Headed to SXSW 2018? I’ve done the heavy lifting by curating a super list of the best health care talks and events at SXSW interactive. Think of it as the ultimate guide for the health care power user. If you’ve not done Health SXSW you’re in for a treat. SXSW is the original anti-disciplinary conference. It brings together minds and ideas in ways that no other meeting does. And health care needs more of that.
A few things to think about before Health SXSW
- Grab your social profile. Be sure to create your profile on SXSW Social. Having a solid profile will allow you to connect with other attendees before the event .
- Browse the health track. The most important thing you can do to maximize your time at SXSW is to plan your agenda. Interactive is too big to allow for a lot of last-minute browsing. You need to spent a serious chunk of time tooling through the Health SXSW programming guide. Build your personal program on the SXSW app which works really well.
- Prepare to be updated. Alot new programming changes happen between now and the start of SXSW. Sign up for festival updates by email here. Every year SXSW adds amazing speakers right up to the start of Interactive. If you ride on an agenda that you create today, you will be missing out on lots of great stuff.
- Peek in here every week. I’ll update the list with the best programs you don’t want to miss as they come available.
If it’s your first time to SXSW you might stop in on SXSW 2018 – What You Need to Know. It’s an introductory session run by SXSW interactive director, Hugh Forrest and his staff. And if you make it all the way to the bottom you’ll find a few of my killer tips for making SXSW interactive great for you.
Top Health SXSW Programs you don’t want to miss
So I have collected some of what I think are the more interesting programs related to health SXSW. But your mileage may vary. If you’ve got something amazing that I didn’t profile, reach out and tell me why it’s going to be amazing and I’ll check it out (get me at 33charts at gmail dot com). I’m really interested in open events and things not listed in the SXSW program guide.
This is key: Not all of the programs listed below are officially noted under Health SXSW. That’s okay. In fact, it’s how I recommend taking in the best of SXSW. As I have always said, some of the best solutions to health’s most wicked problems have been solved outside of health care. So some of the best material applicable to health isn’t found under the health category. In fact, if you spend a lot of time at the edge of health care innovation, you might find some of the material you’ve seen before.
I’m an advisor to the Health SXSW and so I’ve had the opportunity to check these out beginning last summer when judging submissions. And so I’m stoked to see it all come together beginning with the first Health SXSW in 2011.
A little housekeeping:
- Blue titles of the programs are live links to the official SXSW program.
- Handles & Hashtags where available are listed. If your program has a hashtag and you want it listed, just ping me. I’ll be adding For those who can’t attend, these are a great way to follow the conversation. All times are U.S. Central.
- Errors. Please let me know so if there are errors or inaccuracies so they can be corrected. 33charts at gmail dot com.
So let’s go..
March 9, 2018 11:00AM – 12:00PM | Austin Convention Center Room 9AB
Modern life is good at making us happy, but not at making us healthy. Cheap calories, free parking, 2nd refrigerators: it’s created an epidemic of disease from diabetes to cancer. It’s time to re-engineer how civilization meets basic human needs – food, shelter, community, transportation – so where we live & what we eat makes us healthy by design. Huge opportunities await innovators willing to go beyond wearables or coaching apps. Let’s stop fighting modern life and start refactoring it.
This program brings value in two ways: 1) It offers a view of healthcare through a different lens. 2) It’s delivered by a power panel with serious chops. A chance to hear even a little of the insight of Goetz, DeSalvo, Chim and Panchadsaram would make a trip to Austin worth it. This is how I’ll be kicking off Health SXSW.
I’m humiliated that I missed this on the first pass of the guide. Huge thanks to Steve Downs for pointing this out. To learn more about the direction of this panel you might check out his post on Tincture, How Technology Can Shape Our Lives for the Better.
March 9, 2018 11:00am-3:00pm | Austin Hilton Room 400-402
Hashtags & Handles: @PediatricPitch | #KidsHealth
Supported by some of the top-ranked children’s hospitals in the United States (my own Texas Children’s Hospital is a core catalyst of IPH), this one-of-a kind competition is a chance for startups and nascent device manufacturers to showcase their disruptive solutions for babies, kids, and teens. You’ll see some of America’s greatest health startups competing for kids and a big prize. So as you might expect, IPH is a hot spot for Health influencers, VCs, and hospital execs.
