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Best digital health events on SXSW 2020 I’m going to

As every year, SXSW's schedule is as overloaded with valuable events as the Oscars are packed with commercials. You have to choose wisely and reasonably to make the most of your time in Austin. There is a chance that I did most of your homework.

Which digital health events are worth going to on SXSW 2020?

For several years at Untitled Kingdom we have been focusing on digital health, IoT and FemTech products. Therefore, apart from technology, on SXSW 2020 in Austin we are interested the most in the Health & MedTech area.

On this Interactive Track we are looking for knowledge about developments in medicine and well-being. This year we also expect interesting insights from the whole ecosystem of patients and providers. Of course, we are most curious about the evolution of medicine in the context of technology, which will make a better and more comfortable way to live, work and relax.

I’ll show you which events and why I’m going to go on SXSW 2020. I hope that this list will be helpful to you.

If you want to talk about creating digital health products or services and its challenges, meet me and Greg in Austin.


That's me, Piotr Zając, CEO at Untitled Kingdom.

Find me on LinkedIn.


Meet Greg Kegel, COO at Untitled Kingdom.

Find Greg on LinkedIn.


A complete list of digital health events on SXSW 2020 with descriptions please find at the end of this text.


Check out our new publication "The State of FemTech


Why we are going to SXSW 2020?

To be honest, SXSW 2019 defined how we as a company have looked at digital health development over the past year and why we have focused on this area.

During the conference last year, we could meet many important people from the digital health and FemTech environment and representatives of large corporations. By organizing the first edition of FemTech Breakfast in Austin together with FemTech Collective, we were able to build an extremely valuable network of people who are interested in digital health. We have connected companies that create products with providers of services and investors.


People want moreHEALTH than CARE

It looks like SXSW 2020 will focus on prevention and HEALTH, as it did last year, and not on CARE itself. The healthier people will be, the care will be much less affected (Healing Health Care: 2020 and Beyond).

There are a lot of other topics, such as data collection, working on solutions from different fields, combining AI and machine learning (#FutureHealth: Data and Tech Collaboration).

Last year an important topic was drugs, mainly in the context of precision medicine. This year, due to the political situation in the USA, one of the most important topics is the future of prescription drugs. The topic is less related to our activity but politically very relevant (The Future of Prescription Drug Prices).

On the other hand, maybe we don't need the drugs at all? How could the future look without pills, but with electricity as medicine (Electricity as Medicine: A Future Without Pills?)?

Technology should connect, not separate doctors from patients

Another interesting thread is the use of technology to establish stronger relationships and better communication in the health system (Rehumanize Care: Communicate, Relate, Innovate). This is the response to the situation when more and more doctors and health professionals work without direct contact with another person (How Tech is Transforming Healthcare, in Your Home).

An important topic is also looking at healthcare from the perspective of both children and adults, but also the elderly (Are We Building an Age-Friendly World?). Each age group requires separate treatment, has different problems and illnesses. The health system and technology should take this into account (Designing for Inclusion in Health Innovation).

AI and machine learning in digital health. Is it only a hype?

Even if we are surrounded by a constant hype around AI, there are a lot of startups that are supposed to change people's lives and health with their solutions, it turns out that they do not really change much (MedTech: Separating Reality from Hype).

Let's talk about AI in healthcare (AI in Healthcare Meet Up) and brain health (Brain Health Meet Up) at meetups on SXSW 2020 in Austin!

Contraception and fertility for both men & women

Worryingly, still 45% of pregnancies in the US are unplanned each year. While last year there were topics related to birth control and panels with negative effects of hormonal methods on women's health, there was a lack of information about contraception for men (Beyond Hormones: Designing Contraception to Delight Both Men & Women).

On the other hand, the problem of infertility also focuses mainly on solutions for women (Birth Control for All Women). This year, one of the important health topics is the fertility of men and the decreasing quality of the sperm (Male Fertility: The Hidden Sperm Crisis).

FemTech and Women’s Health

Most health panels take both sexes into account and distinguish them (Speak Up: Women's Healthcare, Femtech & Wellness). However, it is not new that there is a huge women’s health data gap (Revolutionizing Women’s Health: Bridging the Gap).

Although until 2021 telemedicine is to become a 40-billion-dollar industry, for women it will not always be the best solution for fertility, menstruation, or giving birth. (“Face Time” & The Future of Female Healthcare).

