner for the Digital Future

Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm

Location: JW Marriott, MedTech Stage 110 E 2nd St

Leading this charge is Bakul Patel, Assoc. Director for Digital Health at the FDA, who will provide insights into the FDA’s current and future plans for regulating digital health and answer those questions you were afraid to ask.


Rare in Common: Building Rare Disease Communities

Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm

Location: JW Marriott, Room 201-202 110 E 2nd St

This session will explore the potential and impact of these digital communities with rare diseases in common from the point of view of multiple stakeholders: the people facing rare diseases themselves, companies dedicated to developing medicines for them, and thought leaders in rare disease communications.


Virtual Physicians: The Future of Healthcare

Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm

Location: JW Marriott, Room 203-204 110 E 2nd St

Join us to explore the revolutionary role virtual humans may play in your healthcare future! Part of the IEEE Tech for Humanity Series.


New Prescription: Mobilize Patients’ Communities

Time: 3:30pm-4:30pm

Location: JW Marriott, Room 201-202 110 E 2nd St

Hear from the President of Seton Medical Center Austin and CEO of Rallyhood, who created an innovative program to mobilize patients’ personal communities that aide hospital recovery.


Digital Health and Outcomes: Where’s the Evidence?

Time: 3:30pm-4:30pm

Location: JW Marriott, MedTech Stage 110 E 2nd St

This panel, moderated by BuzzFeed’s Stephanie Lee, will explore how digital health companies can use clinical evidence to succeed through the lens of a company that has commercialized its outcomes (Omada Health), a company that validates emerging products (Evidation Health), and an investor that evaluates hundreds of companies each year (Rock Health).


The Future of Medicine: Where Can Tech Take Us?

Time: 5:00pm-6:00pm

Location: JW Marriott, MedTech Stage 110 E 2nd St

From the prospective of a leading physician, scientist and innovator who is Chair of Medicine at Singularity University, this talk examines rapidly emerging, game changing and convergent technology trends and their potential to change the face of healthcare and the practice of medicine.


Are Medical Devices and Systems Hack Proof?

Time: 5:00pm-6:00pm

Location: JW Marriott, Room 203-204 110 E 2nd S

As clinicians increasingly rely on computers vs. common sense, and medical devices become increasingly vulnerable to security breaches, it’s time for new dialog on trust and security for Medtech.


Sunday, March 13, 2016


2016 SX Health & MedTech Expo

Time: 10:00am-6:00pm

Location: JW Marriott, 110 East 2nd Street

Look for the 2016 event to expand the number of exhibitors, broaden and deepen the discussion topics, and make it even more accessible for the SXSW community to participate in the conversation.


Telling Health Stories with Interactive Storymaps

Time: 11:00am-1:00pm

Location: JW Marriott, Room 402-403 110 E 2nd St

This interactive workshop will use Esri’s storymapping technology and teach participants how to find health data, combine different data, and display them through interactive storymaps that create unique, holistic depiction of personal and community health. Bringing your own health data is encouraged!


Revolutionizing Med Education to Transform Health

Time: 12:30pm – 1:30pm

Location: JW Marriott, Room 203-204  110 E 2nd St

Experts on the front lines of this revolution will discuss how medical schools are changing, what this means for students, educators, patients and the community, and how technology and innovation will help create physician lead in the evolving education landscape.


Hacking for Healing: MedTech & Chronic Disease

Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm

Location: JW Marriott, Room 201-202 110 E 2nd St

Four experts will discuss their platforms, research, and deep experience to give chronic disease patients new ways to think about managing their health — shifting from precision medicine to precision prevention.


Imagining the Future of Personalized Medicine

Time: 3:30pm-4:30pm

Location: JW Marriott, Room 201-202 110 E 2nd St

Jennifer Darmour, wearable tech expert and designer, David O’Reilly, leader in digital medicine, and Alan Levy, veteran innovator of specialty pharma products, debate the best path forward toward more engaging and personalized healthcare and lay out future possibilities that will astound you.


The President’s Precision Medicine Initiative

Time: 3:30-4:30pm

Location: JW Marriott, MedTech Stage 110 E 2nd St

The Precision Medicine Initiative, unveiled by President Obama in January 2015, is a bold new cross-government initiative to build the technology, data and policy frameworks to catalyze new insights and therapies so that every patient can have individualized, tailored treatment.


(Video) Gaming the Healthcare System

Time: 5:00-6:00pm

Location: JW Marriott, MedTech Stage 110 E 2nd St

Games, video games in particular, have shown a much more significant contribution to healthcare by providing a connective community and therapy to both physical and cognitive impairments, as detailed by our expert panel. Come play!


Millennials in Medicine: Good or Bad for Health?

Time: 5:00pm-6:00pm

Location: JW Marriott, Room 203-204 110 E 2nd St

This panel of leading millennial physician-innovators will offer a provocative prognosis for the future of US healthcare and debate the net value of physicians disrupting rather than providing healthcare.


Deadliest Catch: New Cancer Diagnosis Approaches

Time: 5:00-6:00pm

Location: JW Marriott, Room 201-202 110 E 2nd St

Biomarkers are recognized as a critical tool for bringing new drug candidates to market and driving personalized medicine. Now, this groundbreaking science provides a powerful new opportunity to detect and prevent lethal cancers and save lives.


Monday, March 14, 2016


Wearables: The Powder Keg for a Health Revolution

Time: 9:30am-10:30am

Location: JW Marriott, Room 201-202 110 E 2nd

Join Garmin, a global leader in connected fitness and wellness technology, and Validic, the healthcare industry’s leading digital health platform, as they discuss how wearable technology innovation and adoption is setting the stage for a healthcare revolution.


