The culmination of FutureMed began with a thought-provoking session on “re-inventions and reframings.” The first speaker of the day was Lucien Engelen, Director of the Radbound Reshape & Innovation Center and Curator of multiple TEDx events. His discussion reiterated a consistent theme of the week: improving patient engagement. Englen prompted us to imagine an ecosystem where all medical devices and health data are centralized into one system incorporating both patient and clinician-facing components.
Next up was Dr. Jack Kreindler, Founder and CMO of Jointly Health and self-styled “Imperial Physician.” Kreindler’s highly animated presentation included a clip from the main Star Wars theme song, a convincing argument that Darth Vader was a paragon of exponential medicine, and a reenactment of how Kreindler learned to shoot lightning from his hands like a Sith lord from none other than “Emperor Palpatine” himself, Ian McDiarmid. Entertaining antics aside, Kreindler elaborated on the value of high speed data for applications including remote patient monitoring and analytics to proactively detect deteriorating health states before they being to detract from quality of life. The energetic talk concluded by touching on how Jointly Health, in collaboration with Qualcomm Life, harnesses big data and analytics to make “information actionable.”
The final speaker of the session was geo-medicine expert Bill Davenhall, Senior Health Adviser at Esri. According to Davenhall, information on where patients have previously and currently live is just as important as standard health metrics to include in patient health records. Factors such as toxic runoff, mercury concentration, and ozone levels all exhibit geographic variability and are important for doctor consideration during diagnosis and treatment selection. Davenhall presented data showing that geographic location can even affect the prescription a patient can expect to receive for a given medical condition. Moving towards increased patient awareness of geographic health factors, Esri’s own My Place History iOS and PC app allows patients to upload the last twenty places they lived within the US. The app compares the patient’s geographic history to publicly available government databases, including the Toxic Release Inventory of the US EPA, to create a “personal place history.”
Following a quick break, session fifteen began with Glen Tullman, Managing Partner of 7wire Ventures and co-founder of Zest Health. Tullman motivated the session by discussing the progression of health information systems that have ultimately given rise to our current model of electronic health records (EHRs). A key takeaway was the necessity and value of pivots. Tullman elaborated using his experience as former CEO of Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, describing how Allscripts is evolving from a data aggregator to a tool that can suggest alternatives for treatment and management and provide real-time, integrated information. Recent pivots toward this goal include Allcripts’ collaboration with Humedica to focus on analytics, and acquisitions of dbMotion and JarDogs to improve engagement of patients and providers.
Veteran disruptors Laurence Ainouz, SVP Chief Innovation Officer at Teva Pharmaceuticals, John Mattison, and Dan Kraft then joined Tullman onstage for a short panel session on lessons learned.
While Ainouz discussed disruption in pharmaceuticals, Mattison weighed in with a warning to innovators against prematurely lining up a business case and revenue model before focusing on the customer. His advice: solve problems, make life better for people, and provide value.
After a short break, the final keynote speaker of the conference, James Heyworth, took the stage. Heyworth is the founder and former CEO of the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI), a non-profit biotechnology organization driven to developing treatments for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The first half of Heyworth’s talk focused on his emotional motivation for ALS TDI, which began when his younger brother Stephen was diagnosed with ALS. Heyworth’s investigation into the options available for managing his brother’s disease revealed a disturbing fact: as much as 80% of ALS research outcomes could not be replicated, making much of the support for ALS clinical trials statistically unsubstantiated.
Heyworth raised the question of how we can move forward when there are faults in the data at the heart of our assumptions. The fact that ALS, considered one of the best-researched medical conditions, might have no real supportable data drove Heyworth to establish ALS TDI in 1999 with the aim to champion a new model of disease research based outside of academia and for-profit organizations. Heyworth’s story was captured by author Jonathan Weiner in His Brother’s Keeper and by the PBS documentary So Much So Fast. Heywood’s discussion also touched on his work as co-founder of PatientsLikeMe, an online resource for disease-specific medical information. The tool allows patients to track their diseases and share this information with others dealing with the same conditions. PatientsLikeMe disrupts the current system of clinical trials with patient-driven databases that provide insight into the efficacy of specific treatments.
FutureMed 2013 ended on a high note with a performance by this year’s resident singer, songwriter Eoin Harrington. Over the course of the conference, Harrington crowdsourced material from conference attendees resulting in the catchy FutureMed 2013 theme song, “3D Me Baby.”
Overall, FutureMed 2013 (Part 2) turned out to be an “exponentially” excellent experience. The venue-upgrade and high density of thought provoking, disruptive innovators combined to deliver a polished, well-run event. As we depart from sunny San Diego, we are reminded of a quote from earlier today by Glen Tullman, “This is the future of healthcare, this is the end of the beginning.” This week, FutureMed has been an incubator of ideas and collaborations. We look forward to seeing how attendees use this catalyst as an inspiration to become the next wave of innovators in healthcare and medicine.
Look out for announcements regarding SU’s new series of “Exponential” conferences beginning next year.
Previous coverage: FutureMed Day 1: ‘FutureMed’ Is Out, ‘Exponential Medicine’ Is In; FutureMed Day 2: Empowered Patients and Data-Driven Health Care; FutureMed Day 3: From Google’s Science Fair Winner to Microsoft’s Top MD
Link: FutureMed homepage…