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Insights in health & wellness branding
21 February

When Health Is the Headline @SXSW

Health has made it mainstream. After being introduced as a distinct track during the 2012 SXSW, it has been having more than just a “moment.” Today, Health at SXSW is as fully developed and culturally important as the Music, Film, and Interactive tracks. The best of tech, entrepreneurship, and user experience are coming together to solve some of the toughest problems facing the global healthcare delivery system.

Finally, right? As someone who has worked in pharma and digital for the last 15 years, I am thrilled that the innovations, advances and trends in tech are finally being applied to the health landscape. In fact, the SXSW line-up is a feverish mash-up of current tech trends delivering breakthroughs such as VR and Gaming in Hospitals, Artificial Intelligence for Behavioral Therapy, and tapping into Genetic Testing to personalize treatment approaches; these are just a few of the programs developed by this year’s participants and are ones to watch.

Many of these breakthroughs sprang from the collective desire of some of healthcare’s most innovative leaders to begin to think differently about the problems facing the system. Once they began to tackle issues outside of the box, they realized the only way to find solutions was to ”hack” a new approach. While this hacking mentality isn’t new, it’s still novel when used within the healthcare space, and its early success suggests that this type of thinking will pave the way for future innovations.

However, when exploring hacking culture, it’s important to recognize that an idea is only as good as the solution it becomes. The concept still needs to be sold to those with the money to make it a reality. Knowing how to distill information into a persuasive story is critical to selling success but is not a skill everyone possesses.

To further examine how hacking can lead to innovative solutions in healthcare and show hackers how to present their ideas and get them sold, Abelson Taylor is partnering with other independent agencies:  JuicePharma and HCB Health, along with our colleagues at MIT Hacking Medicine. Our integrated series of panels at this year’s SXSHealth track will take a deep dive into the emerging “hacking healthcare” trend and the impact it’s having on patients and providers in our panel “The Pitch: Selling Your Disruptive Health Startup.”

If you can’t make it to SXSW this year, follow us on Facebook and Twitter to track our experiences, read our PoV on the latest hacks that will disrupt healthcare, and learn from the panelists who are taking the big ideas to the next level.

AbelsonTaylor About the Author

For 35 years, AbelsonTaylor has specialized in telling stories that focus on health and wellness decisions by uncovering the emotional side of the science and digging into the data to tell a human story.