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Now live! Explore the program for the upcoming 2024 Global Conference, taking place May 5-8, 2024.

Session Listing

December 7 - 9, 2020
2020 Future of Health Summit
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Monday, December 07, 2020
Tuesday, December 08, 2020
Wednesday, December 09, 2020

Work Out with Dogpound
8:00 AM - 8:45 AM EST

This 45-minute virtual workout led by Dogpound NY and LA's elite trainers will address full body conditioning movements designed to improve performance, enhance mobility, and build strength. You'll leave each of Dogpound's daily sessions feeling strong, energized, and balanced within body and mind. This is an interactive session (not a webinar). You are welcome to turn your camera on to engage with Dogpound's trainers or leave it off if you prefer.

By selecting and joining this session, you agree to Dogpound's Customer Liability Waiver, Release, and Indemnity Agreement which can be viewed here.

This session is for Future of Health Summit registrants only.

More than 25 million Americans live with a rare disease. While scientific advances have improved our ability to diagnose them, and cell and gene therapies offer promise to those afflicted with them, the rare disease community faces unique challenges in accessing appropriate care—from the "diagnostic odyssey" to obtaining insurance coverage. What are the current strategies for advancing access to rare disease therapies? How have these strategies fared? Where are the greatest opportunities to coordinate efforts and resources?

Telehealth services, long viewed as a critical tool for increasing quality and access to care across populations and settings, has experienced a dramatic increase in use during the COVID-19 pandemic. Driven by necessity and emergency regulatory change, nearly 1.7 million Medicare beneficiaries received telehealth services in a single week in April 2020, up from 13,000 before COVID-19, and private insurers reported a 4,347 percent increase in telehealth claims. Efforts are underway to study the impact of these developments, identify critical barriers and pathways to widespread adoption, and introduce policies that enable improved access to telehealth services. Will this rapid shift allow us to realize the promise of telehealth? Will it allow us to scale its use and spread access to health services? Can increased use of telemedicine help foster health equity and narrow the disparities in health outcomes across underserved communities?

Venture philanthropy can be narrowly defined as philanthropic capital invested in for-profit ventures to achieve both social and financial returns. But venture philanthropy is also a mindset, one that views all funding as an investment with expectations of efficiency and oversight, and with the goals of supporting innovation and tolerating high levels of risk. Non-profits in the biomedical space are increasingly adopting a venture-philanthropy approach to advance new treatments, while using investment profits to fuel additional R&D activities. In this session you will hear from an emerging cadre of nonprofit innovators offering solutions that address the unmet needs of patients—and the rest of the biomedical ecosystem.

The stress and strain of the COVID-19 pandemic may lead to long-term health problems indirectly attributable to the virus. Trauma and toxic stress in childhood can actually change DNA, dramatically affecting the brain and other critical body systems. The cumulative effects of trauma and toxic stress may aggravate the risk for later health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, and substance abuse disorders. The overall effect can contribute to and exacerbate disparities measurable in public health. Responses to the COVID-19 pandemic may be amplifying adverse childhood experiences, termed ACEs, with implications for public health far beyond the development of a vaccine. Panelists will review interventions that may help children and their care providers modify their responses to trauma and mitigate its effects.

This session was recorded on Thursday, December 3.

Overwhelming evidence continues to suggest that climate change is multiplying threats to human health, with adverse effects on disease prevalence, chronic health conditions, mental health, and the availability of food. Experts project that the multiple impacts of climate change will rival the leading global causes of death by the end of the century, with the greatest risks to children, underserved communities, and regions lacking adequate infrastructure. This year broke numerous global climate records and, as we look to the new year, the outlook is no different. New leadership and actionable solutions are needed to build momentum for research, public awareness, and policies that create more equitable health solutions through addressing climate resilience. The panelists will explore how funders, scientific and population experts, governments, and the private sector can break down investment silos to strategically amplify health investments through the inclusion of climate initiatives. 

