As one of the first national, digital innovation conferences taking place in-person since the start of COVID-19 outbreak, there was a lot of buzz around the 2021 HLTH Conference. The HLTH theme this year was, “Dear Future – We’re Coming for You” and that idea was certainly prevalent in the discussions, topics, and panels throughout the three-day conference.
What was Discussed…
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, HLTH’s content focused on women’s health, consumer-driven health care, big retailers, and data integration. After a pandemic that has drastically changed the trajectory of what the future looks like, these themes pivoted to meet the current needs of the market, such as access to data, life sciences, care models, pharmacy, supply chain, drug development, and mental health.
There were four tracks each day, all diving deep into each of these topics and with a focus on innovation. The speakers included government officials, health care influencers, technology experts, scientists, and entrepreneurs to come together and discuss the barriers as well as accomplishments in their respective fields.
One of the leading topics discussed at the conference was the impact of the pandemic on minorities, women, and everyone’s mental health. During the opening remarks, Jody Tropeano, head of content at HLTH, mentioned there were a disproportionate number of women speakers who had to stay home due to the unbalanced work/life responsibilities during the pandemic. HLTH put together an entire track to discuss and address these issues that have surfaced.
In another pandemic inspired topic, HLTH focused narrowly on drug development. While many speakers discussed how the access to the COVID-19 vaccine allowed us to meet in person again, other speakers addressed the need to learn from our experiences to improve innovation and accelerate access to new therapeutics.
Finally, while many hospitals have already implemented telemedicine, we spent time at HLTH talking about care models of the future. From RPM (remote patient monitoring) and CCM (chronic care management) to telemedicine implementation and predictive analytics using AI/ML, hospital systems have more technology available at their fingertips – the question remains, “how will we use this to improve outcomes and reduce costs?”
What was Announced…
UPMC Enterprises portfolio company Xealth announced during the conference an investment from Trinity Health, one of the nation’s largest Catholic health care systems, demonstrating continued provider consensus in adopting digital health in a way that best engages both clinicians and patients.
In addition, Hashed Health announced an investment from Enterprises and several venture capital firms, making the company the latest addition to our portfolio. Hashed Health is a venture studio focused on improving health care delivery through blockchain and distributed ledger technologies.
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