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SA health innovation in spotlight

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Philips and the Innovation Hub have announced the top 5 finalists of the Innovation Fellows Competition. The event’s aim was to uncover innovative ideas that could change the local health care industry.

The lifeblood of most modern industries today is innovation, as it sets the tone for progress and enables businesses to gain a competitive advantage, create additional jobs and within the health sector specifically, change the lives of people by offering patients’ an enhanced level of care.

Earlier this year, Philips partnered with The Innovation Hub in Pretoria to launch the first Innovation Fellows Competition in South Africa with the aim of uncovering and supporting the next big innovative ideas that will not only help revolutionise the South Africa health industry, but also assist in addressing regionally relevant challenges in healthcare.

The Top 5 finalists of the competition have now been selected from a list of outstanding submissions garnered from the 61 local entries and will be awarded R 12,000 each. In addition, they will be partnered with a mentor who will guide and tutor them on the necessities needed to putting together a winning business plan and pitch. The overall winner, which will be announced in November, and will receive R 200 000 as a research and development budget for their #nextbigidea in improving access to primary healthcare.

“New innovations can have a substantial impact on health care service delivery by allowing for better access to care thanks to more affordable products for instance, enabling faster diagnosis of illnesses or more effective treatment of diseases,” says JJ Van Dongen, Senior Vice President and CEO Philips Africa.

Philips Innovation Fellowship finalists group shot (From left to right) Eddine Sarroukh Head of Philips Research Africa; Dean Hodgskiss Finalist; De Wet Swanepoel Finalist; Carol Thomas (Via Skype) Finalist; Ragesh Pillai Finalist; Sudesh Sivarasu Finalist and JJ van Dongen CEO Philips Africa

Philips Innovation Fellowship finalists group shot (From left to right)
Eddine Sarroukh Head of Philips Research Africa; Dean Hodgskiss Finalist; De Wet Swanepoel Finalist; Carol Thomas (Via Skype) Finalist; Ragesh Pillai Finalist; Sudesh Sivarasu Finalist and JJ van Dongen CEO Philips Africa

Showcasing the innovative work of the Top 5

Van Dongen went on to say that the most exciting part of this competition for Philips is unearthing talent from South Africa, whose innovations will serve as local solutions to South African health care challenges. These include;

·       Carol Thomas’ iMobiMama IT platform and Mobile Kiosk that will increase access to maternal care highlighting antenatal care in public and private sectors.

·       Sudesh Sivarasu proposes to develop a low-cost portable mechanical non-invasive continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) ventilator that is mechanically operated and will be used to tackle Asthma in children aged five to 10 years old.

·       Ragesh Pillai is looking to make the management of diabetes easier which involves controlling blood sugar levels through monitoring one’s diet, exercising and checking blood glucose levels regularly to prevent the side effects of diabetes such as kidney failure.

Pillai’s aim is to tackle the challenge of improving diabetes management through diabetes management software service designed to facilitate remote monitoring and communication between patients and their care givers at low cost.

·       Finalist Dean Hodgskiss’s solution aims to increase the capacity of healthcare workers and medical equipment at primary healthcare sites through the utilisation of a mobile communication app specifically developed to operate effectively under challenging African telecommunications conditions. The proposed solution is an application which runs on Android, iOS and Windows, will provide caregivers in remote areas (even ones with very poor and unreliable internet connections) with the ability to connect to anyone else using the application located anywhere in the world.

·       Lastly, De Wet Swanepoel wants to provide access to early identification of hearing loss, using the low-cost hearScreen mHealth solution, which will result in more timely intervention for optimal developmental in children.

“We are inspired by these finalists and are looking forward to providing real healthcare solutions that will make a real difference in people’s lives,” concluded van Dongen.

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Welcome to world of 2099

The world of 2099 will be unrecognisable from the world of today, but it can be predicted, says one visionary. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK met him in Singapore.

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Futuristic structures tower over the landscape. Giant, alien-looking trees light up with dazzling colours amid the hundreds of plant species that grow up their trunks. Cosmetic stores sell their wares via public touch-screens, with products delivered instantly in drawers below the screens.

This is not a vision of the future. It is a sample of Singapore today. But it is also an inkling of the world we may all experience in the future.

Singapore was the venue, last week, of the World Cities Summit, where engineers, politicians, investors and visionaries rubbed shoulders as they talked about the strategies and policies that would enhance urban living in the future.

As part of the Summit, global payment technologies leader Mastercard hosted a small media briefing by one of Singapore’s leading thinkers about the future, Dr Damian Tan, managing director of Vickers Venture Partners. The company’s slogan “We invest in the extraordinary,” offers a small clue to Tan’s perspective.

“We look as far forward as 2099 because, as a venture capital firm, we invest in the long term,” he tells a group of journalists from Africa and the Middle East. “Companies explode in growth because there is value in the future. If there is no growth, they won’t explode.”

The big question that the Smart Cities Summit and Mastercard are trying to help answer is, what will cities look like in the year 2099? Tan can’t give an exact answer, but he offers a framework that helps one approach the question.

“If you want to look at 81 years into the future, and understand the change that will come, you need to double that amount and look into the past. That takes us to 1856. The difference between then and now is the difference you can expect between now and 2099.”

  •    Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee and on YouTube

Use the page links below to continue reading about Tan’s visions.

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Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com

This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.

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Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.

What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.

However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.

As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.

It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.

The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.

To enter the competition follow the steps below:

Competition entry details:

1. Follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter. (We will ONLY be accepting entries via Twitter, so please don’t enter through the comments section of this article.)

2. Tell us on Twitter, via @GadgetZA, mentioning @Takealot in your posting, how many Watts the Poster Heater consumes.

cleardot.gif3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.

4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.

5. The competition is only open to South African residents.

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