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Health, Technology, and Big Data Merge at SXSW

Health, Technology, and Big Data Merge at SXSW

Data, IoT, and the promise of connected healthcare.

Healthcare, technology, and the internet of things promise to drive big change in the healthcare ecosystem. We saw the proliferation of health tech at CES, Mobile World Congress, and – most recently – at SXSW. The coupling of healthcare and tech is an exciting one, brimming with possibilities. And the promise is this: we will all be healthier for it!

At SXSW, American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown discussed the prospect of connecting electronic medical records (EMRs) with real-life, real-time data via connected devices, and serving it up to the patient’s physician. The conneced device will help its user stay on top of health vitals, such as diet, exercise, blood pressure, etc., and could deliver feedback in real time to both the patient and the physician. This is the new holy grail for many organizations in the healthcare ecosystem. 

With the proliferation of wearables, and their increasing capacity to capture data and connect to all aspects of our lives (including health and medical records), there are a few things that are bound to happen:

Me-Centric Healthcare

More consumers will be purchasing and relying on wearable technology to monitor their day-to-day health in a highly personalized manner. This can include everything from biometrics, to activity levels, to medications. Among the cool things spotted at SXSW was iHeart, which can determine a person's internal age as compared to external age in only 30 seconds thanks to a blood pressure monitoring sensor. Then, using real-time data, the system offers healthy tips so the user can get the two numbers more in line. Organizations and stakeholders in the healthcare continuum will be challenged to use real-time data like this to better monitor and manage a patient’s total health, as well as drive insights into personalization preferences. Today, it’s all about “me,” especially when it comes to healthcare.

A Connected Experience

Highly personalized and more real-life, real-time data will lead to new expectations and demands for physicians, pharmaceutical companies, and healthcare tech developers. Software developers will have an opportunity to create new applications that can connect personalized health data with electronic medical records, helping us all live better lives. For example, online visits with therapists and psychiatrists are now possible through tools like, while Healthline offers physicians with analyses and tools via aggregrated data gleaned from EMR systems to make more informed and cost effective decisions on behalf of their patients. We now have an opportunity for custom, ongoing, and more meaningful health maintenance regimes that patients and their physicians can use to better diagnose and improve health-related issues sooner and with a more frequent cadence.

A New Road to Market

How can we market in the new world order of the healthcare industry? Soon, every aspect of the industry will be influenced by technology. Like everything else, the approach must be strategic, personalized, and interconnected across all mediums. The marketing funnel is gone and a new, multi-touch point approach is required. Live engagements give consumers the opportunity to experience health tech firsthand, but they must tie back to an overarching strategic approach.

It’s a new frontier for the healthcare community: advocacy organizations, healthcare institutions, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, physicians, and patients will all benefit as technology and medicine merge to form a healthy partnership.

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Chris cavanaugh

Chris Cavanaugh

EVP & Chief Marketing Officer

Chris founded FreemanXP to meet the strategic demands of a changing marketplace by connecting individuals and brands in ways that create transformational change on a global scale. FreemanXP has since gone on to become the largest global experience marketing agency in the industry.

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