The Web Summit has been described by many as the SXSW of Europe. With more than 20,000 participants, it was a conjunction point for big multinational tech companies, startups, entrepreneurs, investors, builders, marketers and many other sectors which took part in this massive event.
All gathered to discuss the latest technologies and what to expect about future.
Among many fascinating summits in this event, the Machine summit was one of the most interesting ones. IoT (Internet of Things), wearable techs, Augmented Reality & Drones were the hottest topics. Accenture CTO, Paul Dougherty, presented the "Industrial Internet of Things” - IIoT, and shared how IoT can be profitable for industries. He named some examples already in action such as:
- Connected cars: in collaboration with Fiat Chrysler, cars will be equipped with 4G connection;
- Life safety: the augmented reality glasses that assist workers during their job;
- Connected pipelines: in oil & gas industries for thousands of kilometres of pipelines, they use sensors to monitor oil & gas transportation, in case of any problem, it signals and sends information about the location of malfunction. So instead of sending helicopters to that problematic spot (which costs a lot) they send Drones equipped with cameras that send images in real time to the control centre.
Also CISCO announced the Connected Train - bringing IoT into the trains. An Interesting project in collaboration with US Railway, it features some useful information to passengers about the number of available seats in a carriage before they actually board the train.
Philips announced its collaborations with Accenture and health industries for helping ALS patients. The project is to make relevant appliances for these patients that will be controlled by their brainwaves. ALS patients suffer from neurodegenerative disease. They will be able to interact directly with these new appliances and become more autonomous.
Great Technology succeeds through a great Business Strategy
A proper focus on the Product Design and after-sales Service needs to be part of the business strategy.The experience of the user at different touch points starts even before buying the product, and continues during the acquisition and will remain even after. Hence a proper after-sales service guarantees a positive experience which is a key factor in the success of a business.
But I’d rather see it worn by a doctor helping him in his patient visits.
When first launched in market, any new product will have its challenges, and technological products are no exceptions. For instance, everybody thinks that it is too soon for Google glass to be embraced by the market, but the enormous potential it holds for the healthcare industry cannot be denied.
"Nowadays people use Google glass because it's Cool! But I’d rather see it worn by a doctor helping him in patient visits. Unfortunately this isn't happening". cit. Tim O’Reilly.
Health apps / devices are not there yet. The majority of devices pertain to closed platforms whereby the companies behind them have the generated data of which none is public. While listed under the ‘health and fitness’ category, many of these health apps or devices cater mainly to the fitness arena with pedometers, calorie counters, sleep monitors and other lifestyle activities. Why the lack of health-focused apps or devices? No doubt this is largely because the current apps are developed exclusively by tech companies; besides, chartering into the regulatory-laden waters of healthcare and data privacy issues just makes this sector a less attractive one compared to that of fitness.
There is a huge gap between technology and health industries. There are several health issues, for which technology may facilitate the procedures via more involvement and and collaboration of these two axes. Whenever this collaboration is exercised, some significant steps forward are taken in the efficiency of medical tools (i.e. Sanofi + Google plans for glucose-measuring contact lens.).
Events like Web Summit brings more hopes as we hear some interesting news of intensive efforts and innovations in different fields, including in health industries.