The future is here, or, how to adapt

The future is here, or, how to adapt

Day 3 of the healthcare disruption tour has come to a close – and it has been… revolutionary.

Disruption is a big word to throw around, and for many companies it is a touch…abstract. Why live in the tomorrow when there are profits to be made today?

What we saw today, though, made it very real that the weather is changing for almost everyone.

How to grow, where?

We first visited Autodesk, at their (amazing) Gallery centre. They have come to be a major presence in the life sciences, from what was originally an architectural design product company. Their Bio/Nano research group has gone from crazy ideas (terraforming Mars! Curing [dog] cancer) to being a comprehensible (and internally justifiable) business, in helping develop novel protein combinations in a lab setting.

The real lesson for us was how pushing the envelope internally can allow new business areas to open. However, absorbing the ideas of disruptive customers (every companies worst best friend), and aligning them with core competencies of the established business, is hard. Autodesk have done it, though.

Four months to change the world

We then jumped over town to visit Indiebio, the leading wet-lab accelerator in the world. They never cease to amaze us with the energy which they cram into four months… taking fresh ideas to (relative) adulthood. Their twelve startups are amazing – solving problems from artificial wood for guitars, to creating personalised probiotic solutions.

Meat-free delight

Across town, we visited the restaurant, Cockscomb. It is no ordinary restaurant – they serve the ‘Impossible Burger’, made of artificial meat. Of sixteen, none thought they could tell that it was not ‘real’. The build-out possibilities are frankly incredible – from having fully personalised food, to a totally antibiotic free supply chain.

Lifestyle support in your pocket

Omada Health was next on the disruptive docket. As famous as they undoubtedly are (Sean Duffy, the CEO, had just got back from Davos), hearing from them directly really underscores the potential of their approach. Some of their thinking behind integrating medication adherence with lifestyle coaching, added to value based pricing, really shows that some parts of the life sciences spectrum are grabbing the future, with both hands.

Favourite wine? There’s an app for that.

Our last stop of the day was Helix. For those who may not know, they are a consumer genomics platform, with the mission of enabling anyone to have what used to be a research-only procedure. Their app-store (for genomics) launched only a couple of months ago, but the ambition, passion and knowledge they have is a beacon in a sea of otherwise forgettable offers. With a very simple (no slides!) discussion, everyone in the room left convinced that this is the future. While there are other big-beasts in the genomics world, none have taken the bold steps towards genuinely opening up an entire industry.

Days don’t get more overwhelming than this. From hearing about terraforming mars, to four month company building, to synthetic meat, to digital competing with drugs, to the ability to have your coffee metabolism predicted… All of it changes how we should thing about the industry of health. Prompting more thinking, certainly – but truly, genuinely amazing.


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