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UCSF Digital Health Awards – Cross-Pollinating to Allow an Industry to Take Off

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UCSF Health Hub recently hosted the 2nd annual UCSF Digital Health awards. The initial vision, as Mark Goldstein, founder, pointed out, was to define an industry to allow it to achieve its true potential in terms of collaboration, relationships and funding. UCSF Health Hub is clearly creating the connections across life sciences, technology, and the investment community to enable the advances that our industry needs. The end-game is to make health care more affordable and accessible, and to ensure that the 10-year gains made during the last 6 months during COVID continue to advance. 


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In the months leading up to the awards ceremony, the team assembled 750 applicants, 250 judges, and 120 speakers and thousands of audience members representing diverse perspectives. This process resulted in winners in each of 15 distinct categories, including those that were defined by a technology (i.e. AI), a health outcomes (i.e. mental health), addressing an access (i.e. cost savings) and affiliation-specific contributions to the field by UCSF. Net-net, they gave us a platform to understand how the industry is defined, as well as an introduction to the thought-leaders and the companies who are recognized as having make significant contributions to the field to-date. It is critical that each of us, as business leaders, providers, policy-makers and/or consumers, understands the important developments happening at the interface between technology and health care in the weeks and months ahead. In taking a proactive role, we will be able to help ensure that positive change gains momentum. It is clear that our collective voices are needed to ensure that digital health does not lose ground post-COVID. 

Among the 15 categories recognized at the ceremony* (see below), most (7) related to health outcomes (mental health, wellness, prevention, etc.), one addressed patient access issues (patient cost savings), and one recognized a technology type (application of AI). Additionally, two also spotlighted UCSF-specific contributions to the field (i.e. Best technology with UCSF DNA).

In the coming days, I looking forward to delving into the results of the following four sub-categories to learn more about the leaders, vision and impact that each team has had on our industry who each had remarkable insights to share during the awards ceremony:  (1) New application of AI, where the winner was Viz.ai, (2) Remote Diagnostics, where the winner was Conversa Health; (3) Mental and Behavioral Health, where the winner was Ginger; and (4) UCSF DNA, where the winner among UCSF applicants was Akili Health.


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