2017 Milken Institute Future of Health Summit: A New World of Collaboration
By Guannan Feng (MBA'19)
Improving physical wellness and providing universal accessibility to basic health care is the most fundamental strategy to empower people and spread prosperity around the world. Addressing health care needs calls for broader collaboration among governments, NGOs, academia and private sectors.
These were the two major imperatives raised at the 2017 Future of Health Summit in Washington D.C. which was convened by the Milken Institute to seek greater unity among institutions involved in public health, raise public awareness, and demonstrate the social and economic benefit of the field.
The Global Social Enterprise Initiative at Georgetown McDonough School of Business joined this high profile event, which brought together top decision-makers in the health care sphere, to engage in discussions of cutting-edge topics in public health, encompassing integrative approaches to addiction and opioid epidemic, the ways big data could change health, healthy aging and digital health revolution.
Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo and a keynote speaker for the event shared that her company’s key corporate strategy was to transform its product portfolio to support healthy lifestyles, responding to audience skepticism regarding how the company whose products were accused of increasing diabetes in the population could tackle the issue of health.
She further highlighted PepsiCo’s work in finding innovative ways to reduce their negative impact on the environment, providing safe and inclusive workplaces for their employees around the globe and investing in the communities in which it operates. Ms. Nooyi shared how growing up in India, where her family had insufficient clean water to drink, instilled in her a focus on the value of health and sustainability which she has worked to integrate into PepsiCo’s long-term strategy and vision.
Another hot topic at the summit was how big data could be used to improve the health care industry. Dr. Paul Chew from Omada Health highlighted that big data helped to understand patients from at a more granular level. However, the major difficulty now was that health data was more dispersed and fragmented than big data in e-commerce. Getting good and clean clinical data was the target in future. The digital health revolution was another widely discussed topic. Amazon was considered as a hugely disruptive force in pharmaceutical retail. Key stakeholders in that industry saw changes in the traditional marketing and retailing in the industry was coming soon. Artificial Intelligence in another trend promising to bring a revolution to the traditional diagnosis relationship between doctors and patients.