Innovation: Not Impossible

By Heather Munro, freelance writer focusing on emerging technology.

Innovation is a word that gets tossed around a lot in the healthcare industry, particularly when it has to do with technology. And while AI promises to accelerate and improve patient outcomes, to truly change the status quo, the big ideas still need to come from people.

HIMSS19—happening next month, February 11 through 15—is the perfect opportunity to hear how thought leaders are driving change and bringing innovation to life. Because, let’s face it, changing healthcare is challenging and who couldn’t use a little inspiration?

Mick Ebeling, the founder of Not Impossible Labs, will deliver the closing keynote called Not Impossible: Pushing the Bar on Innovation. Named one of Wired’s “Agents of Change,” a two-time SXSW innovation of the year award winner, and recipient of every major creative and advertising award, Ebeling is uniquely qualified to talk about pushing the envelope.

Ebeling founded Not Impossible Labs, a multiple award-winning social innovation lab and production company. As the name suggests, the company is built on the premise that nothing is impossible.

Here are just a few of the amazing innovations he and his team have spearheaded.

  • Inspired to help a graffiti writer who was paralyzed by ALS, Eberling put together a team to create the Eyewriter, a low-cost, DIY device that enabled the artist to draw again using his eyes.
  • After reading about a boy who lost both of his arms, Eberling led a team to war-torn South Sudan and launched the world’s first 3-D printing prosthetic lab. Arms are now printed within hours and cost $100.
  • His company created a “surround body” music experience featuring innovative Vibrotextile™ technology that makes music accessible to the deaf community and provides an enhanced musical experience for hearing people.

“Not Impossible is a brand new business model, and it’s a mash-up,” Eberling told Forbes. “We are a technology innovation lab that’s focused on creating things around social good. But it’s focused entirely on solving ‘Absurdities.’  It’s the conquering of these social absurdities that drives us. An example of an absurdity is when you see something in the world and you say, ‘That’s absurd, that shouldn’t exist!’  Like a man (say, Tempt One, the graffiti writer) who has been lying motionless in bed for seven years, unable to communicate. Or a young boy who has both of his arms blown off, and is destined to never be able to feed or take care of himself again — that’s absurd. We have to change that. So it’s all a reaction to human absurdities and then saying, ‘Hang on, that must change!’ Then, with our team of staff and volunteer engineers, programmers, makers and hackers, we dogpile on, creating a solution. That’s the innovation lab part.”

Over the past 10 years, Not Impossible Labs has engineered, programmed, hacked and crowd-solved issues of inability and inaccessibility and provided low-cost solutions for the most vulnerable on the planet. Whatever the problem that needs solving, Eberling and his team follow his simple mantra to get the job done: “Commit and figure it out.”

Ebeling speaks on the last day of HIMSS19—register now and we’ll save you a seat.

As always, HIMSS members save on registration. And if you’re not a member, it’s not too late to join. Simply choose the membership option during registration—the price of membership ($199) and member registration ($925) combined is less than the cost of nonmember registration alone.


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