With technology in place, or on the way, conference will air issues
aimed at overcoming barriers to wider global adoption
SAN DIEGO – April 23, 2014 – The Wireless-Life Sciences Alliance (WLSA) said today that its ninth annual Convergence Summit here next month will focus on achieving broader global adoption of technology-enabled health care at a time when the pace of innovation in connected health and personal health solutions is accelerating.
“The technology sector has ‘discovered’ the health care market, so tech is not the problem; we have an adoption issue,” said WLSA President and CEO Robert B. McCray. “We have the tools and knowledge to fix a broken healthcare model. Now we need to overcome the barriers to the adoption of connected health so ‘engaged health consumers’ throughout the world will realize the benefits that technology is poised to deliver. The emergence of the engaged health consumer movement and its impact on the health care system will be the key theme of this year’s conference.”
McCray said barriers to adoption are the result of a culture of patient dependency on an opaque health care system that is not sufficiently accountable for its costs, quality or health outcomes. Key barriers include a transactional financial model that rewards volume not quality, anti-competitive laws that that favor clinicians over patients, and technology regulatory structures that cannot keep up with the pace of technological achievement. Innovators are empowering consumers and patients with tools of “health democratization” such as:
- Devices that enable a consumer to accurately diagnose many diseases at home;
- Information about the quality and cost of hospitals and doctors to enable informed choices;
- More convenient places for care, such as retail pharmacies; and,
- Internet-based tools that empower individuals to play a meaningful role and sometimes discover the cause of their own disease before the health care system does.
WLSA’s Convergence Summit May 14 – 16 at the Omni San Diego Hotel will convene several hundred subject-matter experts and companies that share a desire to see connected health applications adopted more broadly, thereby transforming the delivery and cost of delivering essential healthcare. The May 14 session is for WLSA members, while the May 15-16 sessions are open to the public.
More than 30 CEOs will be included among the thought leaders speaking at this year’s conference. Among the speakers are:
- Jeff Arnold, a creative visionary in healthcare, technology and media who founded WebMD, is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sharecare, the online health and wellness engagement platform he created with Dr. Mehmet Oz. Sharecare helps people live healthier lives by connecting them to personalized resources including local healthcare providers, high-quality information from experts, interactive programs and clinical decision support tools, including its iOS-exclusive app AskMD. A successful serial entrepreneur, Arnold also founded HowStuffWorks, which he sold to Discovery Communications, and Quality Diagnostic Services, acquired by Matria Healthcare. Arnold will present a keynote entitled “Unlocking Human Potential Through Population Health Management.”
- Dr. Leroy Hood, MD, PhD, President and Co-founder of the Institute for Systems Biology. The outstanding contributions of Dr. Hood have had a resounding effect on the advancement of science since the 1960s. Dr. Hood was involved in the development of five instruments critical for contemporary biology, which opened the door to high throughput biological data and the era of big data in biology and medicine. Dr. Hood is now pioneering new approaches to P4 medicine—predictive, preventive, personalized and participatory -- and most recently has embarked on creating a P4 pilot project on 100,000 well individuals that is transforming healthcare. Dr. Hood has founded or co-founded 15 different biotechnology companies including Amgen, Applied Biosystems, Rosetta, Darwin, Integrated Diagnostics and Indi Molecular.
- Ralph Simon, CEO of Mobilium Global Limited and a world-renowned innovator in wireless applications. In late 2013, Mobilium Africa launched the first comprehensive pan-African mobile health-delivery network and wellness platform known as Smart Health Hub. Mobilium Africa has licensed Smart Health Hub to Samsung to help operationalize the network across several African countries. The Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria is an official participant in Smart Health Hub, which has the support of the World Health Organization.
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About Wireless-Life Sciences Alliance (WLSA)
The Wireless-Life Sciences Alliance (WLSA) is a special-purpose trade organization committed to accelerating the adoption of innovative healthcare technologies. Our community includes CEOs, senior-level executives, entrepreneurs, companies of all sizes, foundations, educational institutions, scientists, physicians, and policy makers. The WLSA is dedicated to creating value and improving health, globally, by stimulating the implementation of technologies that empower consumers and innovative institutions. WLSA partners and companies all over the world are using wireless and connected health innovations to better manage chronic conditions, pre-empt disease and improve the lives of the elderly and under-served populations.