Conference explores new technologies and trends in healthcare

Conference explores new technologies and trends in healthcare

web-sig_travis-heider_On Nov. 14, more than 200 medical professionals representing 70 different organizations gathered at the 2018 Healthcare Innovations Conference to learn about some of the latest technologies in healthcare. Sponsored by Pandion Optimization Alliance, the full-day event at the Rochester Riverside Hotel featured discussions on everything from new medical apps to 3D organs—innovative ideas to improve the delivery of healthcare in our community.

The keynote address was delivered by Bryan Bucklew, who was recently named the president and CEO of the Hospital Council of Northern and Central California. His speech focused on the successful establishment of Ascend Innovations—a collaboration between three major hospital systems and a product design firm called Kaleidoscope, while he was the president of the Greater Dayton Hospital Association in Dayton, Ohio.

Ascend Innovations is a for-profit product design company made up of clinicians, researchers, industrial designers, engineers and business analysts who collaborate to create innovations in healthcare. They design better products through first-hand research, harnessing the power of data science and delivering cost-effective end-to-end clinical trials. For example, Ascend Innovations partnered with the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to create electronic headsets that improved concentration for soldiers by using the latest technologies and healthcare research.

Bucklew noted that there are many similarities between Rochester, New York, and Dayton, Ohio. Both are mid-sized cities whose top employers are hospitals or healthcare systems. Both have hospital associations that bring competing systems together (Pandion Healthcare Association and the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association). It was inspiring to hear about their successful endeavor to bring hospitals, healthcare systems, and technology companies together to creative innovative products.

To obtain a local perspective, Pandion invited Al Kinel, president of Strategic Interests, to lead a panel discussion on healthcare innovations in Rochester. Strategic Interests, Excell Partners and Greater Rochester Enterprise are working together to attract new healthcare technologies to the region. For example, Art Papier M.D. moved to Rochester and developed an interactive app for both patients and clinicians. With over 2.5 million clinical inquiries and over 59 million images viewed, VisualDx has become a top-rated medical app.

The conference also included a presentation about the impact of the 2018 midterm elections on healthcare by Bea Grause, president of the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS). In addition, there were several breakout sessions hosted by clinical experts from both the University of Rochester Medical Center and Rochester Regional Health.

Speakers discussed 3D surgical models to help surgeons become better prepared for challenging surgeries, mobile apps for the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease, and the Mobile Stroke Unit from UR Medicine, which aims to decrease time for stroke treatment in the field. The Mobile Stroke Unit, one of only 13 in the nation, was parked outside the hotel during the conference and was available for a guided tour.

In addition, participants had the opportunity to learn from local, national and international healthcare technology companies about the ways they are improving patient experiences. For example, the Rochester-based company, Rendever, showcased virtual reality technology, which can be used with seniors in long-term care and assisted living communities to decrease social islation and improve overall health.

As technology and innovation continues to change the face of medicine, Pandion’s goal is to keep people informed and up-to-date about the latest technology and trends. By convening healthcare leaders from across our region and beyond, we are able to provide them with a forum for discussion of shared challenges, best practices, and possible future collaborations. For more information about our annual Healthcare Innovations Conference, please visit

Travis Heider is president and CEO of Pandion Healthcare: Education and Advocacy, a not-for-profit 501(c)3 association whose membership comprises 17 hospitals and their related health systems in the nine counties of Monroe, Livingston, Ontario, Wayne, Seneca, Yates, Allegany, Steuben and Chemung. The association works closely with the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) and the American Hospital Association (AHA), collaborating on many issues and activities.