Health 2.0 – A Global Perspective at the Seventh Annual Fall Conference

By Maneesh Juneja, Digital Health Futurist, MJ Analytics

TEDx MJIn less than 2 weeks, I’m giving a talk at Health 2.0’s Seventh Annual Fall Conference on what’s happening in the world of Health Technology outside of the USA in a session, Health 2.0 – A Global Perspective. For a lot of companies, including startups, the primary focus is conquering the US market. The global health information technology market is expected to reach $56.7 billion by 2017, with the U.S. and Canada accounting for the largest share. Silicon Valley remains a dominant force in the health technology industry, and every country is trying to emulate that success.

Given these statistics, should you be looking to understand what’s happening around the world? I would argue an emphatic YES!

I live in London, England and I’ve had the opportunity to travel a lot so far. I’ve visited 44 countries in total, and undertook a 6 month round the world trip in 2010, mainly because I wanted to witness the changes in Emerging Markets with my own eyes. The pace of change in the developing world is so rapid, I’ve never witnessed anything like it in my whole life.

In the 21st century, it’s no longer a unipolar world, but a multi-polar world. I share a practical example. I have a cousin who lives in Kolkata, India. A big city, with 14 millon people in the metropolitan area. In the West, what are the first images that come to mind when you think of Kolkata? Mother Theresa, poverty and slums? Well, Kolkata got access to 4G mobile technology BEFORE London (Kolkata in April 2012, London in October 2012). I bet you find that surprising news?

In fact, the reason I founded the Health 2.0 Chapter in London was because I attended Health 2.0 India in 2012. I was taken aback by the energy of the Indian entrepreneurs and their ambitions to make a huge impact in healthcare. A quick conversation with Matthew Holt, co-founder of Health 2.0 convinced me to start the chapter in London.

When it comes to mHealth, there is a lot going on in Africa, and a recent PwC report estimates that a million lives could be saved in sub-Saharan Africa by 2017 from the use of mHealth technologies.

An Open Access journal, Globalization in Health has recently launched a thematic series called ‘Reverse innovation in global health systems: learning from low income countries’. One of the questions the series aims to answer is “Can health innovations designed for a developing country setting be applied in a developed country setting?”. How many healthcare leaders in the developed world have contemplated this question? Not many, given my own experience.

When I looked at the burden of Diabetes, I found that China is estimated to have 114 million adult Diabetics and 493 million with prediabetes. Those are staggering figures. Paul Zimmet, honorary president of the international Diabetes Federation has said, “Politicians and public health bureaucrats and authorities just don’t realize or accept yet that diabetes is set to devastate health budgets. They need a big wakeup call before it turns into a diabetes apocalypse!”.  Now, if you’ve developed technology that is being used to help prevent and/or manage Diabetes in the USA, should you be considering the Chinese market as part of your future strategy?

At the Health XL Global Gathering in Dublin earlier this year, there was a panel discussion called ‘Where is the Silicon Valley of Digital Health?’. I’ve been working hard on undertaking research for my talk at Health 2.0 Silicon Valley. I’m continually amazed at the creativity and resourcefulness displayed by entrepreneurs that work in low resource settings.

Today, not everyone in the world can access to the internet, but that’s changing. Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, has announced internet.org, a global partnership with the goal of making internet access available to the next 5 billion people. I’m curious what new innovations may arise once those people are connected to the rest of the world. Are you building long term relationships with innovators beyond your current geographies?

I’m very excited at the opportunity to share my learnings, insights and observations at the Health 2.0 Silicon Valley conference. I truly believe that we have a lot to learn from each other, and that many of the challenges in Global Health the world faces can be met by understanding what’s happening around the globe.

Register here for Health 2.0 – A Global Perspective.

Maneesh Juneja has worked with ‘Big Data’ for almost 20 years. From supporting the Whitehall study at UCL, managing the Tesco database at DunnHumby, and most recently, working with the world’s largest U.S. health insurance claims databases at GlaxoSmithKline R&D. During his 9 years at GSK in the Worldwide Epidemiology team, Maneesh worked on observational studies providing “real world evidence” for drug & vaccine development, market access, and post marketing surveillance. He left GSK in 2012, and set up his own consultancy, MJ Analytics. Maneesh also founded the Health 2.0 London Chapter, gave a TEDx talk on his vision of 7 billion citizen scientists, and attended FutureMed at Singularity University. He’s also the co-founder of Who Owns Your Health Data? and MD Global Health.

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