By: Gigaom
Wired cashes in on health tech boom with new conference, online vertical
As investments in health tech and consumer interest in health-tracking devices and apps continue to rise, Wired magazine said it is partnering with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to host its first conference on digital health and the future of healthcare.

Capitalizing on the soaring interest in all things health tech, Wired magazine plans to host its first conference on digital health this fall and launch an online content vertical.

In an announcement Monday, the Condé Nast title said it was partnering with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for a conference on the intersection of health, technology and science, and the future of healthcare. The “Living by Numbers” event will be in the same vein as Wired’s 4-year-old Wired Business Conference, and comes as investments and innovation in the sector continue to rise.

Earlier this month, we reported that, according to a recent study from digital health startup accelerator Rock Health, investments in health tech are up 73 percent over the same time last year. In the past year, the “Quantified Self” movement has also gained momentum, as consumers turn to fitness- and health-tracking devices, such as the Nike Fuel Band and the FitBit, to track their steps, calories burned and other physical activity.

“There are new opportunities to share data and collect data and analyze it,” said Brian Quinn, a senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “We see this data as a tool for helping us achieve [better health].”

In addition to the conference, Wired said it will launch a new health-focused vertical on Wired.com to give the title’s health tech coverage a dedicated destination. A Wired spokesman said the site is in the midst of a redesign and plans to launch the health vertical close to the conference. As readers migrate away from traditional platforms, the new vertical and conference gives Wired alternative ways to earn revenue.

Some of the conference speakers include Craig Venter, founder and president of the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Md. and leader of a team that mapped the human genome; world record holder Ashton Eaton, who will represent the U.S. at the 2012 Summer Olympics; Stephen Wolfram, CEO and founder of Wolfram Research; and Timothy Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek and The 4-Hour Body.

(Image by  Christos Georghiou via Shutterstock.)

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