A student, a researcher and an entrepreneur walk into a bar attend Wired Health, and have a blast! Check out the event recap as seen through the eyes of Alice Vodden, Neil Graham and Becks Armstrong, our 2019 Wired Health competition winners. Part 2, by Becks Armstrong.
I was lucky enough to win a ticket to attend the Wired Health Event in London this week from One HealthTech. I’m delighted to give you a roundup of the event.
The day consisted of presentations, panels and fireside chats. With the added bonus of startups being able to pitch to industry professionals and VC’s, and the prize being the chance to present on the main stage to a full audience.
The calibre of speakers was really impressive - with the likes of Poppy Crum - Chief Scientist for Dolby Laboratories; Professor Dame Sally Davies - Chief Medical Officer for England and the unexpected and captivating Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman for Ogilvy UK, to name only a small selection.
For a health startup, this is one of the events that I keep in my calendar. Wired Health always has a heavy focus on future trends for tech as well as being so supportive of the startup community. Without giving a full calendar of the day here are a few of the highlights for me:
The winner of the startup pitching competition was Project FacePrint. Having seen the fascinating and varied startups, I totally agreed with the judges that this one stood out above the others. At 16, Erin Smith noticed something about the facial expressions of people with Parkinson's disease in a documentary from the Michael J Fox Foundation. Her observation took her on a 2-year journey to create FacePrint - an automated web-based platform to help with early diagnosis of Parkinson's disease (you can sign up to be part of the trial at https://projectfaceprint.com/). The aim of FacePrint is to create a large global repository of facial expressions and to potentially diagnose Parkinson's up to 20 years before someone has the noticeable degeneration -- this will create an opportunity to delay the onset of symptoms. At such a young age to have figured out something so extraordinary is really commendable!
Pamela Spence, EY Global Health Science and Wellness leader, was another fascinating discussion of note. The two real trends from her talk were also born out in the other presenters of the day - that there is a growing trend for the ability/need to access your own personal health data, as well as creating more targeted systems to allow for individualised treatments. With the improvements in AI and nanotechnology, companies are able to diagnose, target and treat with a specificity that hasn’t been possible till now. Having a more visible and informed choice and options for targeted individualised treatment can only lead to improvements to our overall health.
For me, the two unexpected talks of the day were from Karen McCluskey, Chief Executive of the Community Justice Scotland, who talked about how they went about reducing knife crime in Glasgow. Her talk was brutal, honest and empathetic to the community that needed to change and how they broke the systemic culture of violence. Part of their strategy was educating the fire brigade, dentists and vets in how to have difficult conversations and how to report when they noticed violence. This is such a simple and incredibly effective solution that empowered both the professionals and the victims of violent crime.
The other presentation was from Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman for Ogilvy UK. He spoke about the importance of placebos and giving a patient/consumer a choice. He explained that even a choice of no consequence can create an improvement to the treatment outcomes. Including how little adjustments to the way you talk, present yourself and give options to your customers can make a big difference to the outcomes. If you see an opportunity to see Rory speak, I highly recommend attending!
You can find out about the other interesting startups that presented here.
Becks Armstrong has a passion for improving the lives of women, as well as their families. She believes with the right access to support, education and information, women can make a real impact on their lives. She also created Clarity – a technology solution to improve women’s health through mindfulness, relaxation and sleep.