Health was out in full force at SXSW this year, with a formal track dedicated to the industry featuring panels ranging from those in the health space (health care professionals, marketers) to those in industries less evidently connected to health (developers, designers, gamers).
One of the most crowded panels in the health track was moderated by Edelman’s Gigi Peterkin, Vice President, Digital Health. “Health: Is There Really an App for That?” featured some of the industry’s most prominent thought leaders. Panelists included:
- BJ Fogg, Founder, Stanford – Persuasive Tech Lab
- Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, Health Economist, THINK-Health and Health Populi blog
- John de Souza, President/CEO, MedHelp
- Margaret Morris, Senior Researcher, Intel Corporation
Focusing on how apps and mobile technology can be used to positively impact and change individual’s health behavior, the panelists discussed how to improve usability, activation and retention among mHealth technologies. New technology and mobile is lowering the activation energy required for individuals to engage in their health allowing more consumers the opportunity to take an active role in managing their personal wellness. Current apps, such as the Asthmapolis, are providing valuable data and information to users allowing them to more proactively manage their condition and move from patients to active participants in their health. However, according to BJ Fogg, we are still in the Friendster stage of mobile health technology. As companies begin to move further into the mHealth space, they need to think about how to trigger the right sequence of baby steps for effective behavior change.
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