Stanford Medicine X conference will take place Sept. 5-7

The 2014 Stanford Medicine X program will feature a broad range of themes, including mental health, the “no-smartphone” patient and the medical team of the future.

Lawrence Chu speaks to participants at the 2013 Medicine X conference at Stanford.
Courtesy of Medicine X

Medicine X, Stanford University’s premier conference on emerging health-care technology and patient-centered medicine, will return to campus Sept. 5-7.

The conference, which will be held at the Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge, brings together innovative thinkers to exchange ideas about how social media and mobile computing are advancing the practice of medicine, inspiring new health-care delivery models and empowering patients to be proactive in their own care.

“Medicine X has distinguished itself through a singular commitment to inclusivity and by finding new ways to bring every voice and perspective into important conversations about health care,” said Lawrence Chu, MD, associate professor of anesthesia at the School of Medicine and executive director of the conference. “We have expanded this inclusive spirit this year by exploring the themes of mental health, underserved populations and pharma.”

To register, visit Last year’s conference sold out, and space is limited for this year’s event.

“Stanford’s Medicine X has become one of the most important forums for health-care stakeholders to identify and explore ways in which information technologies and social media can be used to improve human health,” said Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the School of Medicine. “Dr. Chu has made this the go-to event for e-patients, physicians and innovators who want to get together to map out the future of health care.”

Highlighting mental health issues

This year’s program will spotlight the relationship between physical and mental well-being with three breakout panels. Psychologist Ann Becker-Shutte, PhD, will moderate a session on how mental health affects overall health. A conversation about emerging technologies in mental health will be led by Malay Gandhi, managing director of Rock Health, a business accelerator for health-care technology startup companies. Additionally, patient advocate Sarah Kucharski will direct a discussion about depression caused by chronic disease and about coping through online communities.

“Mental health is imperative to address in the overall conversation about the future of health care,” said Chu. “We need to be thinking about the health of the whole person, not just a patient’s individual symptoms or disease.”

The three-day event will also feature panels on what the medical team of the future may look like; how patients with chronic diseases can use self-tracking tools to improve their health and support one another; ways for the pharmaceutical industry to partner with patients in the drug discovery and clinical trial process; and opportunities to connect with “no-smartphone” patients — those who don’t have the access or resources to fully engage with health-enhancing technologies.

Keynote speakers at Medicine X will be Daniel Siegel, MD, clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California-Los Angeles; Barron Lerner, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and population health at New York University School of Medicine; and Charles Ornstein, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and senior reporter at ProPublica.

On Sept. 5, Siegel, author of The New York Times bestseller Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain, will deliver the opening keynote address, “Interpersonal Connection, Self-Awareness and Well-Being: The Art and Science of Integration in the Promotion of Health.” During the talk, he will discuss his approach to developing a healthy mind, an integrated brain and empathetic relationships.

Also on Sept. 5, Lerner will share his perspective on medicine, bioethics and the doctor-patient relationship — an ethical framework shaped by choices his own father made during a long and storied medical career — in a keynote address titled “Days of a Giant: Advice from My Father’s Medical Career.”

In the Sept. 6 keynote, “Harnessing Data to Better Involve Patients,” Ornstein will examine data as a force multiplier for patient engagement and empowerment.

“Too often the media approach stories about health-care quality, patient safety and health costs by focusing on a few individual examples,” said Ornstein. “To get patients to engage, we need to change the paradigm. The way we do that is to arm them with information that they can relate to.”

Mobile app for conference

A new addition to this year’s conference is the Medicine X mobile app, which was developed using Apple’s iBeacon technology. Participants who use the app will be able to provide feedback about the conference and rate speakers in real time. They can also use the system to communicate directly with Medicine X staff members and request items, such as a blanket or water. The app also will facilitate networking among attendees by providing notifications about other users’ locations. Conference-goers will have the option to forgo this feature of the app altogether.

The conference lineup also includes the Medicine X master class program, a series of small-venue seminars taught by experts in specific disciplines. Confirmed master-class speakers are: Minor; Ornstein; Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, pediatrician and author of the Seattle Mama Doc blog; Bryan Vartabedian, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics and director of digital literacy at the Baylor College of Medicine; and Roni Zeiger, MD, CEO of Smart Patients.

“As a pediatrician trying to change how we deliver health care, Medicine X is a lens to the future for me,” Swanson said. “Innovators, developers, nurses, patients and staff come together to improve the architecture of seeking and delivering health care. It’s a place where the hallway is as exciting as the stage — the networking, the stories and the solutions and partnerships that come out of Medicine X have been transformational for me.”

Pre-conference design challenge, workshops

The IDEO Design Challenge and three pre-conference workshops will be held on Sept. 4. The workshops are on patient-engagement design, entrepreneurship in digital health and how patients can become active partners in clinical trial development. The pre-conference workshops will be held in Paul Brest Hall at the Munger Conference Center.

The IDEO Design Challenge will be held at IDEO’s headquarters in Palo Alto and offer patients the opportunity to collaborate with designers, technologists, researchers and health-care providers to develop solutions to enhance patient care.

Patient involvement is a hallmark of Medicine X. Ten percent of the conference seats are reserved for e-patients, health consumers who use digital tools to get information about and help manage their medical conditions. This year, Medicine X awarded 37 scholarships to e-patients to offset registration and travel costs.

“Medicine X is all about people working together toward changing health care for the better, and everyone is welcome,” said e-patient Hugo Campos. “Patients are on an equal footing with all other participants, and that’s fundamental for fostering true partnership toward change.”

To learn more about Medicine X, visit or follow the conference on Twitter at @StanfordMedX or #MedX.

Medicine X is a project of the Stanford University School of Medicine Anesthesia Informatics and Media Lab, and is sponsored in part by the school’s Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine. Other sponsors are Stanford Health Care, the Agency for Healthcare Research Quality, Stanford Hospital Corporate Partners Program, Eli Lilly COI and Boehringer Ingelheim.

Stanford Medicine integrates research, medical education and health care at its three institutions - Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Health Care (formerly Stanford Hospital & Clinics), and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford. For more information, please visit the Office of Communication & Public Affairs site at

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