Digital Health

Karen Wolk Feinstein Brings a Taste of CES to Pittsburgh

This article is based in part on a story that originally appeared in It Is Innovation (i3) magazine, published by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®.

Overview Jewish Healthcare Foundation President and CEO Karen Wolk Feinstein shares how attending CES® helped her take the leap to launch Pittsburgh’s first immersive health care innovation summit.

“It’s in our DNA to cross industries and make unusual connections,” said Karen Wolk Feinstein, president and CEO of Jewish Healthcare Foundation. Although she may seem like an unlikely CES® attendee, Feinstein has been coming to the global stage for innovation since 2015.

At the Digital Health Summit at CES 2015, first-time attendee Feinstein was inspired by the technology-fueled disruption she saw in the health care area. That trip — and the ones in the following five years — reignited Feinstein’s commitment to breakthrough digital health innovation, different from the incremental improvements she was accustomed to in the health system.

Feinstein’s attendance at CES led to the launch of Pittsburgh’s first immersive health care innovation summit, Liftoff PGH.

Why Pittsburgh and Why Liftoff PGH?

Feinstein recognized that though the Pittsburgh region has internationally recognized institutions in medical research and technology, it needed to reinvent ways of innovating if it wanted to compete with international leaders in health care, robotics and artificial intelligence.

Disruption and fast-paced advancement have become the norm across industries. Feinstein and the Jewish Healthcare Foundation believed that the intersection and combination of medicine, technology and other industries could lead to more solutions of society’s challenges.

“For Pittsburgh, the collective challenge is to reinvent how we effect change, to disaggregate ideas from sectors, and envision an economy based on unfettered innovation,” Feinstein said.

The Five Explorations of Liftoff PGH

The Liftoff PGH summit is guided by five overarching themes, reflecting the greatest opportunities to transform health care in the Pittsburgh region.

  • Workforce and Education: Innovation has changed the future of work; leaders in education and workforce development are planning to reskill and prepare Pittsburgh’s students for new health care jobs.

  • The New Patient: Patients have gained greater access to information and methods to manage their own health. The future of health care is patient-driven, allowing consumers to take a proactive role in their wellness.

  • Payment and Regulation: In the future, insurance companies may be able to accurately predict consumer health care costs through advanced analytics. Payers and regulatory bodies need to prepare for these changes.

  • Health Spaces New and Old: New models of care may be arriving in communities and homes. From bedrooms to cars, different spaces can soon be equipped with remote monitoring technology.

  • Entrepreneurship: The entrepreneurial ecosystem and the spirit of innovation needs to be enriched and supported so that health care research and development, startups, and jobs can thrive in the region.

“Can local leadership in health delivery, finance, government, education and philanthropy boost a city’s potential for wildly innovative collaboration?” Feinstein said. “We’ll see.”

Learn more about Karen Wolk Feinstein and how she found inspiration for Liftoff PGH at CES in i3 magazine.

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It Is Innovation (i3) magazine, the flagship magazine from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®, focuses on innovation in technology, policy and business as well as the entrepreneurs, industry leaders and startups that grow the consumer technology industry.

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