#SXSWHealth & MedTech Recap

March 21, 2016

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Lead Copywriter


We had a blast at SXSW this year and were reminded of the incredible innovation coming out of the healthcare world.

Health was a big component of SXSW Interactive this year, with a SXSW Health & MedTech expo taking place over the weekend and hourly dedicated health-related panels at the JW Marriott.

Here are a few of our highlights from the festival:

1.) Invest for Health was a really exciting three-part panel with networking sessions in between. The panels brought together some of healthcare’s most influential players- Jonathan Bush, CEO and Founder of Athena Health, Mark Ganz, President and CEO of Cambia Health Solutions and Iya Khalil, EVP and Co-Founder of GNS Healthcare– as they discussed ways to transform the healthcare system. Bush, who bemoaned that faxes and other unnecessary paperwork still burden our doctors, called for a revolution in the healthcare system: “Do unto healthcare as Uber did for car services.” Learn more about the panels here, here and here.

2.) Oscar Health had a mechanical bull and it was glorious.

oscar health sxsw 2016

3.) We noticed at the expo that Health Advocates are big this year, as is API for health systems. We met the fantastic folks behind Exhale Health Advocates and PokitDok Business Solutions.

4.) We also found this at the expo: a wand that removes histamines and sulfites from red wine. (It was by far the most popular booth at the expo.)

the wand red wine sxsw 2016

5.) VR was huge at SXSW Interactive, with it even trickling in to the health portion. At the expo, several VR companies were suggesting that VR could be a meditation tool in the workplace.

6.) We got on the Mr. Robot the was set up in downtown Austin and we were really happy we had health insurance (oooh, that was scary).

mr. robot ferris wheel sxsw 2016

7.) Standout panels included Hacking the Brain to Treat Paralysis, where we met Ian, a man paralyzed man who can now move his limbs thanks to a chip planted in his brain, and We the People: Healthcare and the 2016 Election, hosted by Jane Adams, Senior Director of Federal Affairs at Johnson & Johnson and Lauren Chart, Partner at PTV Healthcare Capital.

8.) Wearables are hot this year, with several panels focusing on how wearables can impact health. Though we didn’t get to see them all, panels included Wearables: The Powder Keg for a Health Revolution, Wearables in Health: In Theory and in Practice and CDT/Fitbit: Ethics and Privacy in Wearable Research.