Cross-Pollination at Frontiers Health 2018

Cross-Pollination at Frontiers Health 2018

Frontiers Health is an remarkable conference in both its scope and focus. It’s a mental game-changer with a clear purpose: to alter the way we think about digital health.

Last year, I wrote about what makes Frontiers Health so unique. What I’m curious about this year is how the stated themes of discovery and networking came to life. It’s definitely a cross-pollination experience.

As an Ambassador for this edition– a new feature of the conference– I had the honor of collaborating with Roberto Ascione’s talented team of organizers, spreading the word to the global community via social media, and introducing a guest speaker.

Here’s how

Discovery happens because you stumble upon, or strategically attend, informative talks and diverse panels curated to offer multiple perspectives. You learn from people you might never have had contact with: pharma execs, AI wizards, famous podcasters, European students, NGO reps, Doctors without Borders, etc. Which brings me to the topic of PEOPLE who attend.

Networking sounds fairly mundane, but here it’s elevated. As Matteo Penzo, Founder and CEO of the Frontiers Conferences, said in his intro, Frontiers Health is “adding the human dimension to the digital dimension”.

I met bloggers, researchers, founders, investors, and thought-leaders in a very natural setting, a.k.a the lunch line. We could immediately spar about digital health and our perspectives on this multi-faceted topic that inevitably affects us all at some stage in our lives.


Below is a rapid-fire assessment of six presentations covering a range of topics that reveal some of what’s happening across the digital health spectrum. (Note that for this piece, I focus on the first day of the conference. And that said, there were so many worthy, simultaneous events that I cover only a portion of the full offerings here.)

Topics include sensors, decision-making, diabetes innovation, collaborative partnership tips, and investment awareness.

  1. Digimeds as Business Multipliers
  2. Why Trust Autonomous Agents?
  3. Not Waiting Around– the DIY Artificial Pancreas
  4. Skirting ad-hoc collaborative Partnerships in Healthcare
  5. Digital Health in the Developing World
  6. Early Investment Panel Insights (& Homework)

The conference got off to a strong start with Andrew Thompson from Proteus Digital Health who addressed the number one problem in pharma – R&D productivity – by discussing digestible, or ingestible, sensors. My ears were perked. He mentioned mental health and infectious disease as two areas where these sensors make a huge difference.

Read the full article written by Elisheva Marcus, Frontiers Health Ambassador, on Medium.