A key driver of innovation in biomedical research is the ability of patient organizations to connect and collaborate with fellow patient advocates, researchers, and other leaders in the field. These connections promote the sharing of best practices and perspectives, give rise to new ideas and ways of thinking about opportunities and obstacles, and help forge relationships that can lead to further collaborative partnerships. This interactive, invite-only networking session will comprise an assemblage of virtual roundtables on various topics pertaining to patient-centered biomedical innovation.

This segment will be a UZIT practice to offer relief and support for anxiety and exhaustion. We will utilize yoga movement, hand positions, breath work, and meditation to rejuvenate yourself in a world that is full of struggle and confusion which leads to anxiety and exhaustion. We all need moments sprinkled throughout the day to connect to our center and know that peace, steadiness, and joy are always available. The aim is to give tools in order to create a replicable moment of solace in your day.

The bad news: Cancer did not take a break during the COVID-19 pandemic, and thousands of people had to forego or postpone cancer treatments and care due to the downstream effects of the virus. Preventive screenings and anti-cancer treatments were suspended to save hospital capacity and for fear of viral contagion. Nearly 1,000 cancer clinical trials were stalled. The good news: Innovations from the cancer community have boosted our understanding and approach to COVID-19. Novel applications of real-world data, use of oncology treatments with anti-COVID effect, trial innovations—these and other advances in oncology have influenced COVID-19 management. This panel of experts will discuss the current and potential long-term ramifications of COVID-19 for cancer care and research. A key challenge: How to leverage innovations in oncology to compensate for postponed research and treatments.

Globally, the number of people age 60 and over is projected to double to more than two billion by mid-century. To ready for this unprecedented demographic shift, the public and private sectors must adapt to the wants and needs of older adults. Focused on promoting healthy longevity and financial wellness, the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging and its Advisory Board seek to raise awareness, drive change, and ensure that individuals, institutions, and societies are prepared for the realities of population aging. During this private meeting, our Advisory Board members will engage in collaborative discussion on critical issues facing older adults, including addressing social determinants of healthy aging and tackling ageism post-pandemic, to identify opportunities, build consensus on action, and inform the Center's plans and programs for the year ahead.

The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in a new era of clinical research by revealing what can be achieved in weeks or months and how drug development can be accelerated. Master trial protocols allow simultaneous study of multiple therapies. Decentralized clinical trials (CTs) allow patients to take part from home. Clinical trial operations are using more telemedicine and remote monitoring to ease interactions between researchers and study subjects. Regulatory flexibility for product sponsors and innovative CT designs can pave the way for using these models in new therapeutic areas. Panelists will propose likely lasting changes to the clinical research landscape as a result of COVID-19. They will also identify innovations that are at risk of being abandoned but should be preserved in a post-COVID environment. Importantly, they will indicate structural weaknesses that the COVID-19 epidemic has exposed in the clinical research model and that could benefit from renewed innovation and thinking.

COVID-19 has forced changes in our lives, from how we work and socialize, to how we take care of ourselves and loved ones. Amid the challenges and limitations, a rare silver lining is that the pandemic has led to policy changes that increase access to care for substance use disorders (SUD). Additionally, health-technology innovations have created more options for patients, providers, and families. Depression, isolation, and other risk factors for SUD are exacerbated by the pandemic. At the same time, we must not lose sight of the growing importance of paying attention to the spectrum of mental health conditions, awareness, and prevention measures. Panelists will explore how forward-thinking health interventions can leverage current and future technology to incorporate prevention efforts, along with treatment and recovery, while offering the ideal of a holistic approach that is non-stigmatizing, accessible, and providing the highest quality of care for all.

Public health and disaster mitigation notably suffer from panic-neglect funding, where pressing needs take precedence over the prevention of greater, more remote problems. In many cases, prevention becomes difficult if not impossible. The COVID-19 pandemic has stressed many social systems including the need for mental health services. Awareness of the magnitude of the mental health burden throughout the pandemic has driven unprecedented donations to nonprofit organizations focused on mental health. However, although funding has increased for now, studies have consistently shown that mental health research and care are chronically underfunded. Panelists will explore ways to convert increased awareness into sustainable mental health funding. A critical point for discussion is how funders should identify priorities between the demand for immediate access and the need for more treatment and care options.

