As promised, here are the remaining five of my Top 10 from this year’s SXSW marathon! If you haven’t been, I think it’s still worth going but the meeting itself is changing as this year SXSW seemed to play host to a much larger big business presence than just past years. Innovation is contagious, and I believe those who jump in overcome common objections rooted in fear fairly quickly. “I’m not creative,” “Where’s the research?” and “I’m too old for change,” many be voiced silently or outwardly by leaders–in healthcare and elsewhere when it comes to the change associated with trying new approaches to common practice, but the fact that so many large organizations, from Blue Cross/Blue Shield to Deloitte & Touche, had a presence leads me to believe those fears are being overcome by opportunity realized.
- Share ideas-In Show Your Work, repeat speaker and tribe leader, Austin Kleon (author Steal Like An Artist ) shared the value in making your work public early, in a non-promotional way, and how that leads to being noticed. Sharing what you’ve discovered or what you’ve created allows for others to comment and build upon your work too, moving ideas forward faster. In healthcare, this idea remains a challenge, as Steal Like An Artist takes on a whole new meaning. But crowdsourcing for change has proven to work wonders in many industries, including healthcare–think FoldIt-a computer game enabling anyone to contribute to scientific research. Why not give it a try?
- Identify Pain Points-For software developers and more, this apparently is a common refrain. But this year at SXSW, I heard the phrase used more than ever before. In healthcare, we may know what our pain points are, but do we have a working strategy and action plan in place to actually move beyond them? Do you really know what your pain points are, and do you have a strategy in place to mitigate or move beyond?
- 3D Printing-3D Printers were everywhere in Austin this year. Last year, I saw only one exhibit throughout the meeting with a 3D printer in action. This year even Deloitte & Touche had a 3D printer putting out chachka for those who stopped by to visit. With Grey’s Anatomy using a 3D printer to save an infant, healthcare will undoubtedly see the maker movement invade our space.
- Anyone Can Create A Start Up-This follows the next takeaway: Do What You Love! While many of the keynote speakers made it sound easy to achieve their level of success, I’ve come to see that what these folks have in common is courage, passion, resilience and an unwillingness to settle for anything less than what they want. The cost of starting almost any online business is within reach of almost anyone, removing one of the greatest barriers to taking that first step. What do you have to lose?
- Do What You Love-This should be number one on the list. If you’re not doing what you love, change things today. Life is short!
As I did in 2013 for SXSW, here are five of my Top 10 Takeaways from #SXSW2014 that can be applied to healthcare! Stay tuned for the remaining five later this week…
1) Storytelling for Change-From Storytelling for Change: A Decade of Impact put on by Participant Media (Waiting for Superman, The Help, Food, Inc.) to The Secrets Behind Addictive Storytelling to A Conversation with Jon Favreau (@jonfavereau) on the release of his new movie Chef (trailer below), brand builders and filmmakers shared tips and success stories throughout the week on projects that have gone viral, and others that have entertained audiences around the globe. As a writer and believer that good stories move mountains, I gravitated to those who told their own authentic stories versus those using story to move products. While many have been using story to sell and manipulate, good storytellers, filmmakers and change organizers know that the real movement occurs when we write from the heart to the heart.
2) The Doctor’s Office is Changing-In the session, Doctors Offices on Their Deathbeds, Dennis Schmuland MD from Microsoft and Gautam Gulati MD (@drgautamgulati) among others led a panel looking at what can be accomplished when providers and patients collaborate to stay well versus treat illness. The idea of flipping the clinic in light of data acquisition and transfer via wearable technology (think FitBit) and better designed health IT systems will put pertinent information about patients in the hands of providers before they enter the clinic. This will allow clinic time to be spent developing a better understanding by both of how to stay well, treat chronic illness and stay out of the healthcare system. In the future, that provider may be a virtual physician or an avatar according to the panel in the session, The Avatar Will See You Now.
3) Wearable Tech-Fitbit, Nike and Jawbone all had a presence at SXSW and everywhere you turned, a different developer was trying to slap a new device on your wrist, touting the benefits of “owning your own data” and “the quantified self”. While I’m the first to admit I love my Fitbit–a constant reminder that I’m sitting at the keyboard too long each day–wearable technology is here to stay and entrepreneurial physicians, health tech start-ups, the government and computer scientists all see the opportunity these devices hold. Whether health IT infrastructure develops the flexibility to communicate with the rest of the world or not, a multitude of data points are already being collected by the innovative organizations openly embracing what consumers/patients want. Look for this movement to gain traction, driven both by consumers/patients and those involved in the redesign of healthcare.
