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Startups: The Other Health Technology Revolution

These days my physician colleagues and I are up to our necks in a health technology revolution.  To be honest, its not as captivating as Pinterest or socially-engaging as a Google Huddle but to be sure your life will depend on it.  The revolution ushered in by electronic health record (EHR) is less about the technology than the widespread impact it will have on patient care.  Rather than digging through stacks of paper charts, your doctor will have ready access to all of your health history on a digital device.  And not just your health history, soon I will be able to combine it with the history of other patients in my practice: the digitized data will allow me to track the childhood obesity rate in my clinic and trend it over time with just a click (or tap).  But look out, there are glimmers of another emerging health tech revolution.

I recently attended the Health Innovation Summit organized by Rock Health, a seed accelerator for health startups based in San Francisco.  Coming from the bureaucratic and comparatively stagnant world of health care systems, this event made me feel like I could dream again.  Speakers provided pearls of wisdom for an engaging design.  Panels offered strategic advice to attract VC and Angel funding.  Most exciting was the chance to hear from entrepreneurs, each of whom offered their own incremental solution to improve health.

Take something like Cardiio, which measures heart rate in a few seconds by scanning your face.  Imagine how future related technologies could replace monitoring wires and tubes thereby improving comfort during a hospitalization and reducing hospital acquired infections.

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