Saving Lives Is a Creative Endeavour

June 15, 2014


What if mobile phones could detect cancer cells? Or an ultrasound was performed via television? How would these disruptive technologies impact healthcare models and how would communications adapt to help save lives?

These were amongst some of the most provocative questions asked on day one at Lions Health. During a session entitled Creative Ideas and Innovators Disrupting Healthcare, the power of disruptive thinking was positioned at the heart of creativity.  Disruption is a ‘tool for change and an agent of growth’ where previously held assumptions are overturned and norms challenged.

Two innovators shared their disruptive technologies and the impact on people’s lives could not have been clearer. Dr. John Redmond, Sr. Mechanic Engineer and Design, Lift Labs shared his experiences of designing with empathy in mind. By using sensors to neutralise tremors Lift Labs have created a spoon that helps those with essential tremor eat unaided. Something over 20 million Europeans and 10 million Americans are living with each day. By looking at each step from plate to mouth, Lift Labs created a spoon that is designed around the emotions of the user, functional success was not enough.  They created a technology that has an immediate and dramatic impact on the care and dignity of those with essential tremor, an immeasurable benefit…

Every 21 seconds a child dies from a water related disease. This year 2.2 million children will die from dehydration caused by diarrhoea. Many of these lives could be saved if they had access to saline IV bags. The challenge is getting these bags into the hands of those that need them. Due to the weight of the bags shipping costs are expensive and there is a real issue of leaching as well as leaking/puncture during transit. Ben Park, CEO, Founder, Fosmo Med has developed Maji, an IV system that is shipped without water. Once onsite, forward osmosis technology converts dirty water to a sterile solution without power. A recent winner at the 2013 Philips Innovation Fellow, Maji has eliminated the traditional problems associated with saline IV bags. A seemly simple solution it literally has the ability to save millions of lives around the world.

True innovation requires empathy, creativity and vision. By fully understanding the healthcare environment and by being impatient and not willing to wait for others both Fosmo Med and Lift Labs have creating technologies that will enhance care and save lives.