Highlights from the 2016 Innovation Conference

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Highlights from the 2016 Innovation Conference

Health Technology Forum (HTF) held its fifth annual Innovation Conference at Stanford back in May, with this year’s focus on the “Common Good” of the health technology industry bringing in dozens of speakers seeking to innovate under the themes of compassion and empathy.

At its heart, the conference was not like others of its kind – rather than being strictly anatomical and technical, it tended more toward discussion about the care side of the health industry. It focused on how to improve the lives of people in need with new practices in public health, community care and sustainability. It featured keynotes by mental health specialists like Victoria Maxwell, CEO of Crazy for Life Co, and businesswomen like Busy Burr, Head of Humana Health Ventures, which helps link patients to insurers to make the cost of their care easier to bear. There were panels about women’s breakthroughs in the health technology industry. Speakers like Dr. David Smith, founder of the Haight Ashbury Free Medical Clinic, whose idea that healthcare is a right, not a privilege, truly typified what the conference was about.



Pronoy Saha, CEO and founder of HTF, said the 2016 Innovation Conference was about collaborating to figure out how to help medically underserved and underrepresented populations. Working with the understanding that HTF isn’t the only organization interested in solving healthcare distribution problems, Saha initiated these yearly innovation conferences, which previously had themes like sustainability and communication. Future conferences, however, will continue to focus on this idea of a common good and the need to collaborate to provide the best service to those who need it, with agendas set to discussing population health management, lowering the cost of care, etc.

“We are not the only ones who are interested in solving the healthcare problems for the underserved,” Saha said. “There are others, and we want to collaborate with everyone who is interested in solving these vexing problems.”dsc_0009

Saha believes bringing a whole community together to figure out how to solve these problems is the only way to combat them.

“Care is very scarce, very costly, not available for the billions,” Saha said. “That’s the use-case HTF has embarked on solving by bringing on key stakeholders such as technologists, clinicians, entrepreneurs, researchers, government and non-governmental organization sources and funders to solve the most vexing problems in healthcare by exposing the use-cases of care delivery and consumption around the globe and seeking and promoting technological solutions.”


That is, he hopes these conferences act as an ecosystem developer for the medically-underserved and -underrepresented billions out there to work with those who can serve and represent them.

And with speakers coming out from such diverse sources as Intel, Microsoft, Kaiser Permanente, Astronauts4Hire, Universal Yoga Center, the Mental Health Association of San Francisco and more, it seems collaboration is an easy first step.


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