Emcee: Jonathan Ng

What are Lightning Talks?
Lightning Talks are a series of short talks/presentations by different speakers, each introducing a topic or idea very quickly. 


Mental Health Depends on Connection (7 mins)
Traci Ruble, Founder of Psyched and Sidewalk Talk  

We mood track, behavior modify, encourage mindfulness, exercise and the like to help mental health.  What we leave out is the importance of meaning, personal empowerment and belonging.  How can technology bridge these more difficult to bridge gaps?

Games and the FDA (8 mins)
Noah Falstein, Game Designer

In the final months of 2017, an app from Pear Therapeutics and a game from Akili Interactive Labs passed major hurdles in gaining approval from the FDA for treating substance abuse and ADHD respectively. In 2018 we may see the first game that can be prescribed by doctors on the same grounds as pharmaceuticals. This talk will briefly describe what is happening with these groundbreaking cases of digital medicine, and describe some of the challenges in creating games that are proven to treat people effectively.

Living in the wake of suicide (10 mins)
Erin MacMurray van Liemt, Linguist at Google

Suicide claims the lives of of over 40,000 people in the United States and over 100 in San Francisco every year. For each person who dies by suicide, at least 25 people attempt. Deaths by suicide send ripples into the community affecting far more people than the immediate family. Even exposure to suicide can put others at risk. From silence to stigma, suicide touches us far more than we think. This talk will discuss some of the challenges of living with the loss of a loved one and what we can do to honor those we have lost while supporting the grieving community. 

To sustain your health innovation, choose collaboration over disruption (10 mins)
Nitya Kanuri, Coach Success Manager, Business Operations @ BetterUp

When did we move away from standing upon the shoulders of giants to taking on the giants? Health and healthcare are strongly tied to local politics and culture. While good products can engage consumers, long-lasting ones consider not just user experience but also the delivery system and context. When working globally, in particular, local collaboration becomes even more critical for sustainable development. Lessons learned from a 2-year initiative delivering online mental healthcare to university students in India will highlight the value of developing partnerships and trust when launching new health innovations.

Virtual Reality and Mental Health: Past, Present, and Future (10 min)
Clare Purvis, Founder at WELL; Senior Manager for Clinical Product and Coaching, Lantern

Virtual reality (VR) technology offers a unique opportunity to perceive oneself and the world in entirely novel ways. Psychologists have explored the application of VR to clinical assessment and treatment for a wide range of mental health challenges over the past two decades. Today VR has a robust evidence base in the treatment of PTSD, anxiety disorders, and pain management. There is growing interest in using VR to build empathy, self-compassion, and reduce stigma. So, why aren’t more people aware of its application to mental health? This talk will share examples of cutting edge clinics using VR in daily practice, and will explore barriers to widespread uptake of VR in mental health treatment.