HUBWeek Recap: What Does the Future of HealthTech Look Like?
By: Natalie Cantave, Marketing & Communications Coordinator at MassChallenge HealthTech
On October 10, 2018, healthcare leaders, entrepreneurs, and members of the Boston community gathered in downtown Boston for HUBWeek, a week-long ideas festival focused on celebrating innovation across all industries, such as art, tech, health, and more.
HUBWeek’s theme this year is “We the Future,” as they believe in celebrating an inclusive and collaborative future for artists, researchers, entrepreneurs, and others in the community to impact when they all work together. A specific focus of the event was the future of health, wellness, and medicine.
Here are our three biggest takeaways from our events at HUBWeek.
1. WOMEN WILL SHAPE THE FUTURE OF DIGITAL HEALTH
Members of the community joined some amazing female leaders who are paving the future of digital health. The talk, “Future of Digital Health and the Women Behind It” included Alexandra Pelletier, Vice President of Strategy and Growth at Medumo; Sarah Sossong, Principal at Flare Capital Partners; Rachel Sha, Vice President of Digital Health Business Development at Sanofi; and Karolina Starczak, CEO of Nutrimedy.
This panel of incredible women shared their insights about the current state of the industry, offered advice on career development, and shared ways they hope to impact the future of health.
For example, Rachel Sha hopes to see more advanced drug discovery that will improve patient outcomes, and Sarah Sossong said, “I am excited about seeing more collaborative efforts between industry leaders, such as the Mayo Clinic, with startups.” Karolina Starczak looks forward to seeing digital solutions that transform price transparency for patients.
Additionally, the female panelists discussed the potential impact women have in the industry. Alexandra Pelletier encouraged women to reach out to an executive and grab coffee to discuss their professional growth or industry trends.
These female leaders have started to pave a path to drive change within the industry, and they are hopeful to see more women who will impact health.
2. STARTUPS WILL BE KEY DRIVERS OF INNOVATION IN THE HEALTH ECOSYSTEM
“Changes in healthcare happen slowly, but changes can happen at a faster rate with the right people and willingness to innovate,” said Karolina during our panel event at HUBWeek.
Therefore, startups are needed to cause disruption and drive innovation within the industry. Startups need to be willing to innovate and differentiate themselves from others in the market to drive impact and transform health.
Sha commented, “Startups are key players in the health ecosystem because they are the ones willing to innovate.” Startups along with tech companies will play a greater role in scaling health and driving innovation. Sarah Sossong hopes to see more organizations that will work to support startups and partnerships to impact the health ecosystem.
3. IT TAKES A VILLAGE: PARTNERSHIPS WILL PLAY A KEY ROLE IN DRIVING CHANGE
Change doesn’t come easy, especially in healthcare. The panelists agreed that industry organizations and tech companies need to partner with these startups.
In the “Future of HealthTech” talk included leaders Josie Elias, Program Manager of the Digital Health Innovation Group at Brigham and Women’s Digital Innovation Hub; Adam Landman, CIO at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Brad Diephius, CEO of Herald Health.
During this fireside, the panelists shared their story of a successful partnership between Herald Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Brad Diephius shared his insights on partnering with a large healthcare stakeholder, which resulted in impacting the “data overload” problem in health.
Diephius commented: “It was important for us to partner with a hospital that was excited about our solution, and that’s why I was so excited to work with Brigham and Women’s Hospital.”
Adam Landman also discussed the benefits of partnering with a startup and offered advice for those who are looking to partner with startups in the future. Landman described that a successful partnership starts with a good fit and alignment in solving a massive challenges in health. “A good fit can’t be forced — it’s something that happens organically but once you find that it, it can truly be magical,” said Landman.
It’s certainely an exciting direction for HealthTech, and the initiatives and collaborations signal a promising future, one we can all look forward to.