March 11, 2013Published by: Drew Benvie

SXSW and Expo: the week of digital health


This week two major innovation conferences are taking place. The digital behemoth that is SXSW in Austin, Texas, and Expo (also known as the Healthcare Innovation Expo) at ExCel in London. Were it not launch week for us at Battenhall, we'd be going to both. But as we're only at the London event, we thought a handy run-down of what's going to be happening at each event would be useful.

Everyone in digital knows about SXSW and the pure size and breadth of it. Expo however is not so well-known to the digital communications industry. So why is it of importance now? Digital Health, m-health, e-health, Quantified Self, or whatever moniker the movement is given, is a renaissance that is happening at the converging point of digital, tech and health. It is one of the early stage innovations that is beginning to shape brand management and consumer engagement. Both SXSW and EXPO have digital health content and a high-level speaker and delegate base.


The 'interactive' leg of SXSW is the bit that most in the digital space refer to when talking about the conference itself. It runs from 8-12 March 2013 and is undoubtedly the highlight of the digital calendar. One event which took place last night titled: how self-tracking geeks are shaping our future attracted a large amount of buzz onilne. Blogger Dane Hartzell was one of those in the audience who typed up and published his notes. They included snippets such as Apple's invesment in self tracking, the popularity of the self tracking movement being greater than the user base of Twitter, and the potential impact on brands. SXSW's official Twitter hashtag is #SXSW although try #SXSW13, #SXSW2013 and combine them with #selftrack to see the online buzz.


The event is Wednesday-Thursday this week, with keynotes from speakers including Sir Mark Walport, the UK Government's chief scientific advisor, Cisco's healthcare MD Kevin Dean talking about the impact of digital on future healthcare, and Johnson & Johnson's Chief Scientific Officer Dr Paul Stoffels and GSK's CEO Sir Andrew Witty both talking about innovation and collaboration. Follow @NHSExpo on Twitter for the chatter from the event.

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