Health Pioneers 2018

A second edition of Health.Pioneers Conference took place in Vienna BioCenter on October 10, 2018. Over 300 healthcare innovators, start-ups and experts from across 24 countries have gathered to exchange ideas and share knowledge. It was a truly thought-provoking experience and a great opportunity to make new connections in the field of digital health.

Of course, the team of 1030 Innovation couldn’t miss a chance to spend an entire day in company of people that use technology to change the face of health sector. Below are some of the things we have heard and seen, and that impressed us the most.

Better eye diagnostics with the help of artificial intelligence

The first keynote speaker and the founder of Visulytix Sameer Trikha presented the new AI-based retina scanner that can radically increase diagnostics accuracy in the eye care industry. Acknowledging that many people are sceptical about AI or even scared by this technology, Trikha offered a fresh view on it, using an example of his company’s solution called Pegasus. It can be viewed as an “Augmented Intelligence” that is here not to replace professionals but to support them, reduce errors and save time. Working together, humans and AI can achieve great things.

Open innovation in healthcare

Collaborating with start-ups is becoming more and more popular in healthcare. Participants of the panel discussion “Open Innovation in Healthcare” shared their perspectives and advice on the start-up-corporate partnerships:

=> Focus on responding to specific gaps in your industry and fill them up with innovations offered by start-ups. It is not about replacing functioning solutions with the new ones but rather further developing the entire sector and creating the best experience for patients and healthcare professionals.

=> Set up a steering committee for each collaborative project, making sure that you don’t rely on a single person within a corporation. If your champion moves away from the company, you will still be able to continue your work.

Believe in what you do!

A great piece of advice came from Melanie Matheu, Co-Founder and CEO of Prellis Biologics, a 3D bioprinting company. Growing a start-up is quite a challenge and there are always people that don’t believe in you, your idea and business model. Talking specifically about drug discovery and clinical research, Matheu pointed out that it is impossible to successfully go through entire process thinking that what you do “might work” and “may be good enough”.

Start-up Exhibition

15 start-ups, ranging from the seed stage to Series A, participated in a start-up expo and demonstrated their solutions to the public. It was fantastic to see so many different ideas including: a device for couples struggling with male fertility; remote monitoring wearable and an app that together make recovery simple; a mobile neurofeedback superhero game for children on the autistic spectrum, and much more.

The Awards

The most exciting part of the day was an announcement of the winner of the Health.Pioneers Challenge Award. And the Oscar goes to
 ThinkSono! ThinkSono works on the intersection of medicine and technology and has developed a solution addressing the problem of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) diagnosis. This technology makes diagnostics easier and more affordable.

We are already looking forward to the next event and hope to see you there as well!

Written by Olga Bratsun
Foto Credit: Sebastian Kreuzberger