What’s in a Name? Announcing the Next Xconomy Forum: Healthcare in Transition

4/14/10

When we came up with “Healthcare In Transition” as the title of our next Xconomy Forum on April 26 (register here), we were thinking of a way to crystallize in a few words the changes and progress being made in the digitization of healthcare for the benefit of humanity. (There were similar discussions here prior to the launch of our Health IT news channel.)

Before coming up with the right name, we had recruited several of the country’s top healthcare entrepreneurs and practitioners to share their stories at the forum, including Paul Bleicher, Daniel Palestrant, and Roy Schoenberg. And Frank Moss, the director of the MIT Media Lab, had already stepped up to host the forum at his renowned research center and speak to everyone in attendance about his efforts to develop technologies that empower patients.

Still, we soon encountered the difficulty in putting into a few words what all these pioneers in their respective fields are doing. One could say that Schoenberg’s American Well, of Boston, is revolutionizing the way we think about how patients visit with doctors. The same could be said about how Palestrant and his team at Cambridge, MA-based Sermo are impacting the way physicians interact with each other and share their insights from the front lines of medicine. There are more than a dozen other speakers like them, each looking at healthcare from different angles.

In large part due to the efforts of our speakers and their colleagues, it soon became clear at least to me that our conventional ideas or definitions of healthcare are in flux or transition. Our children may grow up picturing their doctor looking down on her iPhone to view medical information, the same way earlier generations might think about family physicians poring over paper records from overstuffed file folders. (And if American Well has its way, kids will think of their physicians as the people with whom they interact over the Internet when they get sick.) We also wanted to account for advances like we’re seeing at other of our speakers’ companies, such as Keas, SmartBeat, and Vitality, that are advancing technology-enabled products and services to promote wellness and keeping people healthier without having to be admitted to a hospital—or even visit their doctor. (Here’s a full list of our speakers on tap for the forum.)

We’re expecting the talks and discussions among our presenters to provide our attendees with a clearer vision of the evolving healthcare landscape, far above and beyond what we’re seeing with the adoption of electronic health records. There are opportunities for all of us in this future, whether you’re an investor, entrepreneur, inventor, or a patient (we’re all patients, of course). We’re really happy to be able to help bring these efforts to the fore, and we’re hoping to see you on April 26th at the MIT Media Lab.

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