Top Five Moments From HIMSS 2018

By: Omkar Kulkarni, Director, Cedars-Sinai Accelerator Powered by Techstars 

Last week, I had the privilege of joining my colleagues at the HIMSS18, the world’s leading health information and technology conference. The 5-day event covered everything from how to engage effectively with patients to the future of healthcare.

The highlight of the conference for me was seeing our Cedars-Sinai Accelerator alumni onstage in the Innovation Live Zone, alongside Darren Dworkin, CIO of Cedars-Sinai, and Dr. Rick Riggs, CMIO of Cedars-Sinai. Darren and Rick spoke with Deep6 AI, Invio Inc., and Cancer Aid, all alumni of our program, about how to successfully navigate the healthcare ecosystem. The session was honest, inspiring, and completely full.

Here are my five favorite moments from the session:

1. Darren Dworkin, the CIO of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, spoke about the grit and perseverance needed to bring healthcare innovation to patients. He spoke candidly and to the point: if you want a quick win, try another industry. 

2. Cassie Wallender, Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder of our alumni company, Invio, Inc., spoke about the value of change and innovation, and the importance of investing in new technologies.

3. CancerAid’s CEO and Founder, Nikhil Pooviah, spoke about his top takeaways from the three months spent with us at the accelerator. He discussed the challenges of being away from his team in Australia, and said that the most important takeaway was that they learned to tell their story again. These were extremely valuable insights for me, particularly given CancerAid’s success since leaving the program. The app is the #1 cancer app in the U.S., UK, and Australia, and is being used by over 12,000 patients and caregivers.

4. Deep6 AI’s CEO and Founder, Wout Brusselaers, spoke about the investments in infrastructure he wants to make to support the growth they experienced during the accelerator. He makes a great point; the work doesn’t stop once you leave the accelerator. Ideally, the end of the program just marks a kick off point, and our companies only grow from there. Wout went on to speak about the importance of “finding the ROI of AI” at HIMSS with Dr. Bobbie Rimel of Cedars-Sinai, and then headed to SXSW a few days later to present at the Accelerator Healthcare Pitch event, shown below.

5. Finally, Cedars-Sinai CMIO, Dr. Rick Riggs, spoke about the importance of each start-up’s team. As we review applications for the accelerator, the team itself is of the utmost priority. To Dr. Riggs’ point, it’s not just the first criteria we look at in our applicants; the team represents item numbers one, two, and three. In other words, we believe the team is crucial to a start-up’s success and we only invite applicants to join if their team is already strong.

Many thanks to Darren Dworkin and Dr. Riggs of Cedars-Sinai and our alumni Cassie Wallender of Invio, Inc., Nikhil Pooviah of CancerAid, and Wout Brusselaers of Deep6 AI for joining the panel at HIMSS. We’re proud of your work and look forward your continued success.