Come for In-N-Out, Stay for the people. Health2.0 Recap

Posted October 13, 2015
By George McLaughlin


My flight’s delayed (anyone else part of Southwest’s great system crash of 2015?) and the Patriots are up 30 to 6 on the Cowboys… what better time to finally write a blog on my experience at Health2.0?

First thing’s first- Health2.0 is one hell of a conference.

Hats off to the organizers for putting on a great event. The sessions were engaging and the attendees were incredible. I’ve been on the event planning side and know how much work goes into these things. You done good.

Second- my goodness is California incredible.

I’m a little shy to admit this was my first time all the way out West but hey, better late than never. As someone who has spent almost their entire life in Wisconsin— take a moment to appreciate how great your weather is. Seriously.

We spent our first day in San Francisco exploring Chinatown, making the pilgrimage to In-N-Out (sorry- classic Milwaukee burger joints like Kopps have you beat), and watching the Packers beat the 49ers at a bar that convinced me I’d fit in the bay area just fine. Not since my first trip to NYC have I fallen so head over heels for a city. Keep growing your digital health scene so I can eventually move out for “strategic reasons”.

While the entire event was enjoyable, I want to take a moment to touch on the highlights.

Interoperability is still a huge issue.

We started Redox because we’ve seen this barrier first hand. Patients are frustrated by limitations that seem simple, health systems are losing money, and startups with incredible potential die before they have a chance. We work every day, partner by partner, to whittle away at this problem, and we’re proud of the doors we are opening, but man- this is not going to be easy.

I heard from a number of individuals how funny it was that interoperability was still one of the main themes of the conference. They recalled 2005 when it seemed like the obviousness of this issue was going to lead to a resolution. Fast forward 10 years and he we are, still struggling to share data in healthcare.

The main take away in all of this for me- healthcare interoperability is hard. Even with new solutions like ours, it requires enormous expertise and precision. Anyone who says integration is easy is:

We’re working to develop the best solution out there- but when folks call your attempted business a “holy grail” in healthcare, you understand the enormity of the issue you’re up against.

Women in tech are still not represented at the level they need to be.

My favorite session was on women leaders in healthcare. It was the only session I attended where not a single person was on their phone/ laptop. The discussion was lively, interactive, and revealed how far we still have to go as an industry to reach some semblance of appropriate representation. I don’t have any answers, but I think it is important that this imbalance is discussed openly and the status quo is challenged so long as inequality exists. When you look at the success women have had in leadership roles and compare that with the actual numbers in those positions, you have to scratch your head and ask what is the cause of this dissonance. Incredibly powerful and enjoyable talk.

As a shameless plug- we’re looking to grow our team and are actively in search of sales (health care connections a huge plus) and UI/UX specialists. Bad ass women are encouraged to apply!

The “Unmentionables” talk was incredibly moving.

Whew. This one was heavy but boy did the messages stick. I recently watched my mother go through intense chemotherapy and came face to face with a world I was blissfully unaware of. Listening to Kym’s story on surviving cancer four times and the effects of her intense radiation as an adolescent was heart wrenching. I appreciated how BJ Miller from ZenHospice made everyone in attendance admit their mortality and loved how art was incorporated into his pitch. I think my thoughts on how we address death in our society are better saved for a future blog post but my takeaway- don’t miss this session next year.

Winning the Traction startup pitch event was pretty cool.

Health2.0 is a pretty big deal and to be recognized as an intriguing startup with the potential to impact the space was validating on a number of levels. First, it is always enjoyable to watch a team member and friend do well and Niko gave his best presentation yet. Second, the competition was incredibly high. I enjoyed every pitch and thought each organization was worthy of winning. We will all have to compare notes in a year and see how far we’ve come. I’m excited to watch all of the organizations evolve. Heartfelt thanks to the judges for their votes and to everyone who shared kind words of encouragement.

We all need moments to step away from our daily routines.

It is so easy to get immersed in your job or business that you can forget the bigger picture. Events like Health2.0 give us a moment to connect with peers living parallel lives and remind ourselves of why we got into this industry. Cheers to all of the passionate individuals and organizations working to improve care. I’m excited to see what we all accomplish this year and look forward to reconnecting in 2016.

Thanks for reading!

P.S. Have anything you’d like to share? Shoot an e-mail to I’d genuinely love to hear from you :).