Firsts are always fun. I can remember dissecting my first frog, my first summer camp at the science museum, taking care of my first dental patient and many other firsts. The week of Jan 9, 2012, was another first for me because I was going to my first CESand Digital Health Summit directly from the JP Morgan conference.
The mood at JP Morgan seemed very flat. Why, I wondered? As I looked around I could see only a sea of men in dark suits. Where had all the women gone?
Or was it the recession, restructurings, lack of capital for start-ups and depressed stock prices, that makes this once sexy industry resigned to plod, into middle age with diminished hopes that a few will survive and prosper?
I believe that advances in molecular biology, genomics and immunology will continue to serve humankind, so perhaps this is the time to be a contrarian investor in emerging biotech companies and women entrepreneurs!
On the other hand, arriving at my first CES, which was filled with buzz and excitement, rekindled my childlike love of gizmos and gadgets and reminded me of a giant dental convention. In contrast to JP Morgan, there were plenty of women – even the scantily clad ones demonstrating the latest and greatest “thing” that we did not need. Yet, the mood for this first timer was a welcome relief from the daily barrage of depressing news around conflict, scandal and the worldwide economic crisis.
I felt light-hearted and happy as I went from booth to booth discovering what new gadgets and gizmos engineers and marketing had whipped up; a testament to the spirit of technical creativity and imagination. In the health and wellness arena, applying these tools to motivate behavior change has always made sense to me. Dentists have been trying to get people to brush and floss for years: maybe BJ Fogg’s approach to start with flossing one tooth a day aided by these apps, will finally put the pedal to the metal.
Yet, as I think about the lively crowd at CES and the Digital Health Summit working on health and wellness and compare them to the typical medical executives and investors at JP Morgan, I wonder how these two parts of the healthcare system will meet in the middle.