WIRED Health 2017: Innovation on a Global Scale

Katie Earl
Editorial Assistant, European Medical Journal

One of the most exciting events for medical innovation in the UK, WIRED Health took place this year on 9th March with a packed agenda bursting with up-to-the-minute research. The topics spanned Genomics, Big Data, New Therapies, Life at the Extreme, and the End of Ageing, each presented by speakers from across the globe. For the second year running, the event entirely sold out, testament to the quality of the presentations and exhibitions displayed. Attendees converged from 17 different countries, comprising geneticists, neuroscientists, computational biologists, cardiologists, behavioural scientists, and public health practitioners, all eager to share their knowledge and insights into the future of healthcare.

The presentations on the main stage were both groundbreaking and thought-provoking. They ranged from spreading the word regarding high-tech solutions, such as the talk from Parkinson’s UK patient engagement advocate Matt Eagles expressing how deep-brain stimulation had given him his life back, to lower-tech solutions, for example David Halpern’s Behavioural Insights Team (known as the Nudge Unit) saving the UK National Health Service (NHS) money by analysing behaviour patterns to help patients make healthy choices. Speakers addressed the most pressing issues from across the healthcare spectrum.

Alongside the main stage, the event also played host to the EY Startup Stage, where new ventures were given the opportunity to pitch their product to win investment. The winner, London-based startup GiveVision, presented their cutting-edge device’s ability to assist the visually impaired, enhancing any remaining sight of the patient, on the main stage at the end of the day. Exhibitors across the event also showcased novel products for attendees to peruse, with everything from virtual reality surgical training programmes to healthy drinks. The excitement and enthusiasm with which these new technologies were presented was infectious, creating a real buzz in the clinic and networking area during breaks.

Attendees ended the day with a drinks reception, discussing the compelling stories told throughout the day. The popularity of the event has prompted organisers to seek a new venue for next year in order to allow greater participation and spread the word about the future of medicine. When it returns on 14th March 2018, WIRED Health will be bigger and better than ever before, and here at EMJ, we are certainly looking forward to hearing all the of new stories and successes sure to be discussed at this eagerly-anticipated event.

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