Details of inequities and lack of diversity in clinical research have been revealed with the COVID-19 pandemic. Under-representation of diverse groups in clinical trials, mistrust in research, the lack of diversity across the healthcare workforce: Each contributes significantly to the persistence of these inequities. We need to define the respective roles of science, policy, and digital health technologies in making recruitment and retention in clinical trials more equitable and inclusive—particularly now, for COVID-19 treatments and vaccines. There is a critical need to integrate the patient perspective while ensuring that trials are conducted in a more equitable way. Engaging with stakeholders, such as academic researchers, industry, community leaders, and patient advocates, would help to fill the gaps. In this session, panelists will draw from a range of perspectives to focus on disrupting outdated systems for how research is pursued and conducted.

Work Out with Dogpound
8:00 AM - 8:45 AM EST

This 45-minute virtual workout led by Dogpound NY and LA's elite trainers will address full body conditioning movements designed to improve performance, enhance mobility, and build strength. You'll leave each of Dogpound's daily sessions feeling strong, energized, and balanced within body and mind. This is an interactive session (not a webinar). You are welcome to turn your camera on to engage with Dogpound's trainers or leave it off if you prefer.

By selecting and joining this session, you agree to Dogpound's Customer Liability Waiver, Release, and Indemnity Agreement which can be viewed here.

This session is for Future of Health Summit registrants only.

In today's era of disruption, arguably no US agency is facing greater challenges than the FDA. The unprecedented demands of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to engage underserved communities and better recognize social determinants of health, the rise of digital health, the emergence of cell and gene therapies—these are but a few of the trends forcing the FDA to create innovative ways to regulate and oversee medical products. For the FDA to meet its public health mission requires that the agency be more flexible than ever before. Former FDA commissioners will discuss the importance of transparency and trust, the politicization of the agency, lessons learned from COVID-19, and how the agency can stay true to its mission in this age of upheaval.

More than 7,000 diseases characterized as "rare" affect one in 10 people in the United States. A rare disease is one that affects fewer than 200,000 Americans at any given time. Although tremendous progress has been made in the last 30 years, more than 90 percent of rare diseases have no FDA-approved treatment. And even when treatments exist, delays in diagnosis can lead to unnecessary delays in treatment. What are the opportunities and challenges in providing faster delivery of diagnoses to patients and their families? How can advances in technology and data be leveraged to shorten the diagnostic odyssey?

Health and economic disparities have been brought into sharp focus as the coronavirus makes a disproportionate impact on communities of color. The same disparities reflect underlying social determinants of health that double and even quadruple the risk of developing dementia for African American and Latinx populations. The burden is especially heavy for women, not only because of the disease itself but because women bear the greater responsibility for caregiving. This session will summarize key lessons learned and recommendations to reduce these disparities, which were developed during a stakeholder roundtable sponsored by the Milken Institute Alliance to Improve Dementia Care. Leading experts will discuss the effect of social determinants on brain health, the role of health and long-term care systems in reducing dementia disparities, and strategies to extend dementia-supportive networks into communities of color.

As more technology companies enter the health space, their tools and services offer newfound potential to accelerate medical research and help patients better manage and understand their own health through data-driven insights. For health-tech products to reach their full potential, they must truly work for patients; they must collect and analyze data responsibly and equitably. This session will convene a group of key advisors and stakeholders to FasterCures' Health & Technology work to explore how technology players can accelerate medical research through their efforts, and will examine the barriers that are hindering progress. The goal is to identify practical approaches toward a system where the capabilities of health-tech entities are harnessed meaningfully to accelerate research through a productive feedback loop that benefits all patients.

This session builds on FasterCures' Health & Technology work and will convene a small group of technologists, patient advocates, and researchers. Please reach out to Rachel Tunis ([email protected]) or Hadly Clark ([email protected]) for more information.

