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mHealth Summit kicks off Monday in Washington, D.C.

By Eric Wicklund, Editor, mHIMSS

WASHINGTON – Interested observers have been keeping a close eye on the agenda of the mHealth Summit as it approaches, wondering if the event, in its third year, was attracting enough attention.

They needn't have worried.

Kicking off Monday at the spacious Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center in Washington D.C., the three-day conference and exhibit has amassed an impressive list of keynote speakers, educational sessions and special events. Organizers are expecting more than 3,000 visitors from 50 countries this year, and at least 300 exhibitors.

"We had our coming-out party, and knew it was important to evolve the event in year three," said Richard Scarfo, director of the mHealth Summit at the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), the non-profit that produces the conference. "We scrapped our model and set out on a new path, which included carefully expanding the exhibit floor, revamping our pricing structure, developing a complex conference program and forging key partnerships and alliances."

Last year's show featured entrepreneurs Bill Gates and Ted Turner and U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra as keynote speakers, with the focus on mHealth as an up-and-coming technology. Chopra returns to a more established event this year, appearing at a special roundtable discussion on mHealth startups, while the keynote roster consists of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, West Wireless Health Institute Vice Chairman Eric Topol, U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, Verizon Wireless Executive Vice President/COO John Stratton, Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs and Sangita Reddy of India's Apollo Hospitals Group.

Organized by the FNIH, the National Institutes of Health, the mHealth Alliance and the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), this year's conference features morning discussion groups, roundtable discussions, corporate spotlights and themed tracks covering business, research, policy, technology, finance and a HIMSS HIT X.0 track.

Four "Super Sessions" are also scheduled:

    1.    "The Value Proposition for mHealth," a panel discussion moderated by Charlotte Howard of The Economist, will take place from 10:15-11:15 a.m. Monday.
    2.    "Mobile Health in the Clinical Enterprise," a series of presentations moderated by Patrick Muldoon of HealthAlliance Hospital, will take place from 10-11 a.m. Tuesday.
    3.    "The New Wireless Paradigm in the Medical Device Industry," a series of presentations moderated by Tom Wheeler of Core Capital Partners, will take place from 10-11 a.m. Wednesday.
    4.    "Global Policy and Regulatory Perspectives of mHealth," a series of presentations moderated by Joseph Smith of the West Wireless Health Institute, will take place from 11 a.m.-noon Wednesday.

Sharing the exhibit hall floor are four pavilions – the mHIMSS HIT mHealth Vendor Pavilion, the NIH Pavilion, the StartUp Mobile Health Pavilion and Qualcomm's Wireless Health Pavilion. The Exhibit Hall will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Other special events include the launch of a new initiative by Health In Place (HIP) – Disruptive Women in Health Care (5-7p.m. Tuesday in the Pose Ultra Lounge & Nightclub); a Mobile Health Venture Fair from 2:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday; an Executive Breakfast Roundtable sponsored by Fierce Health from 8-9:15 a.m. Tuesday; and a debate sponsored by Vodaphone from 8-9:15 a.m. Wednesday. Several special sessions are also scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, following the summit's closing remarks.

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