March 9, 2018 12:30PM – 1:30PM | Austin Convention Center Room 8ABC
From steps to heart rate to diet, patients are empowered to track their health. But how do patients best navigate fact from fad? Through data. Lab100 at Mount Sinai is a hybrid clinic and research lab leveraging data and technology to redesign the way health is measured and care is delivered. Using longitudinal multi-scale health data and a testbed environment the speakers will share how they develop, validate and deploy new products and services. So if you want to know if the latest diet or exercise program is right for you? Come hear what the data says.
Honestly, as obvious as this concept seems, there are remarkably few academic centers with clinical test kitchens like these guys will be discussing. I’m really going to try to make this one.
March 9, 2018 3:30PM-4:30PM | Fairmont Manchester EFG
Can we trust our mental health to a machine? This panel discusses the strengths and weaknesses of AI applied to previously human territory, the ethical conundrums and potential efficacy of a machine “knowing” when/how to help us with our mental health.
Good example of some of the more interesting health stuff found outside the traditional health track. And they win the award for best hashtag for Health SXSW.
First prize for best hashtag.
March 9, 2018 5:00PM-6:00PM | Hilton Austin 400-402
Rasu Shrestha, Tal Heppenstall, Pamela Peele, UPMC | Mike McSherry, Xealth
When you think of funding the future, hospitals may not immediately come to mind. But some are changing their role in healthcare in unexpected ways and taking on a new, bold challenge: becoming strategic investors. The panel will discuss how UPMC selects start-ups for its pilot program and leverages its clinical, operational and tech resources to accelerate advancement in health. The panel will also include a start-up founder transforming healthcare today.
March 9, 2018, 5:00PM – 6:00PM | Austin Convention Center 8ABC
Silvia Vergani, IDEO | Laurie Segall, CNN | Danielle Schlosser, Google Verily | George Goldsmith, Compass Pathways
Fascinating innovations are happening in mental health. Designers are challenging what it means to experience care and reshaping how we measure impact in patients’ lives. Tech companies are putting doctors in your pocket and globally transforming lives. Meanwhile psychedelic research, once banned, is making a comeback. Drugs like psilocybin (shrooms) can potentially treat anything from distress in advanced cancer patients to alcoholism. Come experience the radical future of mental health.
March 10, 2018, 11:00PM – 12:00PM | Austin Convention Center Ballroom D
Michael Dell, Dell | Clay Johnston, UT Dell Medical School
As a global business leader, Michael Dell transformed the way people buy and use computers. Now, as a philanthropist, he is seeking to transform the way institutions help people get and stay healthy. In this session, Dell will talk with Dr. Clay Johnston, inaugural dean of UT Austin’s Dell Medical School, about the wide variety of health projects he is supporting through the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, from grassroots-level care teams to new hospitals and academic institutions that are reshaping a city. And he will share what 30 years of tech industry lessons show about conquering the massive challenges facing health care in the US.
March 10, 2018 11:00PM – 12:00PM | Fairmont Manchester A
Nicole Shafer, Pfizer | Rebecca Nellis, Cancer and Careers | Sonia Kashuk
A desire to help a coworker with cancer is natural – knowing how is difficult. Regulations regarding workplace leave and disability define the rights of the patients and the obligations of colleagues, but they fail to help you adapt to your coworker’s new reality. This team of panelists will illustrate the dos and don’ts of addressing cancer in the workplace to better incorporate supportive behaviors and technology into the experience.
March 10, 2018 12:30PM – 1:30PM | Austin Convention Center Ballroom EFG
Daphne Koller, Calico Labs | Loic Lemeur, Leade.rs | Nell Watson, Singularity University | Adam Cheyer, Viv Labs
This powerful panel brings the kind of brainpower and authority that you want in a meeting. They’ll cover where AI is being practically applied in industry now, along with the “unexpected” applications? And, what’s next? Learn how biology and medicine are a big AI frontier and more. Not part of Health SXSW track but worth a peek.
