Michelle Obama headlines Klick Health event showcasing pharma, doctors and tech entrepreneurs

Klick Health will host former First Lady Michelle Obama and others in its first Muse salon event of 2018 in New York this week. (Klick Health)

In its first Muse salon event for 2018, Klick Health will host former First Lady Michelle Obama, along with a lineup of health industry, research and tech professionals in New York City Tuesday. The independent health agency also plans to unveil a new VR platform designed for children by its own Klick Labs and Boston Children's Hospital.

Some 550 invited guests will attend, representing academia, life sciences, hospitals and even payers—along with people from influential startups in health tech. All were selected based on merit in breakthrough science.

Another group of audience members are senior executives and CEOs in biotech and pharma, said Leerom Segal, founder and CEO of Klick. The audience is curated as carefully as the content on stage, he added.

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“Muse is our modern take on the salons of the Age of Enlightenment, but instead of painters and poets and philosophers, we have physicians and patients. The goal is to create a multisensory, inspiring experience, and it’s our chance to bring together some of the leading minds that are collectively conspiring to shape the future of our industry,” Segal said.

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Along with the chat with Michelle Obama moderated by Segal, several other discussions will take place during the evening. The first will be a panel on gene therapy including executives from Spark Therapeutics, Regeneron and Editas Medicine, while later in the evening, there will be an expontential technologies panel that includes executives from Boston’s Children Hospital, Google and Cornell Tech. An immunotherapy panel that includes executives from Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck & Co. and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center will cap the evening.

Klick said it will also unveil a virtual reality platform from its own Klick Labs focused on children. Although declining to offer more specifics, Segal did say the platform "introduces a level of personalization that we have been searching for and haven’t been able to find in the marketplace, so we created it.”

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Klick’s Muse events in the past have included other well-known speakers such as physician and spiritual leader Deepak Chopra, former president Bill Clinton, Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington and author Margaret Atwood.

“Our primary goal is inspiration,” Segal said. “… It would be very hard for us to justify something like Muse if we wanted to draw a straight line between bringing together leading minds and a commercial benefit for us. But I think what it does is set the stage for years down the road some of the relationships that we incubate through these conversations—and it's also a way to give back. Several startups have risen after meeting at Muse for the first time.”