AXA Health Tech & You 2019 Finalists Announced

Richard Cooper, Head of Digital & eCommerce at AXA Health in Guest blog

24 April 2019

The finalists from the fifth annual AXA Health Tech & You Awards have been announced and as with previous years, it’s fascinating to see the variety of health technologies coming through five different categories.

Health technology is moving at a rapid pace and year-on-year, new trends in tech are highlighted through the finalists and winners of Health Tech & You; from wearables to monitor and manage specific conditions to the vital role played by artificial intelligence (AI) with data sharing from patient to clinician. Amongst the shortlisted innovations this year we see how managing light intake and circadian rhythms can help improve sleep and how interactive, community-focussed platforms and apps can help young people with anxiety and keep older people fit and healthy.

Working with the Innovators

We look forward to partnering with some of the finalists and winners, as have done with others in the four previous years. Two examples of this, are winner from the second year, Walk With Path, whose wearable device, Path Finder helps people with Parkinson’s disease avoid the effects of ‘freeze of gait’ when walking. LiveSmart, from the third year of the Awards, is a one-to-one coaching programme to help people improve their health and wellness, using blood tests.

Health Tech & You 2019 Format

This year Health Tech & You was formed of five categories; three of the categories are referred to as ‘Challenge’ categories and ran in turn throughout the year, designed to identify fast-evolving health tech quickly. Two longer-running categories spanned the whole year and focussed on innovation and excellence in the field of health tech. All five categories set out to pinpoint the very best solutions to help consumers engage more actively in their health and to change behaviour to encourage people to look after themselves better.

Challenge Categories

Two of the Challenges categories were established as a direct result of AXA listening to members and finding the technology to help solve and support their current and sometimes unmet health needs. From this feedback, two overriding areas of concern emerged that technology could help with; to change sleep behaviour and deliver better sleeping patterns in everyday life and to support children, and their parents, in understanding and managing mental health.

From the Sleep Tech Challenge the three finalists demonstrate different ways of managing sleep; Circadia combines a sleep tracker, lamp and app to improve sleep; LYS is a wearable to help a user understand how light influences sleep and Timeshifter ®is an app to help travellers manage jet lag and to prevent it damaging sleep patterns.

The Mental Health in Children Challenge shortlisted innovations, again, show different ways to help children and young people deal with their mental health. With anxiety being a key factor with young people, Clear Fear is an app to help manage their anxiety; while KIT is an interactive digital coach for helping children with social confidence.

Xploro introduces young people to hospital environments, reducing stress and anxiety if they have to spend any time there – an innovation inspired by the entrepreneur’s own daughter and her cancer treatment.

The third Challenge saw AXA working with Saga on their brief to find exciting and innovative tech than can help their customers to pursue their passions and keep fit and active for longer. The three innovators making it to the shortlist of The Mobility and Accessibility Challenge are: isoshealth, an innovative platform to help people reach their personal health goals; Lechal, a smart insole to reduce fall risk and increase physical fitness; and Tomo, an app using the online community to keep users active and healthy.

Innovation and Excellence in Health Tech

The two longer-running categories – The Innovation and Excellence in Health Tech Awards – recognised entrepreneurs in early stage start-ups or later stage businesses, respectively. The categories were shaped through the advice of the specially-formed AXA Health Tech & You Expert Group comprising of leaders and experts from technology, health, charity, consumer advocacy, medical, design and media. The group created a set of Core Values that form and underpin the categories for this year’s Awards.

The cutting-edge pioneers shortlisted in the Innovation in Health Tech category are at the beginning of their health tech journey and inventing technology for a wide range of conditions and health needs; Chronomics is a home epigenetic (inheritance by mechanisms other than through the DNA sequence of genes) testing kit; GenieConnect is an intelligent personalised robot companion and The Whistle is a device to provide users and clinicians with information of potential heart failure.

The Excellence in Health Tech category focusses on proven propositions coming out of later-stage businesses, the innovative finalists are: DNAFit, a personalised nutrition and fitness insights programme from a saliva swab test; Untire, an app to help cancer patients deal with fatigue; and Lechal, the smart insole also shortlisted in the Mobility and Accessibility Challenge category.

Announcing the Winners

The winners will be announced at the AXA Health Tech & You Awards Ceremony in May where we will welcome innovators from all over Europe and the rest of the world.