March 10, 2018 12:30PM-1:30PM | Austin Convention Center Room 8ABC
Leslie Saxon, USC Center for Body Computing | Michael Chertoff, The Chertoff Group | Beau Woods, Atlantic Council
As technology merges with the human body via wearables, prosthetics and medical devices, security breaches become more personal and dangerous. Attaining the great promise of connected care requires attention to safety. Michael Chertoff, Leslie Saxon and Beau Woods come together for a discussion of the future of data and security. This session is sponsored by IEEE Tech for Humanity.
If Leslie Saxon alone were delivering this session it would be worth the visit. As USCs mastermind of digital health, her insight is based on the experience of someone at the bleeding edge of digital disruption.
March 10, 2018 2:00PM-3:00PM | Fairmont Wisteria
The team from Sickboy will take the Health SXSW stage this year. Sickboy Podcast is hilarious, ridiculously insightful and absolutely determined to break down the stigma associated with illness and disease. The show started with three best friends who recognized that when faced with difficult situations, illnesses and diseases, people tighten up, they get awkward, and they simply don’t know what to say. The Boys help people understand that sometimes the best way to deal with illness, disease and life is simply to laugh. Microcelebs offering a powerful mashup of advocacy and transparency.
At Health SXSW they will be joined by Andrew Palmer, a professional strongman, and Director of Engineering at Distiller, the world’s largest liquor and spirits application, and a Leukemia survivor.
March 10, 2018 3:30PM-4:30PM | Hilton Austin Salon H
Walter Issacson, The Aspen Institute
He was history’s most creative genius. What secrets can he teach us? Walter Isaacson, author of the acclaimed bestsellers Steve Jobs, Einstein, and Benjamin Franklin brings Leonardo da Vinci to life in this exciting new biography. Based on thousands of pages from Leonardo’s astonishing notebooks and new discoveries about his life and work, Isaacson weaves a narrative that connects Leonardo’s art to his science. He produced the two most famous paintings in history, The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa, but he was just as much a man of science and technology. Isaacson discusses how Leonardo’s genius was based on skills we can improve in ourselves, such as passionate curiosity, careful observation, and an imagination so playful that it flirted with fantasy.
Who in health care can’t use a little of this?
March 10, 2018 4:00PM – 6:00PM | Design Institute for Health, UT Dell Medical School, 1701 Trinity Street
Handles & hashtags: @DesignInHealth
While Health SXSW 2018 is a powerhouse of high level health thinking, you won’t find heavy programming on how to prepare the next generation of physicians for the world we all imagine. So be sure to head over to the Design Institute for Health SXSW Open House sponsored by Stacey Chang and his team.
The Design Institute for Health is a first-of-its-kind institute born from the radical collaboration between Dell Medical School and the College of Fine Arts at The University of Texas at Austin. It was established because health is one of the last frontiers to embrace design as a creative, human-centered approach to defining and solving problems.
Through design, this fascinating group is poking every aspect of ourhealth system to make it work better for people. They use creative problem-solving methods to deeply understand the needs of patients and providers, generate fresh systemic approaches and rapidly prototype and realize solutions.
March 10, 5:00PM-6:00PM | Courtyard Marriott
Mark Jacobsohn, Sandra Marshal, Booz Allen | David Rhew, Samsung | Alisha Greenberg, Rounding Third, LLC
Take control of our biggest health crises through a new virtual reality. Immersive technologies can guide your brain to truly feel and experience new adventures, while focusing on treating your mental and physical challenges. As a nation, we’re trying to address some of the biggest enemies to our population health – obesity, opioid addiction, PTSD, depression and anxiety, or just general stress management.
Pink Socks Run
March 11, 2018 7:30AM – 8:30AM | Lady Bird Lake
For the early pink socks wearing runners, this is a great place to catch up with health SXSW folks and get your work out in. More information as I get it.
