SXSW Interactive 2014 Festival Recap: Wearables, Nano Tech, and 3D Printing

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South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) 2014 brought some of the greatest minds in technology to Austin, Texas, for five days of panel discussions, workshops, and keynotes by industry leaders in tech, social media, design, software development, healthcare, and a range of other industries.

Kicking off Friday, March 7, SXSWi drew more than 30,000 people to Austin, and featured keynote addresses by Anne Wojcicki, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, and more.

Healthcare technology sessions featured top executives in technology and innovation from Health and Human Services, the UK’s National Health Service, Partnership for a Healthier America, IBM, and Microsoft. More than 150 events, sessions, and meetings at this year’s conference dealt with health in some way.

By and large, this year’s healthcare panels focused on the future of healthcare, from nano-sized technology and “wearables,” to virtual doctors’ offices, to the patient’s need to not only access, but actively manage their own personal health information and data, becoming a highly-engaged player in their own healthcare experience.

Each year, the festival features a “Start-Up Accelerator,” in which start-ups compete for funding and recognition. This year’s winner in the health category is a website called ThriveOn.com, which provides “personalized online programs coached by experienced professionals to strengthen your mental health.”

3D printing was also back in full-force again this year, complete with a panel on 3D Printed Food and the future of food production. This emerging technology will undoubtedly continue to grow, and to increase in prominence at technology-focused events like SXSWi in the coming years, particularly in regard to healthcare.

For more information about SXSWi, visit the conference website.

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