Despite all of the discussions about tech and "the next big thing", there was a quieter conversation that was woven into the fabric of the conference about the importance of human connection. Connected Health has a double meaning, the first, and more obvious meaning revolves around the use of technology in healthcare. The second, and most powerful, is about having people engaged and "connected" with their own health and empowering individuals to have the self efficacy to manage their own health. Technology is pointless without an engaged person on the other side.
Planning Serendipity and Promoting Connected Health
One of the keynote speakers, Mark Smith, Chief Innovation Officer at MedStar Institute for Innovation, talked about the importance of serendipity in innovation. How chance encounters can lead to great partnerships that spur innovation. Building on this point, another speaker suggested that you can make active choices that encourage serendipitous instances that lead to innovation. For example, by choosing to attending the mhealth conference, we, as attendees, put ourselves in the position to meet like-minded professionals and, as a result, those meetings may lead to the next revolution in healthcare. This made me think, with connected health (both meanings) in mind, how position people managing chronic conditions for serendipity? How can we ease the burden of managing a chronic condition? Let me know what you think in the comments below!