GIST TechConnect: Global Healthcare Innovation Recap
Healthcare trends across the globe are having a huge impact during a time when the need for innovation has never been more pressing. In this episode of GIST TechConnect, healthcare innovators and experts discussed the industry, where they are seeing the most exciting trends, and what gaps they see that still need to be filled.
Panelists agreed that the current pandemic is driving many aspects of innovations in healthcare and they applauded the efforts and collaborations they are seeing. But there is a concern that after the immediacy of the pandemic has lessened, there will not be the same level of cross-border, cross-field collaboration. "Because of the severity and the magnitude of [COVID], everybody is working on it because it has devestated all of us," Dr. Lola Adeyemi explained. "Now people are more interested in prevention. My worry is that once COVID is over will they go back to normal? That happened with Ebola for instance."
Dr. John Collins cited the exciting recent convergence of health and lifestyle with data. "We can put data in the hands of individuals so they can make health decisions in real time," he said. He emphasized the importance of reaching out to other industries to bring in collaborators to take advantage of emerging new technologies.
"Something I'm really excited about is artificial intelligence," Dr. Lola Adeyemi added. "Using that to be able to impact healthcare we're able to diagnose faster, we're able to diagnose more accurately and that's giving us better outcomes."
On innovation Dr. Lola Adeyemi explained "There are a lot of solutions out there that may not be innovative in itself but their application and how they're impacting lives and how they are adapted to healthcare are really innovative." She mentioned the impact of drones, which have been around for some time, on multiple industries. "Their application right now in this day is phenomenal."
Spellbound founder Christina York pointed to the recent approval by the Federal Drug Administration of the first prescription video game to treat ADHD. "If you can harness the immersive power of technology and apply it in situations where it's needed most, in stressful situations, in painful situations, then you've opened up a whole new opportunty for that technology."
Dr. Collins also stressed the importance of undertanding the business side of a science startup. "The science is going to work or not. But the worst thing to do is to have an unforced error that prevents a great science from making it to patient care."
Moderator, Tina McGrath of JLABS brought up the issue of working with regulators to get products approved and to the market. Regulators should be able to provide clear guidance around what they need for the approval process. People sometimes hesitate but overall the first step is for the innovator to reach out. Dr. Lola Adeyemi explained "Regulators want your novel invention to get to the public but they just want to make sure that gets done correctly."