Day Two, wow. What a rush. The menu of talks and panels today was almost dizzying: When I was at the Wellness Stage, I was half thinking about what was happening at HIMSS Summit of the Southeast Tech Stage. When I was at the Tech Stage, I was wondering what was going on at the Business Stage. While I was loving the Podcast Launch Party later in the day, I couldn’t help but think about the Jumpstart Alumni Party happening simultaneously nearby. The only thing that kept me from running around spastically was that I was captivated by every voice I heard onstage.
I love that so many of the ideas I encountered were patient-focused approaches to streamlining an inefficient system. Jill Sonke, director of University of Florida’s Center for the Arts in Medicine, spoke about the psychological and physiological healing power of music, and its potential for medical cost savings in the billions. Tatum Allsep, founder of the Music Health Alliance, talked about overcoming the absurd risk factor that is being a poor, uninsured musician in the US. Representatives from Brookdale Senior Living and Lyft spoke about including seniors in the ride-sharing economy to vastly improve their quality of life. Marquise Stillwell, founder of design studio Openbox, moderated a conversation between a local restaurant owner and Nashville’s Active Transportation Planner — to discuss what it takes to build smarter cities (answer: collaboration, design, and planning).
And that’s just from the Wellness Stage.
I also listened to John Bass of Hashed Health explain how blockchain technology can enable efficient, secure data sharing in the healthcare industry — transforming our medical records system. I listened to Jessica Sweeney-Platt of athenaHealth talk through the importance of data in analyzing the most efficient physicians. I learned from Gartner’s Vi Shaffer about the Hype Cycle of new products: starting with the Innovation Trigger, peaking at Inflated Expectations, plummeting to the Trough of Disillusionment, and then inching up the Slope of Enlightenment to the Plateau of Productivity.
I was inspired by Health:Further’s own CEO, Marcus Whitney, at the start of the plenary sessions. “For the entire history of the healthcare industry, the conversation has been dominated by providers, payors, and politicians,” he said. “Those are very important parts of our healthcare ecosystem — but everyone has a health story or a healthcare story.”
And that includes artists: another theme I loved from Day Two. Throughout the day I could watch performances from talented singer-songwriters, from a modern dance troupe that has toured internationally, from a three-time-Grammy-winning rock star — all here to share their take on what’s important in their health story and our shared health system.
“This is not a conference or a summit,” Marcus asserted. “This is a forum, to discuss not the ultimate solution but the many solutions…and to celebrate a bright, bold, optimistic future of health.”
Each person who took the stage at the plenary sessions spoke with passion and authority, each sharing their own unique approach to improving others’ health. Greg Glassman, founder of Crossfit, talked about how he inspires millions of people to stay devoted to exercise and appropriate diet. Alencia Johnson of Planned Parenthood presented her efforts to keep health information and care accessible to whomever needs it. Mary Mirabelli of DXC Technology (formerly Hewlett Packard) shared her strategic frameworks for keeping things customer-centric. That’s only the first few, but I’m impatient to tell you about what happened next.
First there was the Future of Health Podcast Launch Party, where Health:Further’s community editor David Shifrin hosted a live podcast recording in the same room with attendees sipping, snacking, watching, and mingling. And then the sun went down, and there was Health:Further at Night. Never before had I seen what might otherwise be called “conference” attendees gather for such a high-energy after-party — and at one of Nashville’s best music venues to boot.
As of today, Health:Further has undebatably earned its title of “festival.” I’m excited about the many solutions, I’m excited about the music and dance, and I’m excited to continue celebrating that boldly optimistic future.