Antibiotic treatment in COVID-19 patients is driving antimicrobial resistance (AMR) as secondary infections emerge. While large pharmaceutical companies have retreated from antibiotic development, smaller enterprises have compensated with innovative therapies to ensure an arsenal of anti-infective drugs. But numerous recent bankruptcies show that times are tough even for companies with newly approved antibiotics. Several large pharmaceutical companies recently joined in launching the billion-dollar Antimicrobial Action Fund for antibiotic development. This welcome investment buys time to right the market, but it is clear that a pull incentive is needed to drive the market. What are the lessons to learn from the UK NHS NICE subscription-model pilot? Is a pull incentive enough to attract private investment to antimicrobials? How can we develop a sustainable market for antibiotics so that drug-resistant infections do not become the next pandemic?

This session will begin with a conversation with Operation Warp Speed's Dr. Moncef Slaoui, followed by a panel discussion on Collaborating to Beat COVID-19.

Since COVID-19 emerged in early 2020, we have seen extraordinary collective efforts by doctors, scientists, government, and pharmaceutical companies to beat the novel coronavirus. These varied stakeholders have advanced scientific discovery at unprecedented rates, resulting in the recent development, manufacturing, and anticipated distribution of efficacious treatments and vaccines. This panel will feature leaders who have advanced global collaboration and are working to accelerate collective solutions as we work to put this century's pandemic behind us.

When we try to will ourselves into focus—whether to finish a project or quiet our minds—the task often becomes even more difficult. Dr. Brewer, an addiction psychiatrist and neuroscientist specializing in anxiety and habit change, will guide us to a key brain element. Drawing on this element, we can reproducibly channel the energy of force and frustration to build our natural awareness, kindness, and curiosity.

Personal mental health issues have long been considered a taboo topic for public discussion. Too often, sufferers keep their struggles secret from family, friends, and coworkers for fear of being shamed, judged, or stigmatized. The social distancing and isolation measures necessary to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 have aggravated the problem, causing notable increases in depression and hopelessness. As these mental health conditions become even more widespread, it is imperative that we remove the stigma associated with mental illness and make therapies more accessible. The panel will discuss these issues and the special role employers can play to help their employees find treatment without fear of being stigmatized.

This session will also feature an extended clip from Lift the Mask: Portraits of Life with Mental Illness, a documentary by The Quell Foundation. The film reveals and addresses systemic problems with social and cultural stigma, and the challenges associated with gaining access to effective treatment. Lift the Mask captures six individuals from a variety of backgrounds, living with different mental health diagnoses, who, in recounting their own experiences, speak directly to these issues. The film addresses how the criminal justice system is ill-prepared and under-resourced to manage the mental health of their population of people and sheds light on the difficulty of finding and maintaining medications that work once achieving access to proper and timely treatment. Several of the film's subjects speak directly to the deleterious effects associated with a severe shortage of mental health care providers. Each story shares how the acceptance and understanding of a loved one, often a parent or partner, is one of the most crucial and challenging aspects of proper care for someone struggling with mental illness.

Lift the Mask was awarded the 2020 Mental Health America Media award this summer.

The number of people in the US living with dementia is projected to nearly double by 2040. An early diagnosis helps individuals and families plan ahead and make important decisions about their care and support needs, opens the door to future treatments, and helps individuals living with dementia continue to live independently. To build system capacity, we must expand the pool of qualified health professionals engaged in screening, detecting, and diagnosing dementia, explore new tools to facilitate early detection, and raise awareness about the benefits of regular cognitive screenings. This roundtable brings together experts to develop recommendations on the best ways to build workforce capacity, training, and system readiness for dementia management.

Medical advances and the resulting healthcare improvements should be available to all; however, systemic racial inequities in scientific research, clinical studies, and access to care have contributed to a grossly unequal healthcare system. These inequalities have come into stark relief in 2020 with the confluence of widespread movements for social justice and a global pandemic that has disproportionately sickened and killed members of racial minorities. The present moment underscores the need to address racial disparities in healthcare, beginning with the funders of medical research. How can institutions ensure that their talent pipelines, including research study leaders, are diverse? How can foundations ensure that they are targeting underserved communities? How can scientists ensure that their studies represent target populations? Public and private funders and industry experts will discuss how targeted giving can help build and support a more equitable health system.

