GIANT Health Event 2018

by Katie Edwards and Dr Deborah Shenton

Two of our EPIC research assistants, Deb and Katie, headed to London this week to attend the GIANT Health Event, 2018. 

Established as the global gathering for everyone involved in health-tech innovation, GIANT (Global Innovation and New Technology) is a worldwide movement that showcases leading health-tech from around the world.

The 2018 GIANT programme included 6 simultaneous tracks across 2 days, with over 150 expert speakers. Katie and Deb were certainly kept busy during Day 1, hearing about the latest innovations and challenges in dementia care, remote consultation, mental health and virtual reality.

A vibrant and expansive international trade show also gave Katie and Deb the opportunity to discover and try out new applications and software including a holographic training tool and a robotic physiotherapy assistant. Interacting with these innovators gave our researchers the opportunity to make connections and create opportunities for the EPIC community back in CIOS. Watch this space!

Day 2 saw Deb attend a specialised track all about wearable tech. Wearables have featured a lot in our EPIC community discussions and are a piece of tech which is becoming more and more widespread, overtaking the ‘app’ in the popularity stakes. Things are moving at a fast pace in this sector including using data for healthcare as well as wellness, exploiting different hardware’s such as glasses and also progression in the development of invisible wearables such as patches placed on the skin. Challenges remain for companies to move beyond providing passive data (such as step counts) and provide meaningful information which patients and healthcare professionals can act upon to improve healthcare outcomes.

Katie was also able to hear about how new start-ups have devised tech solutions to help answer the challenge of managing type 2 diabetes. Innovations included a personalised nutrition platform and a unique educational tool which include gamification to enhance engagement. Diabetes is one of the world’s biggest public health challenges and it was certainly a breath of fresh air to hear about solutions which went beyond blood glucose management and focused on behavioural change techniques and prevention.

A key theme translating across the GIANT event was ‘women in tech’. Katie and Deb were inspired to hear about women leading the way in innovation and engineering across the health-tech sector and are looking forward to returning to Cornwall to share all of their new found knowledge and opportunities with the EPIC team and wider community.

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