VivaTech 2019: Highlights of Solutions Shaping the Present and Future of Healthcare
An inspiring showcase of 13,000 startups in Paris
The fourth edition of Viva Tech took place in Paris from 16th to 18th of May and the main topics of this new edition were women and Africa. Viva Tech is the second biggest European tech and innovation conference. It’s a mix of inspiring talks and a large exhibition floor where big corporations bring along startups on their booth to showcase the innovations of today and tomorrow. The healthcare companies were pretty well represented this year. Different guided tours were organized on the exhibition floor to visit specific companies and startups. We took part in the tour organized by Sanofi.
Here are some highlighted topics and solutions that were present at the conference:
Since the very 1st edition, Viva Tech has been committed to on stage gender parity. Women were also one of the main focus of the conference this year with different talks and panels around women in tech. In a panel organized by AXA, entitled think bold and act to fill the health gap, the four executives women from AXA, Sanofi, Adia Health and Google Cloud agreed that we need more women-led businesses and that those businesses happen to be more profitable. Things are moving in the right direction with more women involved in C-level positions but there is still some way to go. Surely the mentoring sessions organized during VivaTech for women by women could be of major help.
The highlight of one women-led company in the femtech industry exhibiting at the conference is Fizimed and Emy, their connected medical device for perineal at home reeducation using gamification. Have you ever dreamed of launching a rocket ship with the power of your pelvic floor? Then try Emy!
Another highlight of this year was Africa with various sessions on Africa’s ecosystem, culture and funding gap. Sanofi who has been committed to supporting Africa’s population and access to healthcare for the past 50 years invited a handful of companies from Africa to highlight the work they are doing to support the local communities based on 3 challenges: diagnostics and disease management of people suffering from diabetes, access to medicines for patients in remote areas and better use of big data to make better and fast decisions
Susu was the winner of the Sanofi diabetes challenge. They offer a package solution that African expats can contract for their family still living in Africa. Many African living abroad sends money to their family every month to support them in their everyday life. Susu goes a step further and provides direct medical services to those family members: blood glucose meter and strip refills, blood tests, SMS to take medicines and automatic refills or medical concierge service. A different and efficient way for expats to spend money on their families.
Robots were present across the exhibition floor: from surgical robots, to at home massaging robots. Softbank’s leading robots, Pepper and Nao, were there in full effect. Here are two interesting applications showing how Pepper and Nao are being applied in the healthcare sector:
- Helsana, swiss health insurance, was presenting avatar Nao, used for kids who have to stay away from school for a long period of time. Nao attends school instead of the child: equipped with multi-sensors, cameras, and microphones, the kids can attend school virtually and be seen and interact with the other kids and the teacher.
- Conserto developed an application with Pepper for nursing homes where residents can autonomously come to Pepper and take their vitals following his instructions. No carer is present during the process, but they are alerted if there is an issue with the results. It gives residents a higher sense of autonomy and a higher engagement towards their health.
France has been known for leading the way in developing neurotechnological solutions, that can help people sleep or relax. Three interesting solutions were present this year:
- Dreem is a headset that can measure and monitor sleep at a lab-level precision from the comfort of your home. It helps fall asleep faster, deeper and wakes up at the optimal time, though sounds that are sent through the headset during the night.
- Urgo was presenting Urgonight, a similar headset that offers the same promise of a better sleep but contrary to Dreem, it’s worn during the day (and not at all at night) and uses neurofeedback instead of sounds.
- HypnoVR is a medical software using VR to perform anesthesia under hypnosis. Using VR and sounds, this medical device, developed by anaesthetists, has shown great results: less pain, reduced drug consumption, and quicker recovery, sending patients home faster after an operation.
The potential of smart homes is huge – at the image of Google who had a full-size smart home at VivaTech – especially in healthcare: to keep elderlies at home and monitor and support their activities like tracking their sleep, detect falls or early signs of Alzheimer, etc.
More and more service companies are moving towards smart homes and looking at health-related companies. This is the case of EDF, French electricity provider who invited Pillo Health, Boston-based company, to demo their solution at VivaTech.
Pillo is a voice-activated at-home health companion supporting the whole family: medicine reminder and dispenser, it can answer user’s questions, let carers know if the user does not take his medicine and it enables video call to the healthcare team through the Pillo screen. With its attractive and modern shape, Pillo is a great addition to the house.
Last company that we would like to highlight is La Poste, the French mail delivery company. La Poste is a very interesting example of a company that shifted its activity those past years to adapt to the new reality of the digital era. Healthcare is one of the space where they decided to position themselves with two major goals: make healthcare pathways more efficient and simplify life for patients and healthcare professionals. They have become the leader in secure health data hosting in France and signed a few partnerships with leading healthcare institutions, like Elsan, France leading group of private clinics.
La Poste main product is a mobile app called Laposte EHealth developed by subsidiary Docaposte and offering an end to end ultra secure interface for the healthcare professional-patient relationship. It enables users to store and share their data and to receive personalized advice to stay healthy. Users can also communicate directly with their healthcare team.
La Poste is also supporting startups through different startup programs like Start’inPost, a free acceleration program for young startups and through their venture fund. A few health startups present on their stand:
- LifeinA is the world’s smallest intelligent fridge for the safe transport and storage of the fragile medication. Uwe and his brother are both diabetic and know very well how life-threatening insulin that is not at the right temperature can be. That’s why they developed that wireless portable fridge to carry insulin and other temperature sensitive medicine to monitor the temperature at all time.
- Moovcare, from Sivan innovation, is a medical software device used to detect relapse or complication during lung cancer follow up. Continuous monitoring of lung cancer patients enables earlier detection and improves survival. Patients report their symptoms weekly via the platform and the healthcare team is alerted as soon as an anomaly is detected. Moovare just received reimbursement approval from French authorities and Sivan team is already working on deploying their software solution to other types of cancers.
Check out the VivaTech website to find out about all the companies and technologies present this year. See you in 2020 Vivatech!
Aline is a digital health consultant, connecting the dots between the different actors of the ecosystem to impact patients’ lives and improve healthcare professionals' daily routine.
Read more about Aline on her Ambassador page.
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