Regenerative agriculture is one of the most important food and climate efforts of the decade as it is widely recognized that the health of our soil determines the health of our people and planet. While regenerative farming practices have long been used by communities across the globe to increase biodiversity, enrich soil, reduce use of fertilizer, and improve water quality, interest in the relevant techniques has accelerated as the consequences of climate change have become more apparent. At every level of the food system, from multinational corporations to community food security alliances, the power of regenerative agriculture practices is being leveraged for planetary and public health. This panel will share expertise and insights related to the future of our soil, and therefore, our planet.

Chronic under-investment and less-than-ideal global cooperation led to the failure of surveillance systems to provide timely warning of the threat posed by COVID-19. Public health officials consequently struggled to track the spread of the virus. As we contend with the long-term social and economic fallout of the pandemic, the importance of active, coordinated global early warning systems is painfully clear. The human toll has yet to be fully tallied; economic damage across industries may make it even worse. These outcomes raise questions about the potential role of private corporations and financial markets in a better coordinated effort. How do we envision an "always on," active, coordinated global system? What investments are needed to ensure the system is sustainable? What is the best way to gain commitments from governments, funders, financers, and communities to invest in such a system?

COVID-19 has caused a multilayered crisis: Dwindling health supplies, overworked medical staff, impacts on hospital operational budgets, and the rapid deployment of telehealth. The pandemic has also aggravated systemic healthcare inequities. Communities deprived of access to adequate care now face further limits on diagnosis and treatment. Up to 12 million Americans may have lost employer-sponsored health coverage due to COVID-19; state budgets face more than $200 billion in shortfalls, which will shrink Medicaid budgets for rising numbers of patients relying on public assistance. What lessons has COVID-19 taught for improving access to care? Will current trends continue once the turmoil is over? Can we stabilize operations to ensure that patients receive adequate diagnosis and treatment, even as the pandemic continues to ravage the country?

By 2050, the global population of adults over age 60 will have doubled to two billion. Asian countries, including Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and China are experiencing explosive population aging, with the US not far behind. Increasingly aware of the challenges posed by this demographic shift, a number of policymakers and business leaders have highlighted the benefits of investing in healthy longevity. Strategies to support aging well can improve health outcomes and reduce long-term costs, while spurring economic growth through longer, more productive work lives. What promising innovations and practices can be shared across the Pacific to elevate healthy longevity at this critical time?

Work Out with Dogpound
8:00 AM - 8:45 AM EST

This 45-minute virtual workout led by Dogpound NY and LA's elite trainers will address full body conditioning movements designed to improve performance, enhance mobility, and build strength. You'll leave each of Dogpound's daily sessions feeling strong, energized, and balanced within body and mind. This is an interactive session (not a webinar). You are welcome to turn your camera on to engage with Dogpound's trainers or leave it off if you prefer.

By selecting and joining this session, you agree to Dogpound's Customer Liability Waiver, Release, and Indemnity Agreement which can be viewed here.

This session is for Future of Health Summit registrants only.

COVID-19 has exposed many fault lines that FasterCures identifies as brakes on progress in biomedical R&D even in the best of times. The pandemic has offered a real-time, high-speed use case in how to accelerate the research and development of diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccines, and other products. What's more, it has inspired an unprecedented level of collaboration that has knocked down barriers and challenged orthodoxies. While the level of intensity may be unsustainable, there are lessons we can carry into the future to streamline how we develop and deliver the treatments and cures patients and society need.

The current environment has highlighted the important role of antibiotics and vaccines in our lives, economy, and future. As the pipeline of new antibiotics continues to dwindle, the need for incentives to attract capital becomes more urgent than ever. The establishment of the Antimicrobial Resistance Action Fund offers near-term funding relief, but longer-term solutions are urgently needed to promote a sustainable market for these life-saving treatments. As pathogens continually mutate, so too must investment strategies and mechanisms adapt. What are the most promising investment opportunities in drugs and healthcare today? What can we learn from other pilots, sectors, and regions? What incentives are needed to attract private investment to this space? How can the financial community help to translate ideas into action?