On the other hand, how can you help pregnant women with a smartphone (Protecting Pregnancy with Smartphones)? Women in the USA are much more likely to die as a result of complications at birth and pregnancy than in other developed countries.

See you in Austin on SXSW 2020?

With Greg, we are going to spend productive time in Austin at SXSW. We will participate in the events, think about the impact of these trends on the development of our organization, but most importantly, about providing better services to our Partners (we work with Partners, not clients).

If you would like to meet, share your experiences, discuss new trends or advise on a project for your organization or startup, contact us and let’s meet for coffee or lunch.


After SXSW 2019 we summarized the most important topics and trends for us with two articles, which we recommend you to read:

We hope that SXSW 2020 will be as inspiring and valuable for us as the previous edition. Hope to see you there!


Check out our new publication "The State of FemTech


Complete list of selected digital health events on SXSW 2020

People want more HEALTH than CARE

Healing Health Care: 2020 and Beyond

You've heard many times that the health care system is broken. Maybe you've said it yourself. But what is the solution? It turns out that we don't actually want health CARE. We want HEALTH.

In the midst of 2020 health care discussions, Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, an epidemiologist and former city health commissioner, walks us through how we as leaders in health and tech can be part of the solution.


#FutureHealth: Data and Tech Collaboration

Real-world data has accelerated the process of bringing drugs to market, and experts are beginning to truly understand the actual impact of how therapies work outside of clinical trials. These advancements are informing how we approach future innovation. The focus is now on finding the right partners to collaborate with on integrating multiple data sources and applying AI and machine learning to accelerate clinical trials, enable robust protocol design, and generate insights for precision oncology treatment and improved patient outcomes. You don’t want to miss this discussion on how certain companies working together — big and small — is an absolutely essential part of addressing and improving patient outcomes.

Panelists: Jeff Elton (Concerto HealthAI), Tina Kapur (Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School), Sayak Mukherjee (Fortune Magazine Time Inc), Paul Von Autenreid (Bristol-Myers Squibb).


The Future of Prescription Drug Prices

Prescription drugs are more than a hot political topic right now. The development pipeline promises breakthrough therapies that will revolutionize American health care, but will also force us to re-evaluate how to pay for these drugs and whether our system is sustainable. Dr. Scott Gottlieb (American Enterprise Institute) and Caitlin Owens (Axios) explore these ideas.


Electricity as Medicine: A Future Without Pills?

Every impulse in the brain is electric, and all activities — from walking to dreaming — are based on electrical signals. Scientists have been tapping into these signals to understand how our brains work and what that teaches us about disease, and using what’s learned to treat epilepsy through electrical stimulation. This has potential to be leveraged in countless ways, and harnessing the language of the nervous system may transform how we approach disorders like depression and obesity.

Panelists: Kimberly Bari (Accenture), Beata Jarosiewicz (NeuroPace), Martha Morrell (Stanford University), and Dileep Nair (Cleveland Clinic Foundation).


Rehumanize Care: Communicate, Relate, Innovate

Patient experiences are greatly influenced by the provider-patient relationship, which is threatened by the provider burnout “crisis”. 44% of physicians report at least one burnout symptom (AMA, 2017) and doctor suicide rates are the highest of any profession (CDC, 2018). Technology solutions, especially electronic health records, are often criticized in connection to provider burnout. This interactive panel discussion will explore opportunities for rehumanizing care by leveraging technology to enable stronger relationships and communication skills in healthcare.

Panelists: Calvin Chou (University of California San Francisco), Laura Cooley (Academy of Communication in Healthcare), Prakash Jayakumar (University of Texas at Austin / Duke University / University of Oxford), and Thomas Lee (Press Ganey).


How Tech is Transforming Healthcare, in Your Home

The consumer healthcare experience is undergoing a tech-driven revolution. Smart homes are becoming hubs for managing personal health and wellness. Connected health devices can flag health issues before we even notice a problem. A growing number of HIPAA-compliant Alexa skills enable consumers to access healthcare services from their homes. In the next decade, the convergence of connected health and smart home products has the potential to transform healthcare as we know it: enhancing independent living, improving health outcomes and reducing healthcare costs. Yet rolling out new healthcare and assistive technologies in the home is not as simple as it sounds. In this session, connected health and smart home leaders will discuss issues and opportunities for these emerging technologies.

