2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

Beyond the Gadget: Behavior Change & Technology

#sxsw #GadgetTalk


Mobile apps and health devices on the market today claim to help you adopt healthy lifestyle behaviors fast — but just because the technology is available, that doesn’t guarantee you a success story.
Fixing bad health habits takes more than a one-size-fits-all 30-day challenge or newfangled health gadget. As the CEO of MedHelp, John de Souza will discuss what elements current behavior-change technologies are missing.
Get rid of presets; everyone has different baselines and goals. Technology needs to be designed to cater the unique priorities of the individual.
Spark motivation in a non-traditional way. Rather than having a basic alarm reminding the user to go to the gym, send a note reminding them how good they felt last time they worked out.
Build for long-term success. The benefits of quitting smoking won’t last if they only stop for 30 days. Design to keep users engaged after they reach their goals.
Go beyond the gadget. Lasting change needs more than just a tracking device.



John de Souza

Pres & CEO


A serial entrepreneur, John has founded and held senior management positions in several startup companies. John co-founded Flash Communications, an startup company that developed real-time two-way messaging systems acquired by Microsoft. John was Co-Founder and Director of Smartleaf, a financial software company that provided account management solutions, and later, Vice President of Business Development and Marketing at DESoFT, a startup company acquired by Merrill Lynch that developed online real-time brokerage systems for retail brokerage firms.

John started his career in healthcare performing research on guidance systems for robotic surgery at IBM T. J. Watson Research Center. Additionally, he was the head of the Technology Practice in Goldman Sachs' Private Equity Group investing in healthcare and technology.

John received a B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from the MIT and an MBA from College des Ingenieurs in France.

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