Tech

Live event insights: How new technology is transforming healthcare

The skinny from Healthcare Brew’s live event on Wednesday, ICYMI.
article cover

Healthcare Brew reporter Maia Anderson (far right) interviews Ramita Tandon, chief clinical trials officer for Walgreens (left) and Raj Mills, chief technology officer for Sleep Number (right). Jonathan Heisler

· 3 min read

Healthcare industry experts and innovators weighed in on everything from artificial intelligence (AI) to patient-provider relationships at Healthcare Brew’s first live event, Bench to Bedside & Beyond: The Future of Health Tech, which took place in NYC on Wednesday.

Fourteen panelists sat down for six different conversations led by Morning Brew reporters on the 66th floor of Manhattan skyscraper The Spiral, where heavy morning clouds gradually gave way to spectacular views of the city as the morning progressed.

Many of the sessions explored technology’s pace and place in healthcare, with panelists at turns excited about ways it can be used to alleviate problems across healthcare—from staffing shortages to boosting representation in research—while also cautioning that its integration can’t overlook cybersecurity and accessibility.

Careful integration, for example, includes making sure the interface is inclusive and accessible to all populations, said Ramita Tandon, chief clinical trials officer for Walgreens.

“As we start to make the shift and start to think about our consumers and patients, it’s about understanding, how do we build the right highway as we bring this innovation, as we bring all these new technologies into these communities that could really benefit from all the innovation that we’re seeing across the ecosystem,” she said.

An audience member asks a question.

Jonathan Heisler

Higher participation in clinical trials allows for better innovation—something more visible in women’s healthcare, where advancements have lagged behind the rest of the industry, Anu Sharma, CEO and co-founder of maternity care clinic company Millie, said.

“As a general matter, women’s health has been under-researched and underfunded for forever,” Sharma said. “We just don’t have good models of women’s bodies.”

Navigate the healthcare industry

Healthcare Brew covers pharmaceutical developments, health startups, the latest tech, and how it impacts hospitals and providers to keep administrators and providers informed.

Thinking equity? Several experts spoke to how their companies are looking at how technology can bridge gaps in health disparities. Julia Chapin, chief operations officer of Abridge, a software company, said AI could help bolster some of healthcare’s more inefficient processes, like those that lean on patient memory.

“We are in the middle of a public health crisis with staffing shortages and clinicians, nurses burning out from documentation burden,” Chapin said. “The promise of AI is that there is a solution today that can help people actually get home to their families at night and ultimately improve access for patients.”

The audience chats during a coffee break

Jonathan Heisler

When adopting tech, organizations also have to think of their own staff’s ability to take it on, Katrina Rice, chief delivery officer of eClinical Solutions, said.

“Not only is it the cost they’re going to have to pay…but it’s also manpower and people costs…it’s transforming your teams to actually say, ‘I want to take on this adoption as well,’” Rice said.

Increased innovation would also require efforts to reach patients without access to resources like broadband. For example, in home health, initiatives like remote patient monitoring wouldn’t work without connectivity, Carrie Koening, VP of patient experience and communication for Medstar Health Home Care, said.

If care can be done from the comfort of home,“it allows equality and access for all,” said Erfan Karim, executive director and VP of mobile integrated health for the NYC Health + Hospitals municipal health system.

Navigate the healthcare industry

Healthcare Brew covers pharmaceutical developments, health startups, the latest tech, and how it impacts hospitals and providers to keep administrators and providers informed.