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TEDMED 2013 Reflections

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Last week Jintronix attended TEDMED 2013, rx a weeklong event focused around health and medicine. Speakers included doctors, inventors, artists and even Richard Simmons. This was not your typical medical conference and in an effort to expand itself, TEDMED created the HIVE, a cluster of 50 young companies that are creating innovative solutions to some of healthcare’s most challenging issues today. Jintronix was chosen as one of these 50 companies and we had the pleasure of exhibiting our work.

The thing I enjoyed most about TEDMED was how different it was from typical conventions. It really practiced what it preached, with healthy food being served for meals, lounge areas for people to relax and have conversations with new friends, and even musical guests. It was a holistic approach to creating awareness like I have never really seen before. And I think that is the key, awareness. It was not necessarily trying to educate you on one specific point, but rather it showed you how other people think, in an attempt to broaden your point of view. I found this refreshing and felt TEDMED really fills a unique niche in a space which has for years, been so closed off.

With all this energy and creative problem solving in the air, TEDMED is able to achieve its main purpose, creating new connections and conversations. Everyone was talking to everyone, and as a startup this was invaluable for us. They didn’t just invite us to sit there and look pretty; no, they wanted us to be involved in these conversations, and for people to engage with us. Mission accomplished. I am still sorting through the giant stack of business cards I accumulated over the course of those few days. It was a fantastic opportunity where we were able to meet a large group of interesting professionals from all over the health space.

Some of the major themes being explored were focused around medical data, how it is shared and accessed. We found this particularly interesting since with our system, we are creating all kinds of new data for physical therapy that has never existed before. Since physical therapy has been so hands on traditionally, requiring a great deal of visual examination, there has not been much opportunity to gather data from patients outside of the clinic. Now with new camera sensors becoming available to the general public at extremely affordable prices, we are starting to see new applications being developed to quantify movement patterns for the first time.

At Jintronix, we are developing tools for clinicians to monitor and gather movement data from their patients, both inside and outside of the clinic. As these sensors become more versatile and robust, we are only going to be able to gather even more data, with greater accuracy. Knowing what to do with this data is a completely other challenge which we tackle in several ways.

Overall, TEDMED 2013 was a complete success in my mind. They created an amazing atmosphere for new relationships to form, and helped broaden the way people perceive any one subject. In a society that has become more and more focused and specialized, I think it is important to take a step back, look at a problem from other points of view and gain new insights. This is not always easy, but with the efforts of organizations like TEDMED, this kind of approach to problem solving is seeing new light and personally, I think that is a good thing.

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