Austin SXSW Health

SXSW 2019: The .health roundup

Two years ago at SXSW, we hadn’t even launched yet, but innovators were already hustling and launching projects on .health domain names through our pre-launch partnership program – including and This year, we stopped in and checked up to see “where are they now”… Here’s our recap of SXSWHealth 2019!


Impact Pediatric Health is a one-of-a-kind pitch competition held annually at SXSW dedicated to showcasing and supporting the best pediatric healthcare innovations. It was created by seven leading U.S. Children’s Hospitals including Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Boston Children’s Hospital, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Stanford Children’s Health and Texas Children’s Hospital.

This year’s 12 finalists were:

  • Smileyscope, Cambridge, MA
    Transforms scary pediatric procedures with virtual reality,
  • Bardy Diagnostics, Seattle, WA
    Digital health and remote cardiac patient monitoring innovation
  • InfraScan, Philadelphia, PA
    Developed an easy to use, handheld brain scanner to identify brain bleeds
  • Prapela, Boston, MA
    Helps newborns breathe, relax and sleep with SVS – a breakthrough technology
  • Gravitas Medical, San Francisco, CA
    Developed a ‘smart’ nasogastric feeding system
  • PolyVascular, Houston, TX
    Created pediatric polymeric transcatheter pulmonary valves
  • Vifant, LLC, Philadelphia, PA
    Vision screening test preverbal and nonverbal children
  • Sound Scouts, Sydney, Australia
    Provides accessible hearing checks for school-aged children
  • BabyNoggin, San Francisco, CA
    Whole child population platform to screen and test for developmental delays
  • KinChip Systems, Perth, Australia
    Link health, education and social services for better care outcomes
  • Better Living Technologies, Austin, TX
    Hardware enabled software driving patient behavior changes and outcomes with data
  • Elemeno Health, Oakland, CA
    B2B SaaS ‘virtual coach’ for frontline teams to improve quality and safety


Health innovation consultancy Energizing.Health, founded by Brian Lang, runs a number of health innovation-focused events at SXSW and elsewhere each year, including Impact Pediatric, the SXSW Health Onsite Review Committee, and more.

This year, Brian and his team took it a step further by creating – a section of programming in Austin dedicated to health equity. At SXSW, we imagined a world where everyone – regardless of what zip code they live in, what gender they are, or what color their skin is – can have access to high quality healthcare and a healthy life – with the help of technology. Amazing speakers like the Chairman of the NAACP Foundation and the Founder of the National Birth Equity Collaborative brought to the stage a much-appreciated focus on populations we may typically miss when we talk about digital health.

SXSW t-shirts imagine health

As a part of the Imagine.Health initiative, for the first time ever the health industry had its own “house” at SXSW! The Energizing Health House brought us four days of programming and networking at Coopers’ BBQ — including being home to a mini-Startup Health Festival and two days of amazing content by the Novartis Biome.

Work hard. Play hard.

A fun highlight of SXSW was learning that our nation’s highest health technology official – Ed Simcox, the Chief Technology Officer of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) – can bring down the house with a pair of drumsticks in his hands. Ed played a guest set during the Health Disruptors Dinner on Sunday night, and our lives will never be the same.

As it happens, Ed also knows a thing or two about our nation’s health. His office has launched a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership, KidneyX, with the American Society of Nephrology, who was also in attendance at SXSW. We loved hearing the story of this successful partnership, and how there are already plans to expand into more indications as a sort of “x-in-a-box” type of strategy.

What’s next?

Ok, excuse us while we drink 20 gallons of water and get our Bikram Yoga on for the next week to detox from all the SXSW mayhem and start planning for the next event on our list: HITMC 2019 in Boston!

Want more of what you might have missed at SXSW? Check out these health-focused recaps from our friends and partners:

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