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Future of healthcare at WIRED Health 2017

Posted by: David Clare on 10 March 2017

Yesterday, I attended WIRED Health 2017. The event showcases groundbreaking technology and innovations in the healthcare sector, such as VR surgery, at-home blood analysis, or even, the end of ageing.

Speakers included Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer, England for Department of Health, Jeremy Freeman, Science Director for Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Jessica Mega, Chief Medical Office of Verily (an Alphabet company) and much more; most of whom had numerous letters after their names.

So what did I see from a B2B point of view at the event? Well, as you would expect, the huge volume of startups that were either speaking, sponsoring or simply attending are all creating health technologies that would be hugely beneficial to the NHS. But they aren’t all taking this approach.

The future of healthcare looks to be much more personal. Not just in terms of being able to run DNA analysis at home, video call your doctor and have therapies prescribed on a basis which best matches your genome, but also in terms of who foots the bill; if there was one takeaway from the event, it is that those who fund themselves will have much more access to this groundbreaking tech.

With this in mind, we’re seeing more healthcare businesses shun the model of selling to the NHS, but instead opting to focus their sights on personal trainers, nutritionists or even companies who want to offer better wellbeing packages to their employees.

It is, of course, fantastic that the opportunity to improve your own personal health is there. I, myself, have had my DNA analysed by 23andMe, measured my body fat percentage the way athletes do with Ki Performance’s BodPod, and following WIRED Health 2017 have already ordered a thriva kit to analyse my blood on a quarterly basis. But there is a moral issue too,  touched upon at the event, which is what about those who cannot afford this technology?

Perhaps the first stage is delivering the breakthroughs in healthcare technology, which looks well on track by the happenings at Wired Health 2017, but the next step will be democratising it all.

Watch highlights from WIRED Health 2017

Categories: Fox musings

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