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Health IT at SXSW – What Can Healthcare Learn?

Posted on March 14, 2016 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

It’s been fun to watch the evolution of healthcare at SXSW. When I first went 4 years ago (wow, I can’t believe that was 4 years ago), healthcare was just trying to find its place in the mass of a conference that is SXSW. I was one of the judges for the health IT startup pitch competition and healthcare had graduated to having its own campus at SXSW. However, the sessions were pretty light and there weren’t that many of the people you’d expect in healthcare IT to be there.

4 years later, some of the people you’d really want at the event aren’t there, but some very interesting startup healthcare IT companies are at the event. Plus, thanks to things like IoT (Internet of Things) and the interest in wearables, SXSW has done a good job featuring many of the health tech startup companies which fit into those larger trends. In fact, health is often one of the biggest parts of these larger trends.

There are so many healthcare IT conferences out there to choose from so I understand why many in healthcare don’t venture to the insanity that is SXSW. Plus, I think that it’s hard for many in healthcare to realize that SXSW is more than just a music festival (something that’s not been true for a long time) and more importantly to convince their bosses that they’re not just going to Austin to have fun.

I personally think that some of the ethos and culture of SXSW are what’s needed in healthcare. One of the key experiences that SXSW tries to cultivate is the mixing of various creative cultures in order to spark new and surprising creativity. That means that sometimes a tech startup entrepreneur will be spending time with a musician or film executive. This mixing of cultures can lead each person to surprising new insights into their business. The startup entrepreneur might find a new way to attract an audience for their product based on something the musician does to spread his music. The musician might learn about new tech that could create new layers to their music from the startup entrepreneur. You get the idea.

Healthcare could benefit from some outside influence. Just to be clear. This doesn’t mean that you throw out the culture that you know. Definitely not. It does mean you get exposure to another culture that can help expand your thinking. Over time we all get somewhat narrow minded in our thinking. Exposure to new ideas helps to expand our minds.

The same is even true within different departments in healthcare. How often does your lab interact with radiology or radiology with your ED or your pharmacy with your clinicians? If you work in a hospital you know what I’m talking about. We get stuck in our ruts and often don’t leave them. It’s nice and comfortable in our ruts and so we don’t see why we should leave them. That’s poison to an organization that wants to innovate. Take a lesson from SXSW and cultivate experiences and opportunities for different cultures to mix and learn from each others unique perspectives and experiences.

Meaningful Use, HIMSS, and mHealth Updates – Around Healthcare Scene

Posted on March 17, 2013 I Written By

Katie Clark is originally from Colorado and currently lives in Utah with her husband and son. She writes primarily for Smart Phone Health Care, but contributes to several Health Care Scene blogs, including EMR Thoughts, EMR and EHR, and EMR and HIPAA. She enjoys learning about Health IT and mHealth, and finding ways to improve her own health along the way.

Meaningful Use standards prove to be a headache time and time again. For small hospitals, doing their best to implement an EHR and then meet standards may not be enough. And the consequences can be dire — they may not receive their incentive money, and are left worse off than before they purchased the EHR.

And with the recent sequestration, will Meaningful Use incentives be slashed? An editorial by Tom Sullivan discusses the possibility, and talks with Scott Lundstrom, group vice president of consultancy at IDC’s Health Insight Unit. Lundstrom suggests some reason to worry. Anne Zieger analyzes the editorial and chimes in her thoughts about how health IT may have something to worry about soon.

Because HIMSS 13 just finished, there were a few posts about some of the information from the conference here at Healthcare Scene. Mandi Bishop attended and gives an overview of her experience over at EMR and HIPAA. She compares it to the Wizard of Oz, and discovering that the main behind the curtain is simply that.

At another conference, SXSW, John was able to meetup with one of his hospital colleagues, and showed that you may run into anyone at a conference. They can be great networking opportunities, and being able to meet with others allows you to find out about different products and services.

In the smartphone and tablet world, here’s an app you’ll want to download. One way to be healthier is limiting one’s sodium intake. The Mayo Clinic  revealed that while the average person should not have more than 2,300 mg of sodium a day, most Americans get around 3,400 mg. Sodium 101 was created to help people make smarter choices, and understand the amount of sodium they are getting each day. Excess sodium can lead to weight loss and a host of other problems, including many auto immune diseases, so this is an important topic.

On the subject of weight loss, a recent study has found that financial incentives inspire weight loss. The participants in the incentive groups were given a sum of money for meeting their health goals, but also were required to pay a certain sum to a pool that participants were entered to win in the end.

Health Sensors Panel at SXSW

Posted on March 13, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

If you’ve been following @ehrandhit on Twitter, then you know that I’ve spent the past few days at the SXSW conference in Austin. It’s been quite the experience and I’ll no doubt write a lot more about my experience at the conference. For now, let’s take a look at many of the top takeaways from the health sensors panel.


While this doesn’t necessarily apply to sensors, I found it interesting that only 5 people raised their hands when asked who in the audience were patients. It’s kind of a stupid question since we’re all patients. I think most of us that heard the question assumed he meant patient advocate or possibly chronic patient. At least I bet that the 5 that raised their hands fit into those categories. Someone on Twitter said that maybe it’s because many of us don’t see ourselves as patients since we’re “healthy.”


Fascinating to consider all the data that our brain is processing. Plus, it should give us hope for what is possible with sensors. Needless to say, we have a long way to go.


This is really sad to consider and applies to many diseases. I think they’re point was that sensors can help us get at some of these diseases.


I’d never consider integrating environmental sensors in your healthcare. Those sensors could be indicators of why our health suffers. Interesting idea.


Seriously amazing technology…assuming it really works. I love people trying even if it doesn’t work out.


This was an important takeaway from my time at the mHealth Summit. We need new study methodologies that match the speed with which we can collect data using sensors and other tech.


I can’t wait for data to point out when we’re lying to ourselves and others.


People always say the wrong thing about Watson. At least right now, it’s not diagnosing. It’s just assisting and supporting the diagnosis.


This is definitely true and we haven’t even started to tap into the health data that’s possible. We’re going to need some amazing technology created to be able to make sense and filter the data down to only what matters.


It’s amazing how important the context is to the data. This is part of the challenge with the Watson technology and the volume of data mentioned above.


This is a fascinating differentiation. I think we’ll see this start to merge over time, but it is interesting to consider the various types of sensors and their intended use. I think until now we’ve focused mostly on sensors for disease. The idea of sensors for health is still such a nascent field of study.