Tech community urged to tackle London health problems

The life science’s sector in London is calling on the capital’s tech community to help find solutions to health problems within the city.

As part of London Tech Week, 200 entrepreneurs will come together at the HealthTech Innovators Conference to gain insight into healthcare demands such as air pollutions, diabetes, obesity, mental health issues and cardiovascular disease.

The conference, arranged by MedCity, Tech London Advocates HealthTech Group, Asthma UK and DigitalHealth.London will also demonstrate how wearable devices and app can enhance and possibly save lives.

London Tech Week has already highlighted some promising solutions, with London Mayor Sadiq Khan announcing the Clean Tech Innovation Hub earlier this week. The Hub is a £1.6 billion incubator that aims to help 100 SMEs deliver low-carbon and clean-tech products.

A survey of 2,000 UK adults conducted by MedCity showed that air pollution is a major concern for 61% and 57% believe technology could provide a solution.

There are over five million people living with asthma in the UK and air pollution is associated with the development and the deterioration of the condition. Technology could have the potential to unburden parts of the NHS and help save some of the £1 billion that is spent annually on asthma and asthma associate illnesses.

Rajesh Agrawal, deputy mayor for business, said: “London is Europe’s leading tech hub: our talent, diversity, entrepreneurial spirit and global connections put us at the heart of advances in digital technology. At the same time London faces a hugely pressing environmental challenge in cleaning up our air – more than 9,000 Londoners die prematurely each year due to related illnesses.

“The Mayor is implementing the boldest and most ambitious package of measures of any global city to clean up London’s filthy air and we’re looking to the capital’s tech community to come up with smarter, more accessible ways for people to manage and improve their health.”

Kay Boycott, CEO, Asthma UK, said:We strongly believe new technologies like smart inhalers can support people to manage their asthma better –  reducing life-threatening asthma attacks and easing the burden on the NHS. Using technology to monitor common asthma triggers such as pollution can play an important role in this.”

Sarah Haywood, CEO, MedCity, said: “Already, many of the world’s most innovative advances in digital healthcare are happening across London and the South East. Passionate tech experts are working alongside open, tech-savvy patients to develop solutions to help them treat, monitor and record their health. We have drawn the big thinkers in digital health together to respond to the most common issues affecting London, including diabetes, mental health, and pollution, to create the solutions needed to lead to better, more personalised treatments, reduce hospital time and save the NHS money. Our work with companies as part of the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator means that these innovative approaches are starting to get to patients, doctors and hospitals.”

 

 



Reece Armstrong is a reporter for Digital Health Age. Coming from the North East of England, Reece has an MA in Media & Journalism and a BA in Popular & Contemporary Music from Newcastle University. Reach him on Twitter or email via: reece.armstrong@rapidnews.com


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