COVID-19 has exacerbated rates of anxiety, depression, and suicidality that were already alarmingly high among young adults. At the same time, there has been a promising uptick of technical innovations and collaborations designed not only to improve the accessibility of support but also to empower young people with tools to promote and manage their mental well-being themselves. Yet even the best innovations are meaningless unless adopted. That's why it is essential that any mental well-being product, service, or campaign intentionally incorporate young people's preferences and perspectives, thereby driving greater use and activation, and—ultimately—well-being. This private session will workshop existing initiatives to maximize the impact of mental health and well-being innovations for young people. Participants will work together to identify ways different sectors can integrate young people's perspectives and jointly leverage resources to make a positive impact in their lives.

Feeding Change: Food is Medicine
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EST

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted another long-simmering pandemic—diet-related chronic disease. With more than half of the US adult population experiencing chronic disease in some form, the prevention and treatment of disease through nutrition is a topic long overdue for discussion. Panelists will review programs that appear to be working. They will propose initiatives that could be scaled to benefit a wider swath of consumers. Of high interest, they will identify the players who, in their opinion, hold the key to unlocking the power of food as medicine.

Biopharma companies face financial disincentives to develop drugs in certain therapeutic areas and to repurpose existing drugs. This session will explore new partnerships, technologies, and models that would bring together private, public, and philanthropic stakeholders to encourage innovation in these areas.

In this short practice, Hala Khouri, yoga teacher and trauma therapist, will share simple practices for releasing stress and trauma from the nervous system so you can feel regulated and grounded. Resilience is about being able to move through or transform difficulty, somatic practices can support this process in a powerful way.

Across science, some of our greatest achievements have occurred at the nexus of disciplines. In the field of medicine, however, bringing far-reaching scientific advances together remains a challenge. Dramatic engineering advances in the last decade are driving greater innovation at the intersection of devices and drugs, resulting in new delivery mechanisms that better serve patients and even aid in patients' habits and routines around their healthcare. While it is expected that medical solutions will become more complex, the process for bringing these therapeutic solutions to patients must be streamlined. This session will feature key experts who have, or currently are, leveraging technology to address complex physiological problems and ultimately serve the needs of patient communities.  

New players using new technologies are entering the healthcare space, acquiring patient data that is more in demand than ever. Health datasets are leveraged to develop tools for diagnosis, monitoring, tracking, and reporting of illnesses. There are myriad new applications, especially in the context of COVID-19. However, reports of data breaches and mismanagement have engendered a lack of trust and an adverse view of many entities that acquire and analyze health data. Use of outdated or poorly gathered non-representative health datasets may raise a risk of disparities in care if the algorithms based on such datasets are applied in real-world settings. When health technology is booming, it is essential to identify the steps required to promote equity in the collection of health-related data. Experts will discuss the effects and implications of current practices and evaluate approaches to ensure that new technologies advance biomedical research through equitable data collection.

This private gathering brings together leaders to discuss the critical intersection of food and health. This session will highlight what is known about food as medicine, identify innovative programs furthering health through nutrition, and discuss opportunities to innovate and scale these findings.

Access to affordable long-term care (LTC) grows more urgent as the United States population ages. Seventy percent of Americans aged 65 and older will require LTC at some point. But most are unable to fully fund the high costs of care, and the private LTC insurance market has contracted in recent years. To identify innovative solutions, the Milken Institute conducted interviews and roundtable discussions with key stakeholders. This session will highlight the most promising findings and explore how new models of care delivery and financing could lower the risks and costs for consumers, providers, and insurers, as well as federal and state governments.

With a number of promising COVID-19 vaccine candidates in clinical trials, hopes for a safe and effective vaccine are rising. This raises a new set of challenges. How and where do we ramp up manufacturing capacity (vaccines, glass vials, etc.)? How do we manage equitable distribution of it to billions of people? Perhaps most crucially, how do we foster public trust with diverse communities, many of them underserved and high-risk, and convince them that immunization is safe and effective? Finally, even once these steps have been taken, will "vaccine nationalism" undermine our best-laid plans?