Pink Socks Meetup
March 11, 2018 10:00AM – 12:00AM | Jo’s Coffee Downtown
More pink socks. Only this time it’s with coffee. This is likely to be a great networking event for health SXSW rabble-rousers. More information as I get it.
March 11, 2018 9:00-6:30PM | Max’s Wine Dive
This two-day gathering of influencers, investors, and innovators will highlight the health tech solutions of today, and search for the next startup success in a Barracuda Bowl pitch.
March 11, 2018, 11:00AM – 12:00PM | Hilton Austin Salon H
Dean Kamn, BioFabUSA
Dean Kamen, world-renown inventor, humanitarian and Founder of DEKA Research & Development and FIRST® has just unleashed “ARMI,” an organization that is turning advancements in regenerative medicine into a full-scale biofabrication industry. Explore a future where the mass production of human kidneys, livers, and lungs, fabricated on demand from the recipients’ own cells becomes an everyday reality — saving lives and curing chronic conditions. Part of the IEEE Tech for Humanity Series.
March 11, 2018 11:00AM-1200PM | JW Marriott Room 209
Verena Kalhoff, UT Dell Medical School
Success of healthcare innovation depends on user acceptance, product features and workflow integration. Using agile development and enlisting end users as testers will reveal issues, improvements and additional features during test sessions. Iterating through the development process towards a viable product is essential to success. Join fellow entrepreneurs, developers, designers and clinicians as we explore the why, who and how of engaging clinical end users in healthcare innovation.
March 11, 2018 3:30PM -4:30PM | Austin Convention Center 6AB
Richard Dizerega, Microsoft
I’ve always said that EHRs will make the move from historic documents to real-time dashboards. Get an inside view into how developers are using a new generation of chat-based collaboration platforms to design and implement real-time workflows with EHRs like Epic, Cerner and Allscripts. During this session you’ll see how an EHR integration solution uses deep integration with existing platforms along with careful documentation to take the mystery out of clinical data exchange.
March 11, 2018 3:30PM-4:30PM | Manchester Fairmont CD
Daniel Kraft, Singularity University
Daniel Kraft strikes again! From Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) to Intelligence Augmentation (I.A.), Kraft will explore the cutting edge and potential for intelligent technologies to reshape the future of medicine. Healthcare is still based on intermittent data and a reactive ‘sickcare’ mindset. With the explosion of new data sources, ranging from personal omics, to wearable digital health exhaust and IoT, AI & Machine Learning has the potential to catalyze far more continuous, proactive and personalized healthcare.
March 11, 2018, 3:30PM -4:30PM | JW Marriott Room 209
Beyond the parties, meet ups create some of the best networking opps at SXSW. This Meet up is for anyone working in or interested in the intersection of AI and health.
There are hardly two industries that are evolving faster than healthcare and AI. Whether it’s predicting epidemics, analyzing DNA, driving medical diagnoses, benchmarking norms, translating languages, comparing outcomes, or analyzing the descriptions of patient symptoms, it’s clear that the future of healthcare diagnostics, delivery and prediction rests with AI.
AI is poised to become embedded in every aspect of healthcare diagnostics, delivery, operations and consumer health. AI has already started transforming transportation and logistics with autonomous vehicles; now the same is about to happen with AI and healthcare. But what role will AI ultimately play? Will nurses be replaced by robots, radiologists by machines, doctors by chatbots, and diagnostics by an embedded chip or wearable? Or, will AI simply enable and magnify human capabilities for healthcare delivery? What part of healthcare ‘should’ remain human?
HealthTech Invaders Happy Hour
March 12, 2018 7:00PM – 11:00PM | Stubbs BBQ
More information to come.
March 12, 2018, 9:30AM – 12:30PM | Austin Convention Center Room 18ABCD
Advancements in biotech promise to transcend human limitations and end disability as we know it; from optogenetic interfaces with the human nervous system to synthetic appendages that move and feel like biological counterparts! This IEEE panel will discuss how we’ll soon connect our biology with technology more seamlessly than ever before, extending and transcending human physicality, cognition, creativity and sensory abilities.