4) Patient Engagement/Ownership-Following on the wearable tech movement, all health panels I attended mentioned the need for patient engagement and ownership of their health and wellness. Those with a FitBit or FuelBand are already on the band wagon, and most likely aren’t the ones taxing the current healthcare system. But as the over-arching healthcare model shifts to one where providers are paid to keep patients out of the clinic, where will that leave those with literacy challenges, or a chronic illness that affects motivation and cognitive capacity? These are two sides to this same coin, and as we move forward by placing increased responsibility on patients, how will we ensure we don’t leave the less engaged for whatever reason behind?
5) Develop A Content Strategy-In Go Home Marketing, Your Drunk, Kristina Halvorson (@halvorson) led a hilarious session, educating and entertaining a ballroom spilling over with fans and followers. Wanting to move to the next great thing in content development is great, but do you have a strategy? In her experience, many clients come to her looking to run before they can walk. Fix your sh@#! was the takeaway here. Know what you have, develop a plan and then embrace all the innovations in content design and development. For those who couldn’t attend, her book, Content Strategy for the Web, could be a good substitute. If nothing else, I highly recommend downloading a copy of her slides from slideshare here.
Our ETY storytelling series often includes tips and examples of good storytelling for healthcare leaders who wish to embrace the power of story to change healthcare for the better. At #SXSW this past week, I attended more than one session focused on the power of story in both brand building and filmmaking–all of which provided takeaways easily incorporated into the work of telling our healthcare stories. One such session was put on by the NYTimes Op-Doc producers. Op-Docs is a series of short films submitted by both established and up-and-coming filmmakers, covering health, the arts, science, world news, tech, sports, opinion and more.
One of the Op-Docs short films covers an interview with writer/director/lead actor Jon Favereau (@JonFavreau) for the movie Chef, which premiered at #SXSW. The film, which includes an all-star cast, inspires the audience to do what they love–one of my Top 10 Takeaways from #SXSW2014 to come in a post next week. In a #SXSW session dedicated to a conversation with the filmmaker, Favereau told the audience he used to work on Wall Street and was sadly uninspired, giving to the job only what he absolutely had to in order to get through another day. It was when he committed to a career in filmmaking that he found his passion, along with the desire to put all of himself into his work. As evidence of that commitment, he shared that he wrote the script for Chef in only 2 weeks, explaining how the story took hold of him and he couldn’t stop writing until it was finished. To hear more of his thoughts on the film and his own filmmaking process, view the NYTimes Op-Docs interview with Favereau at NYTimes Op-Docs Chef. And go see the film if you get the chance — it’s truly one of those “feel good” movies!
Check out NYTimes Op-Docs for storytelling ideas here, but beware…the content will pull you in, and keep you on the site far longer than intended.
Last Friday marked the start of SXSW 2014 in Austin, TX — a meeting that pulls creatives and innovators from healthcare, media, film, tech and more, together to learn, exchange ideas and provide a jolt to the collective creative energy that stimulates change. Before the first session had even begun last Friday morning–and before I’d even had a real cup of coffee–I already had had thought-provoking discussions with a content developer from St. Jude Medical, a User Interface designer from Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and even bumped into Guy Kawasaki at the SXSW Bookstore. Those attending the meeting know it’s best to wear running shoes and pack power bars, as trying to absorb and get to as much content as possible requires almost marathon-like training.
Here are some highlights from the health tech sessions I have attended so far with more to follow:
- A hot topic during the session, Doctors Offices on Their Deathbed (shown above), was the idea of flipping the clinic–similar to flipping the classroom in education. According to Dr Gautam Gulati (@drgautamgulati), Chief Medical Officer & Head of Product Innovation at Physicians Interactive, who Skyped into the meeting, our ability to capture increasing amounts of data about patients outside the office will allow clinic time to be used by patients and providers to collaborate on care plans together–care plans that address the needs, values, preferences and goals of the patient.
- In the session, You Got Them to Do What…, wearables were the focus! Your Fitbits, Fuel Bands and more are gaining critical mass. While this has truly been a consumer-driven health movement, entrepreneurial physicians, manufacturers and developers, as well as consumers in-the-know, realize what power the data being collected on a daily basis holds for health prevention, treatment adherence and future prescriptions.
- And in Hacking Medical Training Through Innovation, the need to embrace the innovative/start-up minded student, provider and healthcare administrator was emphasized. According to the panel, medicine is losing these folks in droves as opportunities are slow to expand in the space, and are exploding in tech, biotech and health tech organizations. Many leading healthcare organizations are rising to this call, developing Accelerator programs and new positions, such as the Chief Medical Innovation Officer, to reward and recognize their entrepreneurial spirits.