techInnovation and collaboration in digital technology will hopefully help build a roadmap toward improved health and healthcare, American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown said during a meeting on health technology.

Emerging digital technology joined with old-fashioned prevention may reach people in new ways, Brown said in her speech to more than 150 medical and technology leaders Tuesday at the Health Tech Forum in Austin, Texas.

“Prevention is ineffective if the patient’s not a proactive participant in the process, but individuals don’t fully engage in their health or change their behaviors until it’s driven by what matters to them,” said Brown. “What we’re interested in doing is changing the patient-doctor conversation from ‘what’s wrong?’ to ‘how can I help you with your aspiration?’ How can we help you get there?”

Once the focus changes, mobile technology will have a huge role in delivering information and guidance to patients wherever they are, and whenever they need it, Brown said.

“Of the 8,760 hours we have each year, consumers want to spend zero thinking about health. We have to simplify,” she said.

Brown was joined in a panel discussion by Eduardo Sanchez, M.D., the American Heart Association’s deputy Chief Medical Officer; and Robert Harrington, M.D., chair of the association’s Council on Scientific Sessions Program. The group emphasized the importance of collaboration between corporate America, healthcare providers and digital technology innovators to build a culture of health.

Brown cited the association’s CEO Roundtable as a prime example of how health care is “now a CEO issue, not just an HR issue. By identifying America’s healthiest companies, we will pioneer a system of health in America.”

She said continuing to gather like minds and the passion of the forum’s attendees is the first step.

“We’ve never been in an environment with so many people innovating in technology and healthcare – together we can make a difference,” she said.

The forum was presented by the AHA and the Aetna Foundation in Austin.

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