Summing up the SXSWi held in Austin, TX from March 12-15th I’d have to say ‘opportunity’ and ‘uncertainty’ were the two words that came up the most following the Social Health sessions at this event.
Opportunity lies ahead for mHealth application development and healthcare IT, as pointed out by Tim O’Reilly, CEO of O’Reilly Media, considered to be a thought leader in emerging technology trends. At the end of his keynote interview he turned to the audience and encouraged all the entrepreneurs to seriously consider Healthcare IT for start-up opportunities there.
And on the mHealth app development front John Pettengill at Razorfish rightly pointed out, mHealth apps need to be patient focused not technology focused, especially when dealing with chronic conditions. Just because coders can pull out lots of charts and graphs from the data doesn’t mean that it will be useful or attractive to paitents. As for healthcare IT, the best sessions dealing with Health 2.0, EHRs and the huge gray area of how this uncertain market will develop were the #health2dev session moderated by Indu Subaiya and following session on health apps with BJ Fogg from Stanford University.
At one point Professor Fogg asked how many gamers/app developers were in the audience and one lone guy raised his hand in a room of 100+ people. I’ll be interested to see how many more gamers will make their into this audience next year. I think there will be many more.