We recently soaked our brains in healthcare knowledge at Health:Further, a Nashville healthcare conference that brings together healthcare innovators, providers, practitioners and ancillary support agencies like ours. We were eager to learn from some of the top minds in the industry, as well as experience some of the cutting-edge healthcare innovations that lined Innovators Row and Entrepreneurs Alley.

In case you missed it, here are a few of the highlights and things we learned at this year’s summit:

blockchain

Blockchain isn’t just for financial markets. 

Throughout the conference, one particular technology caught our attention. From discussions about healthcare IT security to presentations about improving patient experiences, blockchain seemed to be a common theme this year. Blockchain, the technology that powers BitCoin, is a digital ledger that has the ability to pack a wealth of information about a single patient in a single node. While the technology is still relatively new in this industry, blockchain may very well be a promising technology with endless applications in healthcare.

idea-thinking

We need more design thinking in healthcare.

As we all know, healthcare is a complex web of systems and processes that can be difficult to navigate. From tangible healthcare products to intangible systems and processes, design thinking may be the answer to simplifying and streamlining the healthcare system — one elegant, human-focused solution at a time. Dennis Boyle of IDEO detailed a step-by-step approach to design thinking from inspiration to ideation to implementation using real life healthcare examples that illustrate a promising approach to designing everything from healthcare products to entire systems in the industry. If you haven’t had the opportunity to check out design thinking in action, start here.

healthdata-gov

The U.S. Health & Human Services Offers a Goldmine of Health Data

One of the most powerful resources for healthcare innovators that we discovered at the conference came from one of the unlikeliest of places — the U.S. government. While we often think of red tape, compliance, rules and regulations when considering the government’s role in healthcare, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services is, in fact, liberating their wealth of health and social service data to help innovators change the world. Damon Davis, Director for the Health Data Initiative — part of the IDEA Lab in the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services —  and his team are on a mission to improve innovators’ and entrepreneurs’ access to federal data resources  and promote the expanded uses of health data for innovative applications and services. To see the latest tools, data and resources available, check out www.healthdata.gov.

Not only did we take home actionable insights about the latest and greatest happenings in healthcare innovation, but we also walked away from Health:Further with a newfound excitement about the promising future for health tech.

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