Panelists: Jim Hunter (Delos Incorporated), Pat Kelly (Routinify), Andrew Smerek (Eyeflite), Camille Vargas (Yonomi).


Are We Building an Age-Friendly World?

According to the World Health Organization, "the proportion of the global population aged 60 will double from 11% in 2006 to 22% by 2050." This demographic shift in rural areas is even more accentuated as young people migrate to the cities. This spike in life expectancy will impact the affordability and design of housing, employment opportunities, transgenerational connection and transportation options. Learn how community advocates, policymakers and tech startups are creating communities that you would want to (and can) grow old in.

Panelists: Matthew Capell (Long Term Care Group, Inc.), Rodney Harrell (AARP), Maria Lemus (Vision Y Compromise), and Samir Sinha (Sinai Health).


MedTech: Separating Reality from Hype

"AI," artificial intelligence, has been around since 1956 but has made precious few contributions to medical practice so far. Each year, hundreds of plucky new startups hop aboard the AI hype wagon, each promising sophisticated new solutions, from nurse-bots to virtual assistants to AI-powered wearables for the elderly, just to name a few. Most are titillating but not transformative. Nearly all have failed to move the needle on quality outcomes or life expectancy. Dr. Robert Pearl, a respected health-tech expert who led the nation's largest medical group for 18 years, is well suited to separate AI reality from AI hype.


Designing for Inclusion in Health Innovation

Innovation is less about new, shiny things and more about deep problem-solving and reframing. To address public health issues or create patient-centered innovations, we must understand the needs and priorities of different communities and ensure that innovations truly improve health outcomes and reflect the people for whom they serve. Design-thinking can engage with diverse patients and consumers, but in order for a human-centered design to gain traction and remain an organizational priority, there must be buy-in from all levels and stakeholders. This session explores a multi-faceted approach to advancing inclusivity and equity in healthcare to improve outcomes and commercial success, to build an inclusive workforce and empower patients to be a more meaningful part of the design process.

Panelists: Andre Blackman (Onboard Health), Jen Horonjeff (Savvy Cooperative), Vanessa Mason, Miya Osaki (Diagram).


AI in Healthcare Meet Up

We’ve all heard about the promise of AI in healthcare. Now, it’s time to push beyond the hype, delivering AI for pathology, radiology, drug discovery, genetics, and more.

This meet up celebrates the believers and the doers — those who see how AI is impacting healthcare, and those who are actively working to improve patient outcomes, develop novel therapies, reduce costs, streamline operations, and transform the quality of care. Join your fellow healthcare professionals, machine learning scientists, regulatory experts, and entrepreneurs to share your views, talk about your work, and make meaningful connections. Whether you’re looking to debate tough ethical questions or share an innovative practical application, come be a part of our community advancing the power of AI in healthcare.

Speakers: Julianna Ianni (Proscia) and David West (Proscia)


Brain Health Meet Up

More of us than ever are focusing on the health of our brains:

— We want to learn the latest biohacks to improve our brain’s performance.

— We understand that the fitness of our brain is key to enjoying a long and healthy lifespan.

— We recognize the need to try to head off the coming pandemic of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neurological illnesses.

Come join with other health activists, practitioners and biohackers for a lively discussion as we explore practical tools to support high performance and healthy aging.

Speaker: Brian Duggan (Citizen Science for Health).

Contraception and fertility for both men & women

Beyond Hormones: Designing Contraception to Delight Both Men & Women

In May, the hormonal birth control pill turns 60. While this innovation transformed society by giving women the ability to determine if, when, with whom, and how many children to have, research on better ways to manage fertility hasn't really moved beyond hormones. Many women use hormonal methods despite the side effects, however, these methods neither delight nor adequately protect women from unintended pregnancies where 45% of annual pregnancies in the US are unplanned. We need more investment in contraceptive research to develop hormone-free products that delight both men and women throughout their reproductive journeys. What are the latest innovations in contraceptive products for men and women and what will it take to get these products to market?

Panelists: Tanum Davis Bohen (The Bohen Group), Nadja Mannowetz (YourChoice Therapeutics), Stasia Obremskey (Rhia Ventures), and Frederik Petursson Madsen (Cirqle Biomedical).


