Health Wildcatters at SxSW

Published On March 11, 2016 | March/April 2016


As the world continues to ride the ever expanding wave of globalization, the idea exchange has become invaluable. Thought leaders and worldwide influencers convene daily over coffee, at special talks, and in the teacher’s lounge at universities to discuss pressing issues, and address them with solutions fuelled by urgency. There is no doubt that without these conferences, progress would not be where it is today because something profound occurs when a group of people come together with a spirit of community and inspiration, with the express purpose of making the world a better place to live in. This being said, South By Southwest Interactive is one of the few solid cornerstones of today’s idea economy, and Austin MD Magazine was honored to have a presence at this year’s event.

Our focus as a company was to explore SX MedTech 2016, a relatively new addition to SXSW which has seen much success in this its second year at SX Interactive. This year, the digital health conference saw the likes of Athenahealth, Brain Check and the Dell Medical school which is scheduled to begin its first class in August. The conference was also buzzing with dozens of startups, innovative companies, and even more influencers in the health and wellness industry. Throughout the weekend, it was a well orchestrated whirlwind of conversations, exchanged business cards and demonstrations as organizations connected, and networks expanded. Most of this happened at the JW Marriott in downtown Austin, but a lot was also happening outside of the building; sponsored pedicabs and volunteers worked hard to ensure that their organizations stood out in a competitive crowd, and effectively so. We walked away with swag, business cards and quality conversations; the connections we’ve made were definitely worth the trek to central Austin on of the busiest weekends of the Austin calendar year. What does this mean for the Austin community and global stakeholders to health and wellness? For Austin, SX Interactive and MedTech contributed to the average $317.2 million that SXSW brings into the city according to Silicon Hills News. It also gives locals a chance to connect with organizations that can provide unique products and services that they may be geographically distanced from; for instance, the Austin Convention Center held an expo that brought at least 10 countries and their representatives to one space. For global stakeholders of health, the implications are expansive, but in short, organizations can build strong mutual relationships, and share their resources to improve the state of the world’s health. Sounds like a winwinwin to us.

At the end of the day, SXSW, and MedTech in specific, has an enormous impact to all involved and affected by the conference. This sharing of ideas and other resources strengthens the global network that works diligently to improve the world’s health and happiness. We were amazingly happy to explore the event this year, and we hope to see you there next year!

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