Innovative new healthcare related technologies are a regular feature of my blog, so it was an honor to be asked to help judge the third AXA PPP Health Tech & You Awards earlier this year.
The aim of the contest is to promote the rapid rate of innovation in health technology. The innovations making the shortlist include:
- The first approved Grade 1 medical device in the form of an app to help people living with asthma understand more about their condition and how to manage it
- An interactive platform to help tackle people’s anxiety about forgetting people and places by linking photos, videos and shared histories as reminders
The category I judged (AXA PPP Health Tech & You Challenge) had a number of fascinating technologies, all of whom hoped to assist us in managing our own health more effectively. From the finalists, we selected a shortlist of three, from whom the winner will be announced at the new Design Museum in Kensington, London on 27th April, 2017. At the same time all 17 finalists will be showcased in an exclusive interactive exhibition at the Museum until 8th May, 2017.
The shortlisted entrants were:
- Affinity - an innovative device for taking blood cell counts from home. It's designed to function from a simple finger prick test, with the connected software able to inform users (and their clinician) if their counts are dropping, and therefore help to keep their treatment on track. Low blood counts are a common side effect of chemotherapy, so an effective and affordable way of monitoring levels is a very useful innovation.
- Calm Harm - This is an app aimed at supporting people who self-harm. It provides users with a number of tasks that are designed to help them resist and manage the urge to harm themselves. The app revolves around the four main reasons people self-harm: Distract helps combat the urge by learning self-control; Control helps to care rather than harm; Express helps to get feelings out in a different way; Release provides safe alternatives to self-injury.
- Kokoon Technology - Kokoon is designed to help us get a better nights sleep. They provide soft headphones that aim to create a 'sleep sanctuary' for the wearer. They play an audio feed to help the wearer relax and get to sleep. The technology also uses EEG sensors to adapt to the users environment, slowly quietening as they drift off.
The category also featured finalists in areas such as medicine adherence, diagnostics, diabetes management and genomics, suggesting a fascinating breadth of new innovation in the industry, albeit with some closer to market than others.
“This year’s calibre of entries is a demonstration of the wide-ranging innovative projects currently being developed and how the sector has grown in such a short space of time. This year we have seen a trend in the increase in entries incorporating artificial intelligence, which through its nature of increased interactivity and understanding of an individual has the ability to make an even greater impact on the health and wellbeing of all sections of society," AXA PPP Healthcare say.
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