4 Nov 2020

MedTech Wednesday: WIRED Health: Tech 2020 conference

MedTech Wednesday is our weekly check-in here at Spreckley, where we share all the most interesting and useful healthcare innovation and health technology news and trends.

This week, we look at the latest health tech innovation news coming out of the annual WIRED Health: Tech 2020 conference, the latest advances in cardiovascular health technology for wearables and the new ways in which privacy enhancing technologies (PETs) can help public health authorities worldwide access real-time data from disparate, global sources to make critical decisions about the spread of pandemics such as COVID-19.


WIRED Health: Tech 2020 round-up

Medical News Today has published a comprehensive overview of this year’s WIRED Health: Tech 2020 conference this week, one of the leading health technology conferences of the year looking at the tech advances driving the future of patient care.

WIRED Health:Tech is a leading gathering of heath tech experts and disruptors, considering the latest technological advances in medicine. This year’s conference focused on innovation in artificial intelligence, remote surgical systems, and the ongoing fight against COVID-19.

Prof. Christofer Toumazou from Imperial College London, the creator of DnaNudge, a fast and accessible DNA testing technology, talked about adapting his technology to detect COVID-19 faster than ever.

“Effectively, it took a pandemic for us to get a technology that’s […] prepared for personalized medicine into the hospital system. So the only way that we could ‘bulldoze’ this was through COVID,” said Prof. Toumazou. Adding that this is particularly important for those with mental health conditions “who would not have to anxiously wait for 48 hours in isolation for their test results.”

Another leading UK academic and health-tech influencer, Dr. Indra Joshi, Director of Artificial Intelligence at NHSx, talked in detail about the importance technology that offers a “holistic view” of a person’s health status, that can “help not just to better understand the pathology of COVID-19, but also to identify the people who are most at risk.”


Latest data advances for wearables and fitness devices reports on the latest advances in cardiovascular health technology for wearables, as CardieX Limited, a company focused on hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and vascular health disorders, announces a new division focused on health data algorithms in consumer wearables and fitness devices.

ATCOR·X is a new division focused on developing and licensing clinically meaningful health data algorithms for consumer wearables and connected fitness devices.

Craig Cooper, CEO and Managing Director of CardieX, noted that: “The seismic shift to remote care driven by COVID-19 has created an unprecedented opportunity to create a healthcare ecosystem integrated into people’s homes and daily lives using innovative home devices and wearables.

“We’re launching ATCOR·X to accelerate development and drive adoption of our SphygmoCor® technology – the global gold-standard for non-invasive measurement of central blood pressure waveforms and arterial stiffness – and to improve the health of millions of Americans with hypertension as well as those who have lasting cardiovascular damage as a result of COVID-19.”


Privacy-enhancing technologies and health data privacy

Finally this week, Forbes looks in depth at the ways in which privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs) are driving better health care collaboration, globally.

Ellison Anne Williams, founder & CEO of Enveil, passionately argues that: “Public health breakthroughs rarely happen in a silo. Researchers crave access to any and every piece of relevant data available, especially in the midst of a pandemic. Access to real-time data from disparate, global sources can help public health officials advance critical decisions when every moment counts. However, securing access to this broader data landscape is not without its pitfalls. The sensitivities associated with these assets dictate that additional access cannot come at the expense of privacy and security.”

That’s why Williams advocates strongly for the use of the latest privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs) “gaining recognition for their transformational ability to enable and preserve data privacy throughout its processing life cycle. They allow data to be searched, shared and analyzed in a decentralized manner without compromising personally identifiable information (PII), protected health information (PHI), intellectual property or other sensitive indicators.

“This makes PETs uniquely equipped to overcome many of the access, regulatory and technical barriers that restrict the sharing of health care-related data today.”

Better global data collaboration is of course vital to advance globally-connected responses to future pandemics, post-COVID 19, so we expect to hear a lot more in the coming years on the ways in which PETs can deliver better value for public health authorities worldwide.