|Susannah Fox, chief technology officer at HHS,
and John Burklow, head of communications at
NIH, take questions after her summit keynote.
Here’s looking at you, alpha geeks. We’re
counting on you to help us tell the stories
of science and medicine in the years ahead.
That’s what one keynote speaker, HHS
Chief Technology Officer Susannah Fox,
told attendees at the first NIH Digital
Summit on Oct. 19.
“My mission and purpose in life is to stay
close to the edges of medicine and science,”
she said, describing the 15 years she’s
spent following people who are living with life-changing diagnoses and rare conditions.
“Because I really believe they are the alpha
geeks of health care. When you follow the
alpha geeks of any industry, you’re following
the hackers. You’re following the people
who are pushing on every tool, pushing at the edges of medicine…This way I can bring
back reports from the future, so we can
better think about where things are headed
in terms of health and technology. That’s
our shared mission. That’s what you do here
at NIH, push at the edges of medicine and
science in treatment and in the labs and in
the research you do.”
The summit brought “together communicators,
patients, researchers and
health professionals from inside and outside
government to talk about the most effective
ways to communicate on digital platforms,”
said John Burklow, NIH associate director
for communications and public liaison,
opening the event. Two keynote lectures,
4 panels, an exhibit/demo area and several
topic tables comprised the day-long summit.
More than 1,400 people registered to attend
the event, either in Masur Auditorium
or online. A screen featuring a real-time Twitter feed using #NIHDigital kept in-person and online attendees engaged in the conversation.