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MIT Enterprise Forum to Explore ‘Digital Health: Hype or Hope?’

With advancements in technology, expansions in Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) legislation, and the crowd sharing economy opening up, the digital health opportunity is upon us. While our imaginations are the limit, digital health faces two main challenges: including the medical expert and leveraging of APIs, critical technologies that securely connect applications to each other and to the data that powers them.

Typically, digital health has relied solely on the consumer to drive the interest and confirm validation. We have already seen this challenge manifest in products on the market. Prima-Temp recently introduced a wearable device to help women who are trying to get pregnant know precisely when they are ovulating. And products like FitBit are used for a short time, only to be left behind. Without the physician involved, what's the point of knowing ovulation dates or how many steps you take each day? The expert, in this case the physician or doctor who knows the power of the newly collected data and more importantly can make that data actionable, must drive the digital health movement.

In order for the digital health agenda to succeed, we need to approach the applications and sensors in a new way, ensuring that we are making better use of APIs to deliver the ability for apps to exchange data and use that information and the security required to achieve adoption and provide experts the data cross-referencing that makes all the difference.

So what can be done about digital health?

The general public is invited to join the MIT Enterprise Forum, which will showcase the brief history of digital health’s evolution and examine what has worked and what hasn’t, Wednesday, April 15 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Cabrillo Pavilion Arts Center, 1118 E. Cabrillo Blvd. in Santa Barbara.

Jody Holtzman, head of AARP’s Thought Leadership group, will be the keynote speaker and discuss trends, challenges and success stories, as well as identify areas of market and investment promise. The panel will include scientific and business leaders from the Central Coast who are pioneering digital health technology and its applications in today’s and tomorrow’s health-care systems: Debra Lieberman, Ph.D., director of UCSB Center for Digital Games Research, and Jonathan Schooler, Ph.D., professor of psychology at UCSB and senior research director (cognition) at SelfEcho Inc.

The cost for general admission is $30 online or $40 at the door and $15 for students. Parking is $4 to $6. Registration includes appetizers and refreshments.

Click for more information and registration.

— Violet Coto is the event manager for the MIT Enterprise Forum of the Central Coast


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