Digital Health Trends Beyond 2016 – San Diego, Oct. 11

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Digital Health Trends Beyond 2016 – San Diego, Oct. 11

Health Technology Forum held its first San Diego event this year on Oct. 11, staging a panel discussion on digital health trends emerging in the city over the next couple of years. While topics of discussion ranged from examining the person-centric care model, debating payment reform, looking at the care continuum, breaking down data-driven care and the consumerization of care, it all boiled down to one real point, best summarized by Dennis Robbins, Ph.D, M.P.H. CSO of DocSnap and jack of many trades: “It’s all about the person.”

Latin etymologies for “patient” span from meanings like “to wait” to those like “one who is sick.” But to Dr. Robbins, and to all those attending the meetup, a patient is much more than one who waits to become better – if you strip them of the “patient” identity.

“We expect patients to be adherent – to change their lives, become healthier and become more responsible,” Dr. Robbins said during his speech at the meetup. “My contention is – don’t expect it from the patient. The patient is passive, subservient, wounded, vulnerable and on unequal footing. The person can do anything if it matters to them, if it’s sufficient and important and if they care.”

So care ought to be person-centric, rather than patient-centric if it’s to be effective at all. According to Dr. Robbins, the healthcare industry must transition from looking at patrons as patients and instead start helping people get healthier.

The theme for the San Diego chapter’s networking event was Digital Trends Beyond 2016, with a panel moderated by Mustapha Parekh, attorney at Pillsbury LLP. The panel of distinguished speakers featured, in addition to Robbins, Brian Clay, MD, CMIO of UCSD Health; Tariq Dastagir, MD, Lead Medical Director of Humana; and HTF founder Pronoy Saha. Guests with like interests filtered through the Pillsbury offices from organizations like Scripps and Sharp, and pharmacists and entrepreneurs in attendance got the chance to both discuss topics like EHRs and the latest happenings in biotechnology, and network with one another.

The panel began with an introduction to Health Technology Forum and what the organization has been up to recently. This included a brief promotion of HTF’s new UNI platform – a social network for health- and technology-industry professionals that’s scheduled to launch soon.

Then, beginning with Saha’s overview of the top six digital trends in San Diego now, the rest of the night ensued. Dr. Robbins gave a talk about his company, DocSnap, which developed an app that allows patients – or people – to communicate with their health providers and store, receive and share medical records with all providers on one device, with no security issues. Dr. Clay, of UCSD Health, similarly spoke about how technology can be used to enable patients to be engaged in their care. Dr. Dastagir of Humana, a group that helps people find the best insurance plan for their life and health, spoke about how analytics can change how healthcare is viewed and delivered.

Some questions from the moderator and panelists cued a back and forth between Dr. Robbins and Dr. Clay about personalized medicine, and the event ended up a lively start to presumably more discussions about health technology in San Diego and more events to bring about connections between curious and well-informed professionals from many industries. Small changes in anything, and especially health care, can make huge differences in the lives of the people the industry serves – and meetups like the ones HTF puts on help build the connections that bring about those changes.

“The goal is for each of us to be able to add years to our life and life to our years,” Dr. Robbins said. “That’s what we should care about.”

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