Can tech help us live longer?

In the run-up to the AXA PPP Health Tech & You Awards, innovation director Martin Jordan discusses how technology is helping us live longer and feel fitter.

We are all striding confidently into a connected world. As digital becomes increasingly part of our everyday lives - at home, in transport, entertainment, workplaces - it is making these experiences easier, smarter and cheaper.

But perhaps as we go about our daily lives, paying for our coffees with our smartphones and checking our bank balance from the train we do not realise that probably the largest and most important technological revolution is happening right now. This revolution will affect us all, in more far-reaching ways than streaming television or a pre-ordered latté ever will. This is the health-tech revolution.

And if you’re sitting reading this and thinking of FitBits or health watches, you’re only scratching the surface of a world which is primed to help you live longer and feel fitter whilst lowering the cost and improving access to healthcare for people of all ages, backgrounds and locations.

Health technology is big business. Over $1Bn has been invested in health-tech in the first three months of 2016 alone. Yes, the fitness products got most of the initial attention. But it is the health and medical products and services that are going to save lives, improve wellbeing and save consumers and health systems real money.

So, it comes as no surprise that one of the UK’s largest and most trusted healthcare insurers AXA PPP has developed the AXA PPP Health Tech & You Awards to bring focus to and celebrate the work of health technology pioneers across the wellbeing and medical spectrum. Now in its second year, the awards recognise innovators in healthcare provision, independent living, solving health problems and beyond. From smartwatches that can predict respiratory failure, to a unique medication spray for arthritis sufferers, the bright ideas on display at this year’s awards shine a light on a healthier, easier future for us all through the use of cutting-edge health technology.

Here at Equator, we’re constantly looking at ways we can connect with technology like this to improve experiences and make the digitally-enabled life seamless and simple. With this in mind, we were enthusiastic to be a category sponsor of the Breakout Award. This award focuses on finding a piece of health technology that’s successfully embedded itself and made a difference to people’s everyday lives over the past year. With the awards taking place this evening, 25th April in London, we can’t wait to see which of the three finalists will walk away with the prize. They are:

  • Lumo Lift - A posture-correcting device that clips under your collar and gently vibrates when it senses slouching.
  • Ostom-I - a discrete device that alerts patients who use a colostomy bag how full their ostomy pouch is, helping to manage them better.
  • StepJockey - An app to be used in conjunction with free-to-print stairway calorie signs which feature scannable QR codes help anyone easily track their stair climbing.

Every one of these ideas are already improving wellbeing, independent living capabilities and the fitness of thousands of individuals. We are proud to support these innovators in their efforts to improve lives through technology. Good luck to each company and we look forward to you all contributing to the future of health and wellbeing through your ingenious health-tech innovations.

By Martin Jordan, Innovation Director.