DrugBank’s Four Big Takeaways from the 2021 Rock Health Summit

A number of our team members recently attended the 2021 Rock Health Summit. This conference brought together leaders from tech, medicine, policy, & beyond for conversations around digital health, healthtech, & the future of medicine. Here are our biggest takeaways from the event.

DrugBank’s Four Big Takeaways from the 2021 Rock Health Summit

A number of our team members recently virtually attended the 2021 Rock Health Summit. This conference brought together leaders from technology, medicine, policy, and beyond for an afternoon of inspiring conversations around digital health, healthtech, and the future of medicine.

We were struck by the immense talent on the stage, the organizer’s dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and just how quickly each session flew by. We’ve put together some of our biggest takeaways from the event and included them below.

Trust, equity, and humanity are vital to success.

“We need ethicsacross the spectrumthis work we do is going to change how we think about humanity, and how we use healthtech for good or bad.” - Christine Lemke, Evidation

  • Trust is one of the important determinants of health outcomes.
  • We need to take a less critical and shaming approach to health communication.
  • We need to examine who our work and processes are made for, and then ask ourselves how we can expand our approach to meet others where they’re at.
  • We need to focus on elevating the voices of people with lived experiences, listening more closely to those with the least power and recognizing that there is never a one-size-fits-all solution.


Customization is key—until it isn’t.

“If we’re doing our job well, no one should be trying to build their own [product].” - Michelle Davey, Wheel
  • In the healthcare and healthtech industry, customization and optimization can never come at the expense of safe, quality care.
  • We must focus on balancing the need for a high standard of care with client customizability.
  • Continue to ask yourself ‘are we actually driving better client care?’
  • If customization is done right, we can open more doors to better health outcomes for a larger portion of the population so we have to ensure we are holding ourselves to a very high standard.

The pandemic opened our eyes to alternative needs and exciting opportunities.

“There’s a willingness to go and try new things in digital health that didn’t exist before.” - Bill Evans, Rock Health
  • The demand for more—and more niche—digital health products is growing rapidly.
  • There is a massive gap in service to aid those who are caregivers and operate in the care economy.
  • There is an opportunity to shift our focus on digital health offerings from strictly patient focused to healthcare provider focused.
  • We are seeing co-opetition where competing healthtech companies are working alongside one another to bring exciting new services to market that would otherwise not be possible.
  • It is time to look for underserved populations and work creatively to meet those needs.
  • Previously neglected areas are beginning to see serious growth, including mental health, autism, and pediatrics.


There has never been a better time to be in digital health!

“Digital health lives! We are the popular girl at the dance right now.” - Missy Krasner, Redesign Health
  • With increased demand and innovations the pace of investing is extremely fast.
  • This is the result of years of hard work that laid the groundwork for this growth.
  • It is important to choose wisely who you are partnering with—look for true partnerships who will value your contributions, drive to the best opportunities, and who have a keen eye for storytelling.
  • Not only are we seeing massive growth and interest in healthtech, we are seeing increased priority placed on health justice and equitable access.

At DrugBank we’ve always been singing praises for the digital health industry, but it’s always exciting to have our personal biases backed up with cold hard facts. We know the future is bright, especially when we see the industry committed to better health outcomes for everyone, not just those who’ve traditionally been the focus of health research. As we carry on we’ll continue to ask ourselves, who is this product serving? And, are we delivering the highest quality?