Joseph Kvedar, M.D., is one of health IT’s best-known evangelists for mobile health technologies and is probably the originator of the decade-or-so-old term “connected health,” which Kvedar, a dermatologist by training and technologist by inclination, takes to incorporate both mHealth and telemedicine, among other things.
Kvedar, vice president for connected health of Boston’s Partners Healthcare System Inc., founded and continues to preside over the Connected Health Symposium, presented by his employer and held annually in Boston.
This year’s symposium, the 12th, wrapped up last week at the Seaport World Trade Center, drawing its usual dozens of expert and influential thinkers and doers in health IT, wearable health technology, mHealth, telemedicine and other variants of healthcare tech that probably don’t even have their own monikers.
When I caught up with Kvedar in an upstairs hallway as the conference wound down last Friday afternoon, I asked him to sum up concisely what he felt differentiated the 2015 edition of Connected Health.
“I think it’s the idea of not just measuring vital signs, but adding an emotional component,” he said, referring to speakers who emphasized the importance of human communication amid the welter of devices and machines talking to each other or affixed to patients.
But beyond the software and hardware startups, the innovators and the dreamers that typically populate the expo attached to the symposium, some — including health IT vendors, a nonprofit and more horizontally oriented organizations with significant designs on the health IT and healthcare spaces — were working quietly and not so quietly at the event to reel in business.
Among these larger-scale enterprises (some of which paid out big bucks for various levels of sponsorship for the show) were:
- Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation, a $12 billion, multinational IT, consulting and business process outsourcing firm
- InterSystems Corporation, an interoperability-focused software company with a major health IT presence
- Philips United States, the U.S.-based arm of the Dutch multinational, which sells everything from medical imaging devices and software to electric razors, LED lighting and other consumer items
- Salesforce’s healthcare division, which is making a major push for its newly announced Health Cloud healthcare CRM system
- California Healthcare Foundation, a $747 million philanthropy
- Cognition Corporation, a vendor of product and process development services to medical device companies
- Cooley LLP, an international law firm and heavyweight in intellectual property and regulatory law
- Validic, a leading medical device and wearable health technology integrator
Kvedar, meanwhile, is already planning the 2016 Connected Health Symposium, scheduled for Oct. 20-21, 2016.