January 30, 2017
By Steven Wishnia
New York, NY – The Boston-based Best Doctors medical information-services company will hold its fifth annual Healthcare Innovations Summit Feb. 8-9 at the Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square.
The company, founded in 1989, specializes in “expert second opinions” intended to help people and labor-union and employer health plans avoid misdiagnoses, says spokesperson Justin Joseph. If someone wants to get a second opinion about their condition—“cancer, back pain, whatever”—he explains, it connects them with relevant specialists from its network of more than 50,000 doctors.
The conference will feature “thought leaders” in the areas of diagnostic accuracy and medical uncertainty, concentrating on “how we can make sure that people are getting the right diagnoses.” Technology is a large part of that, Joseph adds.
Sessions will cover innovative oncology solutions, health data and analytics, and workers’ compensation strategies.
The featured speaker will be Dr. Kyu Rhee, chief health officer of IBM’s Watson Health Unit. That unit, says Best Doctors sales representative Charles Gustafson, has developed “new and exciting cognitive technology” to connect patients and doctors. Its Watson for Oncology, developed in collaboration with the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Institute, goes over cancer patients’ medical records to recommend appropriate treatment. Its Watson for Genomics helps identify treatment courses based on the genetic alterations in their tumors, including finding clinical trials for which they might be eligible.
The keynote speaker will be Dr. Zubin Damania, founder of Turntable Health, a Las Vegas primary-care network where people pay a monthly membership fee rather than bills for medical services. It provides “health coaches” who give members advice on cooking and exercise. One client is the Culinary Union, UNITE HERE Local 226, whose members can sign up through their Nevada Health Co-Op health insurance plan.
Dr. Damania is also known as the YouTube medical rapper ZDoggMD. His talk, “Rethinking Medicine and What it Means to Be a Doctor,” will focus on his belief that through good primary care, you can treat or prevent most costly illnesses.
Other speakers will include Robin Farmanfarmaian, president of i4j ECO, on “The Patient as CEO” and how technology will change the way we experience and interact with medical facilities and physicians; Canadian sportscaster Michael Landsberg, whose film Darkness and Hope: Depression, Sports and Me, documented his personal battle with depression; and Dr. Martin Samuels, chair of the Department of Neurology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.