Sepsis Alliance Hosts Successful Sepsis Tech & Innovation Conference
June 30, 2021
Sepsis care involves hands-on recognition, diagnosis, and treatment. It also involves innovation to support this treatment and to help patients recover. For this reason, Sepsis Alliance recently hosted an inaugural virtual conference, Sepsis Tech & Innovation.
Health care doesn’t operate in silos, but it can seem that way. The public usually sees only the providers they encounter. This usually includes physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other front-line health workers. But those professionals are just a tip of the proverbial iceberg. Below the surface rests many who also play vital roles in how health care is shaped and delivered to people around the world.
Narrowing the Gap Between Innovation and Sepsis Care
Sepsis Alliance is a patient advocacy organization, dedicated to promoting sepsis awareness and education among the public and healthcare professionals. Over the years, the organization noticed a gap between actual sepsis care and innovation.
Most health-related conferences target front line workers. The speakers focus on clinical best practices and improvement in care. However, for clinicians to diagnose and treat patients, there needs to be innovation from other stakeholders. These stakeholders are clinical leaders, policy makers, venture capitalists, and innovators.
“There was a need that was not being addressed,” said Thomas Heymann, President and CEO of Sepsis Alliance. “We wanted to bring together the best minds to think about how we could accelerate the pace of innovation.” And with this, Sepsis Tech & Innovation was pitched.
Great Response to Sepsis Tech & Innovation Proposal
The reaction to this unique event was positive, with 60 subject matter experts signing up to participate. “We had a great response,” Heymann said. “We had about 2,000 people register for this first ever conference. There were 17 sponsors; 10 of them were new sponsors to Sepsis Alliance. We garnered interest from a whole new segment of the care continuum.”
Panels discussed topics such as
- Data and Quality Initiatives: Addressing a Costly and Deadly Condition
- Putting Your Tax Dollars to Work: Government Role in Healthcare Innovation
- Rehab Tech: From Wooden Legs to Robotics, and
- The AI Revolution in Sepsis Care
There were also conversations about driving equity and diversity in investing and development, and thoughts from a sepsis survivor. The event was closed with a talk by Niranjan “Tex” Kissoon, MD, a member of the Sepsis Alliance Advisory Board and President of the Global Sepsis Alliance. He emphasized the importance of such an innovative conference and how it can affect the world on a global basis.
Sepsis Is a Multi-Faceted Issue
There is no question that sepsis is a serious medical problem. But in his closing remarks, Kissoon pointed out that sepsis is more than that. It is a socio-economic problem, affected by education, money, staff shortages, and health seeking behaviors. It is also a political problem, with government priorities, drug shortages, vaccination issues, and more.
With a conference like Sepsis Tech & Innovation, stakeholders who can bring about change in innovation (inventors, investors, insurers, healthcare leaders) and politics can discuss their ideas, progress, and hopes, particularly since pandemics are occurring more often and will continue to occur. “Epidemics are here to stay,” Kissoon said. We need technologically advanced tools to anticipate the emergence and amplification of infection outbreaks, he added.
Sepsis Tech & Innovation Future Plans
The inaugural Sepsis Tech & Innovation will not be a one-off event. Sepsis Alliance will soon start planning next year’s conference. “And there may be other opportunities during the year to bring that patient voice to the innovation and technology development process, which has largely been lacking,” Heymann said. As more stakeholders learn of this event’s success and visibility, the more voices will likely become available.
In the meantime, plans are also well underway for the second annual Sepsis Alliance Summit. This virtual sepsis conference will be held September 14 to 16, 2021, during Sepsis Awareness Month. This annual event brings together experts from around the world to discuss sepsis care. To learn more about Sepsis Alliance events, visit Sepsis.org and scroll to the bottom of the page to sign up for the monthly newsletter.