The Digital Health Summer Summit: Highlights of the Transformation of Healthcare

Jul 13, 2015, 12:16 ET from Living in Digital Times

SAN FRANCISCO, July 13, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The fourth annual Digital Health Summer Summit, produced by Living in Digital Times and co-hosted by the Center for Digital Health Innovation at UCSF, brought together digital health innovators, entrepreneurs, industry experts, investors, and influencers who shared solutions to some very vexing healthcare challenges. The two-day conference included a variety of educational panel sessions, a tour of three labs and an interactive digital playground. It took place on June 18-19th in San Francisco.

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The Digital Health Summer Summit provided an opportunity for out-of-the-box thinkers to propose strategies that will help the healthcare establishment adapt to the changing healthcare environment, showcase transformative partnerships and tackle pressing topics that have the greatest impact on health.

"Everyone was in agreement that digital health startups have a valuable role in not only bridging the divide between the healthcare establishment and the patient but also forcing a new level of provider accountability," stated Jill Gilbert, producer of the Digital Health Summer Summit. "Our attendees were able to exchange ideas on how to deal with the modern business challenges facing digital health as well as hot topics and trends in this space."

Some of the hot topics addressed at the Digital Health Summer Summit included:

Sensors and devices will lead to positive health behavior changes:
Some of the common challenges in busy medical practices are how to engage and connect patients to their support networks and more intimately with their medical care providers. Another challenge is how to get data acquired and synthesized in ways that is actionable.

"Today, the boundary between consumer and patient is becoming increasingly blurred. Patients want products that give comfort and bring in the design element that people like to have and yet have the accuracy and reliability of medical devices," stated Marco Peluso, CEO, Qardio, Inc.

For more information, please check out the Transformative Partnership session.   

Health data and privacy issues:
It is a very rapidly changing regulatory landscape. The state of play is in flux and can often be confusing. A lot of attention is being placed on vendor practices so they are taking the right steps to comply with relevant laws and regulations.

In terms of data security, the healthcare industry is about 10 years behind the financial services industry.

"Financial services invests approximately 15 percent of its IT budget on security while the healthcare industry spends about four percent so there is a lower level of maturity with a higher level of risk," stated Joe Bengfort, Chief Information Officer, UCSF.

"Data security and privacy is complicated and a relationship between the covered entity and the data provider is something that needs to be worked on together and is an important lesson for every developer," said Doug Foster, CEO, DigiSight Technologies.

For more information, please visit the session on Disentangling the Gordian Knot: Privacy and Compliance.

The worth of technology:
What is it worth depends if it is a patient, a ROI- an investor measures it in terms of time for healthcare or a provider. There are more questions than answers.

"Particularly working with Samsung I think about consumers. From the perspective of the user a lot of the products in the market today are not accompanied by a level of service so how does one get the value out of a product if they don't know how to use it or get it started? This really reduces the value of the technology as they will abandon it," stated Sarah Jane Militello, Director of Operations, UCSF/Samsung Digital Health Innovation Lab.

"Usability and customer appeal will determine the value to the user. The value increases if my technology fits into their lives with a minimum amount of effort," Bill Evans, President, Bridge Design.

To get a better understanding of the worth of technology, please visit the session on What's Your Technology Worth.

Transformative partnerships:
Transformative partnerships are the quickest way to get to effective healthcare solutions. However, they are hard. One must ask if there are enough resources and make sure the goals aligned. For more information on this session, please visit Transformative Partnership session.

"Sometimes it is trial by fire very early on. One must be really clear on what the metrics for success looks like. If it is a research study, what is that path to success? We have had to walk away from a lot of deals. A successful partnership is with Kaiser. We didn't get it right early. We learned through the process as both sides were trying to discover what is needed to integrate digital health into the mental health system," stated Karan Singh, Co-Founder,

"UCSF's focus is on leveraging our relationships, looking for many more startups. We went through over 150 startups in the last 18 months. We are forming new large partnerships as there is lots to be done in this space. We are revamping our processes on how we work with startups so we can nurture them through the process," Michael Blum, MD, Associate Vice Chancellor for Informatics, Professor of Medicine in Cardiology, Chief Medical Information Officer UCSF. For more on this session, please visit, Keynote Address.

The following company announcements were made during the Digital Health Summer Summit:

Qardio launched Dr. Dashboard. It allows doctors to have all their patient's data in one place so it is easier to extract information out of all the monitoring devices.

PokitDok introduced its Identity Management System. This system can integrate multiple provider identity systems, typically Electronic Medical Record systems. It is designed to identify, map and merge patient information for more personalized care., the virtual nurse platform for patient engagement and chronic disease monitoring, announced that it raised $2.2 million in a Series A round of funding. 

Change in health, technology and design:
Yves Behar, CEO, fuseproject; Chief Creative Officer Jawbone, Co-founder, spoke about the role of technology and design in the healthcare ecosystem. One must abandon the mindset that design is a luxury to a wakeup call that design isn't superfluous as it can create efficiencies in the healthcare system.   

"What I am looking for is what will be that breakthrough that will show the world what design can change the experience of healthcare," stated Yves Behar, CEO, fuseproject; Chief Creative Officer Jawbone, Co-founder.

For more from Yves' interview, watch the whole video here.

The Digital Health Summer Summit brought together many of the leading health tech investors and is a key driver of investment, innovation and partnerships. 

Digital health is growing up and with that maturation comes growing pains and opportunities to change the way both consumers and practitioners will experience healthcare. The debates, discussions, interactive exhibits and keynote speech all underscored comprehensive trends in digital health space. For more information, please visit.

About Living in Digital Times
Founded by veteran technology journalist Robin Raskin, Living in Digital Times brings together the most knowledgeable leaders and the latest innovations impacting both technology and lifestyle.  It helps companies identify and act on emerging trends, create compelling company narratives, and do better business through strong network connections.  Living in Digital Times produces technology conferences, exhibits and events at the International CES and other locations throughout the year by lifestyle verticals.  Core brands include Digital Health Summit, FitnessTech Summit, Lifelong Tech, Kids@Play Summit, Family Tech Summit, TransformingEDU, MommyTech TV, Wearables and FashionWare runway show, Mobile Apps Showdown, Last Gadget Standing, Battle of the Bands, Robots on the Runway and the KAPi Awards.  The company also works with various foundations and manages the Appreneur Scholar awards program for budding mobile entrepreneurs.  For more information, visit and keep up with our latest news on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

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