October 2, 2013 Seattle Health Innovation Meetup

This was the third event that we’ve organized over the past 5 months. The Seattle Health Innovation Forum is a grass roots network of people working in the health industry, including research, financing, care delivery, and wellness sectors who come together to informally share insights, product ideas, and to connect with each other to help make a difference.

During the October meeting about 70 participants gathered to network with each other and to meet the founders of several new Seattle-based companies who have gained traction.  Some are with startups, some are with established companies,  some are students and members of the community. Participants range from executives, designers, engineers, bench scientists  to people from various walks of life who heard about the event. Nametags typically do not show affiliation in part to help provide members in prominent leadership roles the freedom to be present as individual members of the community.

  • Wade Webster, MD, founder of Prima-Temp, described a new product to help couples determine periods of highest fertility based on  wearable deep body temperature sensor technology. Dr. Webster described the process of going from concept to product, including the regulatory implications.
  • Bonnie Cech, founder of CadenceMD illustrated the patient flow bottlenecks that occur in ambulatory clinics and demonstrated how avoidable delays moving patients through clinic visits cost the average physician group over $50,000 per MD, as well as impacting patient satisfaction from from their own waiting time.
  • Ryan Luce, founder of Corengi, showed how, with the help of NIH SBIR funding his company has enabled diabetes patients to find relevant clinical trials. He described the process of getting funding and his plans for broadening the range of clinical conditions covered by his service. He generously offered to provide examples to others interested in the SBIR funding process.

Greg Henderson, MD was the keynote speaker. He described his experience as one of the only physicians left in New Orleans after Katrina that exposed him to what happens when the ordinary infrastructure supporting medical care completely breaks down. He went on the describe the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti and his efforts to assemble a team of pathologists around the globe who are continuing to volunteer to provide diagnostic consultations for Haitian women who have undergone biopsies.

Jessica Chao, co-organizer of the meetup provided an update on progress building a  supportive ecosystem for health IT innovation in the Northwest and proposed that we have a benefit holiday party in early December.

This program was the result of a group effort. All of the speakers were invited from a much larger set of candidates based on their relevance to the needs of this audience, their innovative content, and their ability to confidently interact with this expert audience.  In addition to these speakers, thanks also go to all those who helped me to envision, organize and set up logistics for this event –  Jessica Chao, Miwa Monji,  Scott Kennedy, Tim Reha, and Will Mehigan.

Ed Butler

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