nancybrownatSXSWBy American Heart Association News

American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown is back in Austin at South by Southwest, one of the nation’s most influential and hip gatherings.

Brown spoke to attendees on Tuesday, emphasizing how technology and social connections can help Americans battle cardiovascular disease and stroke.

“People are engaging in their personal health like never before, driving social interactions and creating an unprecedented demand for better health information, actionable data and personal interaction,” Brown said.  “Rather than being intimidated by this challenge, we are embracing it throughout our organization.”

Cardiovascular disease causes one death every 40 seconds and remains the leading cause of death worldwide.

“We understand what the barriers to ideal health are and our mission is to remove them so all Americans can live healthier lives, free from cardiovascular diseases and stroke,” Brown said.  “Our goal is to create a culture of health in America and we realize that technology, especially mobile technology and connected health, are, for the first time, making this an exciting possibility.”

Brown explained that “connected health” is the ability to make personal connections with consumers both quickly and around-the-clock through the use of technology. Available data adds a virtual connection between the consumer and healthcare providers, which can help people live healthier, longer lives, Brown said.

“The convergence of technology, health and data can once again lead the way for a group of passionate and committed people to help people live longer, happier, and more fulfilled lives,” Brown said.  “Save the Earth, yes, but let’s save the People, too.”

In its 28th year, SXSW is a nine-day-long gathering of film, interactive, and music festivals that occurs each year in mid-March in Austin, Texas.

The festival is promoted as a way to exchange ideas and emerging technologies to more than 80,000 people that come to the various interactive, film, music, party and conference events.

Photo by Matthew Bannister