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Entrepreneurs and researchers discuss low-cost health care solutions and the emerging technologies that will drive them; conference accessible via live webcast
BERKELEY, CA – Nov. 9, 2009 – Can technological innovation rein in our nation's escalating health care costs? On Wednesday, Nov. 18, luminaries including Andy Grove, former CEO of Intel, and Steve Burd, CEO of Safeway, will take up this question at the second annual A. Richard Newton Global Technology Leaders Conference, titled Translating Technology into Cost-Effective Health Care.
Hosted by UC Berkeley's College of Engineering in partnership with the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3), the conference brings together entrepreneurs and researchers to discuss cost-effective health care innovations and the emerging technologies that drive them. The conference is sponsored in part by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and is a signature innovation event during Global Entrepreneurship Week, Nov. 16-22, 2009, which annually introduces millions of young people around the world to entrepreneurship.
In most industries, technological innovation leads to productivity gains. Health care has been a glaring exception. New or expanded medical technologies account for at least 50 percent of the nation's dramatic annual rise in health care costs, in the view of most health care economists.
"We think better technology doesn't have to mean higher health care costs," said Ikhlaq Sidhu, director of UC Berkeley's Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology and a key organizer of the conference. "In fact, we see tremendous potential for technologies that reduce health spending by detecting serious disease early, streamlining drug discovery, eliminating unproductive medical interventions and allowing people with chronic disease to manage their care at home," said Sidhu.
The goal of the day-long conference is to prompt discussions on cost-effective health care technologies and identify pathways toward new business creation, public policymaking and marketplace adoption.
Sessions will focus on low-cost products and services that could reduce hospital stays and give patients greater control over their own health. The insights from this event will be useful to health care industry innovators as well as policy makers.
"We will have an extraordinary brain trust at this conference who will discuss one of our nation's most critical issues today: escalating health care costs," said Lesa Mitchell, vice president of Advancing Innovation at the Kauffman Foundation. "We will not see a reduction in costs without new models for cost-effectively advancing medical innovations to the market. This conference will take this challenge on, and I am hopeful we will end the day with some actionable ideas."
Both Andy Grove and Steve Burd have attracted national attention for their viewpoints on balancing the benefits of medical technology advances with their costs. Other industry leaders speaking at the conference include Alex Bangs, co-founder and CTO of Entelos; Eric Horvitz, principal researcher at Microsoft; Kaveh Safavi, global lead for health care practice at Cisco; Mickey Urdea, co-founder and CEO of Tethys Bioscience; and Noam Ziv, health and life sciences lead at Qualcomm.
Academic and government researchers taking part include Christopher Austin, director of the Chemical Genomics Center at the National Institutes of Health; Dan Fletcher, associate professor of bioengineering at UC Berkeley; Regis Kelly, QB3 director; Shankar Sastry, dean of UC Berkeley's College of Engineering; Ikhlaq Sidhu, director of UC Berkeley's Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology and adjunct professor of industrial engineering & operations research; Lydia Sohn, associate professor of mechanical engineering at UC Berkeley; Matthew Tirrell, chair of UC Berkeley's bioengineering department; and Paul Wright, director of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS).
"Biomedical research has always focused on improving healthcare, and it has been fantastically successful in that effort, but without considering the cost," said Regis Kelly of QB3. "We know that our researchers can solve tough challenges. Now, it's time to focus on making healthcare accessible and sustainable by lowering the cost of care."
The Nov. 18 conference takes place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time at the Rutter Center at UCSF Mission Bay, 1675 Owens St., San Francisco CA 94143. Please use the following links:
The A. Richard Newton Global Technology Leaders Conference celebrates the entrepreneurial vision of Richard Newton, dean of UC Berkeley's College of Engineering from 2000 to 2007. Learn more about Richard Newton >
About the UC Berkeley College of Engineering
UC Berkeley's College of Engineering educates men and women for careers of leadership and innovation in engineering and related fields; expands the base of engineering knowledge through original research and by developing technology to serve the needs of society; and benefits the public through service to industry, government and the engineering profession. It is the top-ranked public engineering school in the nation. For more information, visit http://www.coe.berkeley.edu/
About UC Berkeley College of Engineering's Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology
Through teaching, programs and research, the Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology (CET) equips engineers and scientists with the skills to lead, innovate and commercialize technology in the global economy. UC Berkeley faculty and students have started more than 200 UC ventures in areas such as IT, biotechnology and clean energy. More information on the CET here: http://cet.berkeley.edu/
About the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3)
The California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3) is a cooperative effort among three UC campuses — Berkeley, San Francisco and Santa Cruz — and private industry that harnesses the quantitative sciences to integrate our understanding of biological systems, in order to set the stage for fundamental new discoveries, new products and new technologies for the benefit of human health. For more information, visit http://qb3.org/