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Can music add harmony to your health?

Body computing competition at USC will challenge entrants to mix music and biometrics

by Sherri Snelling
The eighth annual USC Body Computing Conference will be held in October.
The eighth annual USC Body Computing Conference will be held in October.

The USC Center for Body Computing (CBC), part of Keck Medicine of USC, has announced its annual USC CBC SLAM event, created to challenge creative minds to use music in a way that helps consumers better understand their health.

Four finalists will present ideas to a panel of judges on the evening of Oct. 2. In addition to a $10,000 prize, the winner will present his or her idea the next day at the eighth annual CBC conference.

The competition gives participants a forum to present a digital experience that can educate or inspire consumers to change their behavior and achieve a healthy lifestyle. Previous winners have included LumoBack, a startup with a posture sensor, and Vampire Rancher, a mobile social gaming platform for children with diabetes.

To find out how to submit a proposal, visit the CBC website.

Proposals are due by Sept. 22; finalists for the live pitch in Los Angeles will be chosen by Sept. 26.

“Through the birth of on-demand mobile music platforms and small wireless body-worn sensors, we now have the technology to build innovative products that incorporate and tailor music to the signals our bodies generate,” said Leslie Saxon, a cardiologist and executive director and founder of the CBC.

The power of music

Skullcandy Inc., the lifestyle and performance audio brand, is sponsoring the event and will further its collaboration with USC by becoming a partner on future research that shows the impact of music and biometrics.

“We know how powerful music can be whether it is inspiring athletic accomplishments, alleviating stress or its therapeutic affect on those with Parkinson’s disease, depression and Alzheimer’s,” said Hoby Darling, CEO of Skullcandy. “Our involvement with USC extends our reach beyond sports and entertainment to have meaningful impact on health — heart rates, brainwaves, mood. We see this collaboration with USC’s Center for Body Computing as a perfect marriage where we both have the same future vision: to help people live better lives.”

The USC Center for Body Computing Conference, which promises to make consumers “the heroes of their own health stories,” is designed to bring digital and life sciences executives, sensor and mobile app inventors, strategists, designers, investors and visionaries from health care, entertainment and technology together for one day to showcase an international array of digital and mobile health ideas.

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