As someone who spends his time watching medicine’s collision with technology, it’s striking to see where children fit in. Or don’t fit in. Health technology favors big, nervous, healthy people with smartphones. But perhaps the winds are changing.
Case in point: The Impact Pediatric Health pitch competition. This year’s SXSW Interactive festival brings together 4 of America’s prominent children’s hospitals to unearth emerging technologies from bright, young developers. Under the watchful eye of Mark Cuban, Impact Pediatric Health will be all about the kids.
What can we pull from Impact Pediatric Health? Why is this important?
Children aren’t small adults. Technology development favors well-heeled adults who like to count their steps. But the needs of children are different. This competition puts direct emphasis on the efforts being made to advance technology use in children.
SXSW is a place for health. Once a place for insider techies, health has become central to the SXSW mission. Turning the camera to look for our most underrepresented in health care shows how SXSW and health are maturing.
Children’s hospitals have an eye on the future. While I have always suggested that innovation in this generation will come from outside of the traditional medical institutions, the organization of this competition would suggest otherwise. Leading children’s hospitals recognize the potential to innovate and disrupt care within their own institutions. If you look and listen to the organizers of Impact Pediatric Health you’ll see that children’s medicine has its eyes on the future.
The future of children’s health is not necessarily test tubes and pipettes. Having been professionally raised in America’s largest children’s hospital (Texas Children’s Hospital), I was trained understand that research is about test tubes and pipettes. We’re seeing the rise of a new space in healthcare. It involves the development and application of new technologies to advance pediatric health. This evolving concept is embodied in this program.
Known for pushing the envelope, SXSW has defined itself again as a place for change. And as a Health Track Advisory Board member to SXSW over the past 5 years I’m thrilled to see children on the big stage. Congratulations to Texas Children’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, Cincinnati Children’s, and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for moving the chains.
Join Impact Pediatric Health during SXSW on Monday March 16, 2015 at the Austin Hilton or follow the action on #kidshealth.