Rethinking Healthcare Through Design Thinking

Time: 11:00am-12:00pm

Location: JW Marriott, Room 203-204 110 E 2nd S

This panel will feature a nationally recognized health design leader to lay out the landscape of problems facing healthcare, and he will demonstrate how creativity and design can address – and have addressed – those challenges.


Consumer Reports: What’s Our Health Data Worth?

Time: 11:00am-12:00pm

Location: JW Marriott, Room 201-202 110 E 2nd St

Hear solutions for balancing individuals’ right to privacy with profound opportunities to serve the public good, advance science & innovation, and achieve a more effective health-care system. Takeaways include ideas for new regulations, systems, and best practices, plus actions we can all take to manage our valuable health data more responsible.


CDT/Fitbit: Ethics and Privacy in Wearable Research

Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm

Location: JW Marriott, Room 201-202 110 E 2nd St

Through a visually engaging presentation, the presenters will offer details on the project goals, methodology, findings, and analysis, as well as present the final guidance recommendations.


Wearables in Health: In Theory and in Practice

Time: 3:30pm-4:30pm

Location: JW Marriott, Room 201-202 110 E 2nd St

In this dual presentation, Dr. Sam Volchenboum will speak to where we’re at and where we’re headed regarding the challenges and benefits of using wearable data to inform treatment and clinical trials. Dr. Ray Duncan of Cedars Sinai Hospital will share the practical hurdles, insights, and success stories of integrating wearable data with EMRs at one of the most connected health systems in the country.


Tuesday. March 15, 2016


Tech in the Golden Years: How Tech Changes Aging

Time: 9:30am-10:30am

Location: JW Marriott Room 201-202 110 E 2nd St

In this panel, SXSW goers will gain a fresh perspective on emerging tech in senior healthcare from an often unheard generation at SXSW: a baby boomer. HomeHero, Heal and PillPack will speak on the need for quality caregivers, physicians and easy access to medication, while the aging senior can share his own perspective.


We the People: Healthcare and the 2016 Election

Time: 11:00am-12:00pm

Location: JW Marriott, Room 201-202 110 E 2nd St

Join Jane Adams, Washington insider & Senior Director of Federal Affairs, Johnson & Johnson, & Lauren Chauret, Partner at PTV Healthcare Capital, as they discuss the 2016 election, its implications on the healthcare system & show you how to come out on top!


Inhale and Exhale: The Future of Health Data APIs

Time: 3:00pm-4:00pm

Location: JW Marriott, Room 201-202 110 E 2nd St

A generation of startups are taking on the enormous task of building simple, portable APIs for health data. These companies are building solutions that will finally bring about the interconnected health system that we are all desperately waiting for, and could hold the keys to cracking open the health IT market.


Fixing the Patient Behavior Change Gap

Time: 5:00pm-6:00pm

Location: JW Marriott, Room 203-204 110 E 2nd St

This panel explores why behavior change is so difficult, even when it’s in our best interest, and how new technologies and smarter design can help us solve the largest problem in healthcare tech — behavior modification and engagement.


Improving Physicians’ Understanding of Patients

Time: 5:00-6:00pm

Location: JW Marriott, Room 201-202 110 E 2nd St

Based on case study data, participants at a recent health app design challenge developed a FHIR-compliant application that intuitively communicates the patient’s status to any interested party.


Of course, while SXSW sessions can be hit and miss, we hope that this curated list of recommendations helps you navigate the maze of SXSW and have a better overall experience at SXSW. And if you have other recommendations or feedback on our shortlist, please be sure to let us know in the comments below.


Learn more about W2O Group

As I mentioned in my kickoff post, we will host a series of blog interviews over the next two weeks with speakers from our upcoming PreCommerce Summit (March 10) and Movers & Shapers Summit (March 12). Today’s interview is with long time enterprise technologist and now founder, President and Principal Analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, Patrick Moorhead. Patrick will be doing a TED-like talk at our Movers & Shapers event on Saturday. His session is will be late morning.a - PatrickMoorhead

According to Patrick’s LinkedIn profile, prior to starting his current firm he “he spent over 20 years as a high-tech strategy, product and marketing executive who has addressed the personal computer, mobility, graphics, and server ecosystems. Unlike other service firms, Moorhead  held executive positions leading strategy, marketing, and product groups. He is grounded in reality as he has led the planning and execution and had to live with the outcomes.” Some of the skills he’s been endorsed for by his peers are product marketing, strategic partnerships and competitive analysis.

Without further ado, let’s jump right into our six questions:

  1. Aaron: How do you define innovation?
    Patrick: Innovation is the process whereby you predict your customers needs before they do, build that widget and service, leapfrog your competition, and create new markets.
  2. Aaron: What are you or your organization doing to drive innovation?
    Patrick: I have initiated a process by which we will make four major changes to the company, every two years. This isn’t Moore’s Law, it’s Moorhead’s Law.
  3. Aaron: Who is someone in your industry (or outside) that you admire? Why?
    I admire Elon Musk because he is such an innovator and a maverick doing it.
  4. Patrick: Where do you see your industry being in 3 years? 5? 10?
    The industry analyst industry will look dramatically different as it will use more real-time methods to acquire important data and will influence using modern marketing channels.
  5. Aaron: What book are you reading right now? How did you choose it?
    Patrick: I don’t read too many books, but I am reading Brainstorm, to better understand my teenage son.
  6. For fun: what three things would you make sure you brought with you in a zombie apocalypse?
    – Hummer with Gatling gun
    – Water purification tablets
    – Waterproof matches