Thursday , May 13 2021

An ecosystem for the development of personalized and accurate medicine



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Personalization and accuracy. These are two issues that need to be addressed when applying different technologies and betting on digitalization in all health sectors. “A fusion of new technologies such as The Internet of Things [IoT por sus siglas en inglés],, artificial intelligence, data analysis or connection 5G manages digitization health sector “, assures in this interview D + I Andres Sabarida, global director of Wayra, hub Telefónica’s open innovation program on the occasion World Health Day.

And that’s something that over the last 12 months, the introduction of technology in this sector has accelerated with the change in our habits during the pandemic. However, Sabarida points out that they take from Telephony “many years of investing money e-health given its importance to billions of people and large digitization capabilities that shows “.

In fact the head of this accelerator of a Spanish multinational company recalls that one of the first investments they made in Spain when launching Wayra in 2011 was Tedcas, technology contactless (non-contact) to improve the interfaces used by physicians and avoid the risk of infection.

Thus, in this decade Telefónica has invested mainly through Wayra and the network of Telefónica Ventures funds, more than five million euros in 60 startups, in order to bring its innovations closer to customers, guided by “a model of what is now known as open innovation”.

In this sense, he predicts that the future and present of this sector will be driven by data from cloud solutions and use of artificial intelligence support of clinical decisions, assistance automate processes and promotion participation patient ”.

How startups innovate in healthcare

Sabarida recognizes that startups are partly driving innovation in the healthcare sector, especially in these five areas: medical diagnostic technology; remote medical consultations; the search for physical and mental well-being; nursing care and hospital management

Advances in genetics and data analysis are contributing medical diagnostic technology with solutions such as startups MadeOfGenes (genetic analysis), TestCard (urine analysis), Loop Medical (painless blood sampling), iGluco (glucose without injections), Arkangel.ai (diagnosis based on artificial intelligence) or Idoven.ai at home).

Perhaps one of the strongest trends during the pandemic was remote medical consultations. “The recent launch of Movistar Salud here in Spain, in collaboration with Teladoc, is a prime example,” says Sabarida.

In addition, companies investing in Latin America also stand out in this area, for example, in Colombia – investing in 1DOC3, a healthcare platform that connects its users with doctors and which offers them personal attention anonymously and via text chat Brazil in BemCare with strong growth.

According to bThe search for physical and mental well-being, Global Director Wayra notes a phenomenon in which “more and more people are using technology to control their health.” This shows how we move from the goal of seeking disease treatment to researching patient well-being.

“More resources are starting to be allocated from the end of the health value chain (treatment and post-treatment) to the beginning,” Sabarida says, adding that this is “increasing attention in healthy living and prevention”.

In this area they stand out destructive therapeutic solutions focused on both mental and physical health. “Companies like the Koa Foundation, Thrive Therapeut Software, Vittude, Pzizz, Quit Genius are helping to better manage stress, sleep and addictions.”

This interview also highlights technology from firms such as Second Nature, Baobab Circle, Albert Health or Vinehealth Digital Limited that focus on physical health by tackling weight problems, diabetes and hypertension or even helping to control cancer patients.

In addition, in the field of physical and mental well-being Sabarida notes “a large increase in decision-making women’s health (Baby2body, she’s good, health chorus) y al fitness (Fitka, Gimpas, Tin) ”.

On the other hand, another sub-sector that has seen “big growth” in recent years is ” nursing care with monitoring solutions (Aerial, MySphera, Sensara); smart stripes (Some and Durkal); volunteering (adopt grandparents); virtual caregivers (TuCuVi), or education to increase healthy longevity (Rosita).

Finally, and more market – oriented B2B (for the abbreviation business to business), the head of Wayra shows that there are many solutions that seek to improve hospital management such as Visiously, Hospify, MySphera, Proradis or OssoVR.

For example, in Spain MySphera and Telefónica are working together on The digital hospital of the futurein which they “introduce a new system identification, location and tracking of patients“That will” reduce waiting times in emergencies and increase the efficiency of use of hospital assets. ”

Another recent example is the British Vis Vision and its project A smart ambulancefocused on helping stroke patients. Is about ambulance connected allowing EMT to quickly help patients by contacting specialists at the hospital.

“All thanks to the collaboration with O2 and the 5G network, which allows you to stream images and high-speed video conferencing in high definition.”

Agreements with major companies in the sector

“Over the years, we have also invested heavily in this sector, creating vertical programs in the UK, working with Novartis or GE Healthcare“.

These are collaborative projects in which Wayra wants to expand its “deep technological knowledge with great knowledge in the sector that is in the lead companies” such as these firms.

Based on these arrangements, explains Sabarida, startups in his ecosystem can access “health care data and experiencewhich are harder to obtain than in other areas, due to regulations, ”and in addition, they are given a faster way to market.

For example, it is emphasized that one element of the differentiation of the GE Healthcare program, launched in late 2020, is ” strong connection with industry, with customers and real problems ”.

During the six months of overclocking, the program runs on three axes: innovation, adoption and integration of technologies startups through the confirmation of a concept that, if successful, will facilitate entrepreneurs ’access to GE’s global network with distribution partners in 160 countries”.


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