Male Fertility: The Hidden Sperm Crisis

Over the past 40 years, male fertility has gone down by 50%. Couples are having children later and later, and infertility is now affecting 1 in 7 couples. The decline in sperm quality is a massive, generational, and largely hidden crisis, and fertility is largely discussed as a women's issue. It's time to have an honest conversation about the future of family planning with the startups and innovators that are doing the work to change this.

Panelists: Nima Elmi (World Economic Forum) and Khaled Kteily (Legacy).


Birth Control for All Women

Did you know birth control for all women could prevent nearly 52 million unplanned pregnancies and 70,000 maternal deaths each year around the globe? Did you know there are 19 million women in the U.S. living in contraceptive deserts? And women come in all shapes, sizes, races, ages and stages of life. Clinical trials don’t reflect that. Women often have to sift through misinformation and then face costs that put their preferred options out of reach. Barriers to birth control have taken many different forms, preventing equal access to it for all women, so let’s talk about it! Medicines360 was founded to disrupt this system and create more equitable access for all women. Jessica Grossman, CEO of Medicinces360 and a trained OBGYN, will discuss how to solve these issues on a global scale.

FemTech and Women’s Health

“Face Time” & The Future of Female Healthcare

By 2021, telemedicine could rise to more than a 40-billion-dollar industry, but occasional doctor visits will still be necessary, right? When it comes to women’s health, there are just some situations when telehealth will not be the solution — whether its fertility, menstrual cycle, prenatal care, giving birth or getting a mammogram. Now, female-focused health companies are blending virtual and in person care to create a personalized healthcare experience that appeals to the masses. This panel will focus on the role telehealth will play in the female patient-physician relationship and why or why not women’s healthcare will require a blend of both virtual and physical care.

Panelistsł: Melynda Barnes (Rory), Laura Dalton (Planned Parenthood Mar Monte), Stephanie Mcclellan (Tia), Admit Phull (Doximity).


Protecting Pregnancy with Smartphones

Women in the U.S. are more likely to die from childbirth or pregnancy-related causes than other women in the developed world. About 700 women die each year in the U.S. as a result of pregnancy or delivery complications. Unlike other leading causes of death such as cancer or Alzheimer's disease, birth-related deaths are largely preventable. Today, however, most adverse pregnancy outcomes are not predictable and thus cannot be avoided, partly because of a lack of medical data. Using smartphones, the team will passively monitor the activity and behavior of 1,000 pregnant women in the Austin area. The ultimate goal is to develop digital phenotypes, or profiles, to better understand factors that influence pregnancy and can inform individualized pregnancy care. Event poprowadzi Kelly Gaither z The University of Texas at Austin.


Speak Up: Women's Healthcare, Femtech & Wellness

Women’s health is finally emerging as a central issue, leading to movements such as #TimesUp and #MeToo demanding to improve maternal mortality and the medical care of women overall. However, this attention has also birthed unscientific and often unsafe “wellness” therapies, questionable femtech, and the legislative onslaught against reproductive health. Physician-advocates Drs. Jen Gunter, Esther Choo and Rashmi Kudesia join forces to share their insights into the failings of healthcare, the government, femtech, and wellness, and how to mobilize social and traditional media for #ReproductiveEmpowerment. Discussing topics from contraception to woman-centered care to lifting up fellow female physicians, we will highlight the most novel and promising methods to speak up for women’s health.


Revolutionizing Women’s Health: Bridging the Gap

Modern medicine has come so far, yet women are still being left behind. 1 in 10 women suffer from Endometriosis, 1 in 10 have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, and 1 in 5 have painful periods that interfere with their daily lives. The current standard of care in women's health relies on synthetic hormones and hysterectomies as a panacea to fix all problems, yet this practice is neglecting to treat the root cause. Ignoring the root cause can lead to severe problems for patients in the future, such as infertility and autoimmune disorders. This panel will investigate the ways in which the current standard of care is failing women, and suggest alternative ways in which we can give women the health care they deserve by combining the best of allopathic and holistic health practices.

Panelists: Natalie Kringoudis, Jenna Longoria (The Period Guru), Shawn Tassone (Shawn Tassone, MD), Amanda Tatom (KXAN-NBC Austin).


Piotr Zając


CEO at Untitled Kingdom. A guardian of Quality, Transparency and Family values. Responsible for showing his colleagues the meaning of life, what personal development is and how to be deeply joyful during work-work balance. A young daddy of Argus, The Polish Greyhound.