WIRED Health: Singularity University & Exponential Medicine – Guest session [video]

One of the biggest sessions at this year’s WIRED Health (at least in terms of the number of speakers!) came under the heading of Singularity University & Exponential Medicine. During the guest session, Dr Jack Kreindler from Sentrian told health innovators they must refocus on access, while his Sentrian colleague and ex-IBM medical offices Martin Kohn suggested we should scrap randomised trials in favour of big data. Then Shahid Azim from Quanttus discussed how wearables could make healthcare predictive, not reactive, and last but by no means least Jaan Tallinn from the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk suggested the solution for saving healthcare systems is using new feedback loops.

So to begin, Dr Jack Kreindler opened the session talking about how innovators and investors in health technology have a fundamental responsibility to look beyond just making money, and focus on getting breakthroughs into the hands of patients.

Then Martin Kohn went on to discuss how the randomised controlled studies that are traditionally considered to be the “gold standard” in medical research are resulting in inefficient healthcare strategies that mean around a third of spending on healthcare goes to waste.

Next Shahid Azim introduced a small, sensor-packed wristband could help detect cardiovascular disease before it becomes a major health issue. It’s developed by Boston-based medical technology startup Quanttus, the wristband collects 50 million unique data points and over 400,000 vital sign measurements per person per day, providing invaluable insights into a person’s health. Offering the potential for healthcare to become predictive rather than reactive.

Then finally, Jaan Tallinn (Skype’s founding engineer and cofounder of the Cambridge Centre for Existential Risk), discussed the dire lack of these loops — the devices that allow systems to learn over time, and dictate how that system and its parts evolve — in the medical sector.

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