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How We’re Innovating Healthcare from the Outside In

I’ve never actually created a bucket list, but if I had, speaking at TEDMED would be close to the top. What an honor to be invited to participate in TEDMED 2013 at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, April 16-19, 2013.

At its core, TEDMED is a celebration of human achievement and the power of connecting the unconnected in creative ways to change our world in health and medicine. I’ve been asked to do my part by participating in an entirely new type of TEDMED session.

Instead of the usual session with one person telling a 15 to 20-minute story, on the morning of Thursday, April 18th, TEDMED and Big Think have co-curated two discussions about what drives innovation, and how to drive it faster and farther.

The first, “Shifting the Curve from Start to Scale to Exit: Lessons from the Trajectory of Innovation,” will examine the lifecycle of healthcare innovation across three stages from the insider perspective of entrepreneurs, investors and institutional stakeholders.

It will be moderated by Juan Enriquez, chairman and CEO of Biotechonomy LLC, and a bestselling author, businessman and academic.

The second discussion, “Every Company is a Healthcare Company: Innovating from the Outside In,” is the one I’ll be participating in and it looks at how innovation is being driven by outside forces, opportunity and necessity.

It will be moderated by Jeff DeGraff, professor of Management and Organizations at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. Joining me on the panel will be Jennifer Kurkoski, director of Google’s People & Innovation Lab (PiLab) and Geeta Nayyar, MD, the chief medical information officer for AT&T, helping guide the company’s ForHealth portfolio strategy.

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to what I can contribute to the discussion. Understand that I’m new to the healthcare industry as a profession (although having suffered more than my share of sports injuries, I will take credit for being a very experienced patient). I’ve spent most of my professional career building and running technology-enabled service businesses in the telecom industry. I’m one of the people who think they can bring disciplines from another industry into healthcare to make a positive difference. My type isn’t always warmly welcomed, and is often flat out mistrusted by people in the healthcare system. I respect their concern and hope to bring a message of collaboration between multiple industries. After all, according to a recent study by Price Waterhouse Cooper, 76% of the industry-diverse Fortune 50 companies have some health care industry connection.

So many other industries have benefitted from digital technologies. I believe that sensors that capture health data, secure cloud networks that house that data, and health analytics that can make sense of the data and turn it into actionable information, all hold great promise for reducing the out-of-control cost of care in the developed world and increasing access to high quality care to all corners of the earth.

I’m looking forward to sharing how Qualcomm Life is working toward these ends by creating millions of Healthcare Hotspots around the world to capture the data, building the Wireless Health Network to securely transport and house the data, and enabling the Healthy Developers’ Platform that allows developers and service providers to build their health apps and solutions.

Hope to see you there, and if you can’t make TEDMED this year, follow the conversation on Twitter by following @boostrapped (my own account) or @QualcommLife and tagging tweets with #TEDMED. 

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