The Rise of Health IT at SXSW

The Rise of Health IT at SXSW

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SXSW logoIn March, the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) conference, which focuses on the latest updates in the world of music, film and interactive applications, drew business leaders and entrepreneurs from across the country together in Austin, Texas.

SXSW has become increasingly popular over the past few years, generating large crowds from diverse professional backgrounds.

SXSW logoIn March, the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) conference, which focuses on the latest updates in the world of music, film and interactive applications, drew business leaders and entrepreneurs from across the country together in Austin, Texas.

SXSW has become increasingly popular over the past few years, generating large crowds from diverse professional backgrounds. Although conference topics may vary, there is a singular theme throughout_ innovation.

Health care made an especially strong, if not completely unexpected, showing this time around. While there have been a number of health related events in SXSW’s history, this year debuted a business-pitch competition for makers of personal health apps.

With technology and health care intersecting on such a well-positioned platform, we thought it apt to fill in our readers on some of the highlights.

The SXSW Accelerator competition, which gives technology and health startups a chance to pitch their products to an audience of technology experts and members of the media, showcased devices like Kinsa’s ‘smart’ thermometer. Kinsa’s thermometer plugs into an iPhone and allows users to store recorded temperatures, the time it was taken and other symptoms. In the future, Kinsa is hoping to use their technology to also track health patterns of other users in the same geographic area in an effort to reveal health trends.

Wearable devices that track health and wellness were also a popular draw. Misfit Wearables was among the companies on hand showing off their small devices that can be embedded in workout clothes to more accurately gauge physical activity.

ThriveOn, an online service that aims to make it easier for people to get treatment for various mental health issues, was another finalist in the Accelerator pitch competition, bringing light to the breadth of services that technology can provide in the health care industry.

All told, the conference included dozens of panel discussions about the emerging role of technology in health care. In an interview with USA Today about the conference, Dr. Leslie Saxon, a cardiologist who runs the University of Southern California’s Center for Body Computing, noted that “there’s no more compelling app than one for your health or (the health of) your loved ones.” We at CNSI agree.

In fact, it is with that very sentiment in mind that CNSI developed the myHealthButton, an app that leverages the widespread use of smartphones and tablets to allow users to receive updates on key information regarding their health and health providers.

As Kinsa, Misft Wearables and ThriveOn exhibited at SXSW, digital platforms bring a wealth of opportunities in health care that we are just beginning to fully explore.

What are your favorite health care apps that debuted at SXSW this year? Tweet @CNSICorp to let us know! Follow CNSI on Twitter.

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