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INTERSECT@CMU explores healthcare innovation themes in advance of LIFTOFF 2020

Liftoff PGH 2020 co-sponsored the Intersect@CMU conference

JHF's Liftoff PGH 2020 was a proud co-sponsor of INTERSECT@CMU 2019, a meeting that touched on many of the issues that the September 15-16, 2020 Liftoff gathering will explore in depth.

The session at Carnegie Mellon University included academics and inventors, representatives from artificial intelligence startups, health policy experts, and thought leaders from Google, TeleTracking Inc., and elsewhere.

They addressed some of the issues in which JHF's Liftoff team and committees are immersed, all intended to drive improvements in U.S. health care and population health. New entrants into the delivery of medical services, diagnostics, and treatment are likely to offer a jolt to traditional systems. A positive outcome is that new competition could spur new accountability to patients and purchasers — as the race for simpler, cheaper, safer, more reliable interventions heats up.

Said panelist Thomas Pellathy, Highmark Inc.'s executive vice president for product and health care services: "This is the only industry where cost and quality have an inverse relationship – better care actually costs less in the long run."

INTERSECT@CMU panelists discussed emerging technologies, market systems, policy, delivery methods, and visions of the future. Innovations such as wearable fitness trackers and smartphone apps can make it easier to adopt healthy behaviors like stretching and walking around throughout the workday, and getting quality sleep. The full impact of such changes, however, cannot always be predicted.

"We shape our technologies; thereafter they shape us," noted Steve Downs, the chief technology officer of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, paraphrasing Winston Churchill.

Liftoff PGH 2020 is both an event and ongoing process to get Pittsburgh's business, civic, education, health, and corporate players to collaborate in making the region a national leader in healthcare innovation on every level. It aims to help create functional, inspired, and skillful partnerships among stakeholders, leveraging the region's assets to be in the lead by 2030.

As inspiration, please check out the digital Quilt we've created for one of Liftoff's five themes, The New Patient. Click on the squares to learn more.

In the past month, three Liftoff advisory subcommittees have met. Representatives from workforce development organizations, foundations and healthcare providers on September 25 discussed challenges around preparing workers to staff frontline healthcare jobs that are already going unfilled.

Education deans and administrators from the University of Pittsburgh's schools of medicine and public health; Carnegie Mellon University's schools of science, healthcare policy and management, and information systems and public policy conferred September 27 around the importance of equipping graduates not just with technical know-how but also problem-solving skills and the ability to work across teams.

Representatives from the region's largest health insurance companies, insurance brokers, financial advisors and representatives the state departments of human services and health met October 1 to consider issues of payment and regulation, including how healthcare financing models of the future can adapt to support the highest quality, lowest cost care.

The full advisory committee will meet October 3 to hear how other cities and regions have managed with disruption and innovation, and will discuss how to re-invigorate Pittsburgh's existing legacy institutions and position the region for leadership. 

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