Healthcare executives, entrepreneurs, thought leaders and innovators networked and exchanged ideas on the future of digital health during the HealthXL Global Gathering 2014 event held in Dublin, Ireland.
HealthXL, a global health technology incubator and mentoring program that seeks to help and nurture startups from all over the world to transform healthcare, recently held its invite-only Global Gathering event in Dublin, Ireland.
A total of 17 countries from Europe, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Americas were represented in the event held at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland.
Attendees from healthcare industry players, including nuviun, were invited along with investors, business mentors, entrepreneurs and digital health influencers who networked, held meetings and engaged in debates about opportunities and breakthrough ideas.
As stated on its website, the “mission of the Global Gathering is to break down borders and connect the unique individuals, that when grouped together have the knowledge, creativity and resources to impact real change.”
Since the accelerator program’s inception in 2012, HealthXL has built a network of mentors that include top physicians, venture capitalists, business advisors, consultants and technologists who could guide the best innovators from around the world in scaling their businesses beyond the startup stage.
In 2013, it selected startups from Ghana, Canada, Australia, Finland, Ireland and the USA as recipients of its seed funding and mentoring support program. This year, HealthXL is accepting applications from new healthtech entrepreneurs who are keen on receiving resources from established companies and venture capitalists.
HealthXL announced that it would give the winners access to mentors, partners and investors, and the opportunity to collaborate with representatives from the HealthXL’s advisory board: strategic partners that include IBM, Cleveland Clinic, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen Healthcare, Partners HealthCare, Linde Healthcare, ICON, BUPA, Byrne Wallace, BLG Chartered Accountants, Silicon Valley Bank, and NOSTALAB.
During the event, speakers and attendees encouraged innovators to achieve “moonshot” objectives to bring forth novel ideas that impact the lives of people - including the 60 million people suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the 300 million suffering from diabetes, and the more than 500 million people who have been diagnosed with obesity, according to data from the World Health Organization.
Challenges under the three HealthXL moonshot themes of big data, remote monitoring and behavior change were given to digital health entrepreneurs who are required to go through two rounds of the application process.
After the vetting process based on impact and feasibility, one company from each area of focus would be selected to present before a panel of experts and an audience of digital health experts on September 2014 in San Francisco.
Applicants have until July 11 to apply for the grant-based competition, according to attendee and speaker JC Simbana, director of Silicon Valley Bank’s Entrepreneur Services Group.
Digital health evangelist, NOSTALAB founder, and nuviun advisor John Nosta talked about the unprecedented speed of change and innovation in healthcare, and how connectivity could play an important role to affect this trend.
Nosta explained that as healthcare changes accelerate, opportunities multiply for innovators. During a moonshot presentation, he and other guests talked about the subject of remote monitoring and how it can provide synchronous and seamless monitoring at any time, any place, for anyone.
Other key topics discussed during the event included telemedicine in developed and developing countries, teledentistry, and big data’s impact on life expectancy and quality of life.
Tim Johnson, corporate strategy director at BUPA, talked about behavior change and how people take personal responsibility for their own health today.
According to Jason Berek-Lewis, CEO of Healthy Startups, one of the major themes from the event was how big data and the quantified self movement could spur us to become more committed to adopting healthier lifestyles, likely due to constant social signals and peer pressure around our decisions and not necessarily because of advances in information technology.
Berek-Lewis represented the Asia Pacific region at the Dublin event and was joined there by other Healthees competition winners announced during previous global events, namely, Lucien Engelen (Europe), Alvaro Margolis (Latin America), Dr. Byrite Asamoah (Africa) and Leonora O’Brien (Ireland).
The Healthees contest was organized by HealthXL to select and showcase individual digital health innovators from local communities around the world.
Enterprise Ireland was the event sponsor for HealthXL Global Gathering 2014 in Dublin, which is known for having a vibrant startup scene and base for global healthcare companies, according to Martin Kelly, program director, founder and CEO, HealthXL, and partner, IBM Venture Capital.
Ireland has drawn more attention from overseas investors lately. Terry McGuire, co-founder of healthcare and technology venture capital fund Polaris Ventures, attended HealthXL to explore opportunities.
In an article in the Irish Times, McGuire said that the country has all the “ingredients” to become a hub for life science and medical technology companies.
The next HealthXL Global Gatherings are scheduled for September 2014 in San Francisco, October 2014 in Cleveland, and December 2014 in Ghana.
With the backing of the biggest healthcare companies and mentorship from today’s foremost thinkers and successful investors in digital health, HealthXL aims to provide the best healthcare startups in the world the support they need to scale their fledgling businesses and bring their innovative, life-changing ideas into reality.