March 13, 2018, 9:30AM – 10:30AM | JW Marriott
Bon Ku, Thomas Jefferson University | Joni Saylor, IBM
Any session that begins with the description ‘healthcare sucks’ is worth checking out. Doctors spend more time charting on computers than with their patients. Patient gowns expose your backside. And hospitals still use fax machines. Why is the experience of health care so bad? A growing trend has seen the use of design thinking and the hiring of designers as a core strategy for companies to spark innovation. Design thinking has become a buzzword in business. Some call it as a fad; others use it for creative problem solving. But can better design really fix health care and make us healthier? Learn how design is being used to change the culture of business and medicine.
Anyone in healthcare not tuning in to the work and thinking of Bon Ku is officially irrelevant in my book. I’ll see you there.
March 14, 2018, 11:00AM – 12:00PM | The Fairmont Austin, Ballroom C
Robin Thurston, Helix | Rajeev Venkayya, Takeda
So this program is part of the W2O Partner Programming track which is focused on branding and marketing. W2O has pulled together some of the heaviest hitters on the planet to share what they know. Despite the emphasis on marketing, much of this track is applicable to health. In fact, I’d call the W2O/SXSW partner programming one of the hidden gems of Interactive. This session specifically will explore emerging technology’s role in the healthcare experience.
Miss the W2O track at your own peril.
March 14, 2018 12:30PM-1:30PM | JW Marriott Salon E
John Bass, Hashed Health | Beth Breeden, Lipscomb University | Dominique Hurley, Healthverity | Aaron Symansky, Change Healthcare
This panel will show how companies are coming together to reimagine and build new economies and transaction networks. This panel will examine the current state of blockchain and discuss how specific use cases are helping the healthcare system in 2018 and beyond. The use case discussion will focus on patient identity, provider identity, and payments. Innovative solutions in these areas solve problems in today’s marketplace while setting the stage for future disruptive solutions.
March 15, 2018 11:00AM – 12:00PM | Hilton Austin Room 400 – 402
Power advocates like Betsy Furler are making sure that tech advances in those with varying abilities is represented. We rely on our phones for everything from booking hotels to finding the best tacos in Austin. Innovators are working to bring the efficiencies of tech to users of all abilities, with programs that can help a blind father cook or a deaf musician record an album. Tech has revolutionized disability access, and developers and creators are exploring ways to enhance user experience across abilities and platforms. This panel discusses why accessibility in tech is important and why more must be done.
The attention on advancements like those represented in this panel are an important part of Health SXSW. Remarkably one of the few health presentations with formal representation from Apple. A piece on Sarah Herrlinger and her SXSW appearance on 9to5 Mac.
Tips for a powerful Health SXSW experience
In conclusion, here are a few of my favorite tips for a great experience:
- Don’t overlook the exhibit hall. Some of the most amazing new products show on the exhibit floor. And it’s a great time to canoodle with the people behind them. It’s also great to support the people who support southby. And you’ll gets lots of great t-shirts and swag.
- Drink lots of water. Most major venues provide water coolers in the public areas. So be sure to down a few cups or fill your sports bottle. Water, sleep and exercise are the variables most likely to dictate how you feel. But water and exercise are the two you will be able to control at this always-on event.
- Expect the unexpected. Take in things that you might not otherwise think about. This is a chance to expand your mind and thinking. Get out of your comfort zone.
- Leverage the lounges. This is one of the best places outside of parties and functions to meet people when they’re not moving quickly. Introduce yourself. Some of these lounges host amazing speakers that aren’t on the SXSW program.
- What to wear. With the corporate invasion of SXSW it’s always amusing to see the occasional person in a suit. Casual rules the day. Beyond that you will look tone deaf and out of place. My dressiest look for meetings and meet ups is jeans, boots and a comfortable Tommy Bahama shirt. And don’t forget your pink socks.
For fun, here’s what I wrote about Health SXSW in 2011, the year we first had a health track.