The Future of Health Care showcases Spokane innovators and researchers

Each year, Spokane business leaders and professionals receive new insights into the latest developments in the health care and life science industry.

This year’s event, titled The Future of Health Care, focused on innovative work being done in Spokane to further health and life sciences and the exciting growth stemming from those developments.

Four speakers covered a wide range of topics from digital imaging technology to sleep analysis, sharing insights into their pursuits and revealing more about our region and how we live. New technology is bringing life-changing advances for both people and businesses, and Spokane is on the cutting edge of many of those developments.

Kicking off the event was Brady Ryan, Manager of the University of Washington Spokane CoMotion Lab, who provided an overview of the entire landscape of health and life sciences innovation taking place in our region. While medical innovation is difficult, he said Spokane is doing it well.

Dan Roark, CEO of Gestalt Diagnostics, shared how their enhanced technology is disrupting the traditional anatomic pathology industry. When an image is taken of a patient, individual photos can be as large as 10GB. Gestalt’s platform allows large pathology files to transmit securely from across the world to the U.S. in just eight minutes. Other platforms can take up to eight hours.

At the Future of Health Care event, Roark said hiring talented employees in Spokane has been very easy for his organization. He cited Spokane’s atmosphere, schools, and the healthy environment in which employees can raise their family as a successful recruiting pitch when reaching out to grow their company.

One of Spokane’s newest startups, Sleep Orbit has a straightforward goal: helping people sleep better. The company’s CEO, Jason Moore, served as a police officer in Spokane for a number of years before retiring to begin his entrepreneurial journey. It wasn’t his intention to start a business, but rather to find ways to help people achieve more effective sleep.

Moore cites Spokane’s new Mind to Market program as a much-needed element of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in our region, providing opportunities for scalable businesses to receive funding for their next big idea.

A prominent researcher involved in our region’s health and life sciences industry is Dr. Marian Wilson from Washington State University College of Nursing. Her research incorporates how to treat chronic pain without opioids, which continues to be a growing problem throughout the U.S. She highlighted how our current culture has a biomedical approach to chronic care, when it can be more effective with a biopsychosocial approach. This factors in biological, psychological, and social elements when providing patient care.

Toward the end of the event, all four speakers took additional questions from the audience.

GSI is partnering with community leadership to fulfill a goal of creating a world-class health and life sciences hub in Spokane with the VISION 2030 Community Initiative.  It is our region’s largest economic development opportunity, and has the potential to create 9,000 new high wage jobs and increase our GDP by up to 9 percent for unprecedented economic impact by the year 2030. To learn more, visit


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