Posts Tagged innovation

Imagine how emerging technologies may reshape our world


detail of 3d printer printing a metal pieceAmong the hottest new emerging technologies for 2018, picked by MIT Technology Review, here are some that caught my attention. While 3D printing has been around for a while, it’s only been for plastics, while printing anything in metal is challenging and costly. But recent strides in 3D metal printing that are combining sophisticated software with cheap metal printers (e.g. Lawrence Livermore National Labs, Markforged, Desktop Metal etc.) are enabling precise control of microstructure of metals and will likely enable mass production of parts. Just imagine, you scrape your new Lexus Mini against a pole in the narrow parking space and you get home in the evening and 3D print a new bumper.

VANCOUVER City - CANADAOr imagine a city that makes sense.  A recent project in Toronto, called Quayside is designing urban neighborhoods built around digital technologies. Through an extensive network of sensors, data will be gathered on every aspect of urban life from air quality to noise levels to people’s daily activity patterns and decisions about design and policies will be made to make life more affordable, pleasant, fun and environmentally friendly.

Image of notebook on DNA chains background 
The image symbolizes the innovative technologies in the field of chemistry and Or imagine your baby arriving into the world with a report card that offers probabilities of heart attack, cancer, getting addicted to alcohol or tobacco, or being smarter than average, or being too competitive. LOL.  Through huge genetic studies, some involving more than a million people, this may become possible. It can bring so many new challenges that we better start thinking about all the implications.

Abstract Artificial intelligence. Technology web background. Virtual conceptOr imagine the possibilities of AI. Currently Artificial Intelligence is used mostly in the tech industry. But how AI will transform industries from medicine to manufacturing and energy, are endless. Recently at Ichan School of Medicine in Mount Sinai, a project called “Deep Patient” is based on use of AI to go through mounds of health data, in order to obtain insights about disease risk. With the use of deep learning, a machine learning tool, the computer is learning new things without prior programming. Similarly, at University of Montreal, in an approach known as GAN or a generative adversarial network, two networks are trained on the same data but pitted against each other. This dueling neural networks become proficient and over time gain an independent ability to make sense of the world. And when Artificial Intelligence acquires capability for imagination, the possibilities are endless on how it will impact all aspects of our lives.

You can read about top 10 breakthrough technologies of 2018 at https://www.technologyreview.com/lists/technologies/2018/

Virtual reality, Augmented Reality, Autonomous vehicles and Artificial Intelligence will all intersect with Data, Cloud and will reshape our world in unimaginable ways. Attend TiEInflect 2018 www.TiEInflect.org this Friday and Saturday and get insights into which new technology innovations will have an immediate profound impact on our lives and which ones hold the future potential to turn our world upside down. 

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Challenges and Opportunities in DevOps


Image result for devopsAfter Agile and Waterfall, recent red hot trend in creating optimum software engineering culture in organizations, has been DevOps. DevOps is about unifying software development and operations and aligning it with shared business and product objectives. Creating smoothly functioning DevOps culture helps organizations shorten development cycles and ensure dependable and timely releases.

With DevOps enabling real-time visibility in every layer of software construction, the risk of rapid innovation is reduced as communication barriers are dissolved between teams and feedback loops are shortened. Objective single source data through shared dashboard reduces finger pointing. Companies that have not yet adopted DevOps, increasingly feel the pressure to do so. However, when companies seek to adopt DevOps, they also face challenges.

Image result for not tools, cultureCreating a smoothly functioning DevOps culture, requires creating an optimum environment for the shift in mindset to take hold and enabling a smooth transition process through soft and hard skills training.  Traditionally, goals of Development and Operations are not aligned and handovers between different teams are costly and time consuming. A company seeking to adopt DevOps culture, needs to overcome this mentality and create product aligned team culture, away from project based culture. This is a major mindset shift that may require restructuring in staff and reporting lines, in addition to skills based training. While there is high barrier to entry with microservices, the move to automation and continuous delivery is facilitated by replacing or changing older legacy infrastructure to microservices architecture.

In any organization but more so in one seeking to adopt DevOps culture, people on the team are going to be the most important resources, for a smooth transition. Adopting newer tools may be effective only to the extent that staff receives training to use them and the tools are well integrated with the existing infrastructure.  A shift in culture must be gradual and include change management training to help people embrace the change. It will be easier to bring Dev and Ops teams on board to adopting newer tools if the focus is moved away from personalities and preferences to broader picture and larger, overarching goals of the company.  While the change may be scary at first, adoption may be smoother with objective data and feedback loops from small scale deployments and other teams to see the benefits of it working in real time.

Image result for tieinflectExciting track at TiE Inflect 2018, the largest entrepreneurship conference to take place in May at Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, will feature VCs and industry leaders discussing trends, opportunities, and strategies to deal with challenges. Entrepreneurs with eyes towards innovation in DevOps will also get to do a deep dive in the Startup bootcamp, and may learn to become investor ready, learn to effectively network and maximize visibility, and fine tune presentations and pitches. Register for the conference at www.tieinflect.org .

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Where are VCs investing in DevOps


Image result for non copyrighted images, devops, VCsIn software engineering culture, unifying software development and software operation is gaining great momentum. Automation and monitoring at all steps of software construction from integration, testing, releasing to deployment, and infrastructure management, DevOps shortens development cycles, ensures more dependable releases and is more closely aligned with business objectives. Recent M&A activities of DevOps companies like AppDynamics and Automic Software and $100M+ investments in DevOps solution providers like UIPath,, XebiaLabs and Tricentis points to the red hot market, ripe of entrepreneurial innovation.

VCs have clearly embraced this transformation in culture and processes as a more efficient organizational culture for development and deployment practices.  But as yet, DevOps sector is in the early phase. There will be incredible new opportunities for entrepreneurs in this sector, in the next few years. A panel of industry leaders will discuss and opine on new opportunities for entrepreneurs, at TiE Inflect 2018. Register for the largest entrepreneurship conference with exciting tracks in Blockchain, FinTech, DevOps, HealthTech, CyberSecurity, MarTech and more to take place in in May, in Santa Clara, CA  at www.tieinflect.org .

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Life Sciences Industry Outlook for 2018: Post BiotechShowcase & JPM


Image result for Biotech Showcase 2018, JPM18JPM 2018 and concurrent events just ended with what may be one of its biggest draws.  As many as 10,000 people from life science industry and its related sectors are likely to have descended upon the city, during last four days.  In addition to JPM event itself, everything health was under review and up for discussion at various conferences including at EBD Group & Demy Colten’s #BiotechShowcase #DigitalMedicine #BTS18 and #WuXiGlobalForum2018 . Networking and deal making continued late in the nights at various receptions held across the city. Receptions by legal firms like #WilsonSonsini #MoFoLLP #ReedSmithLLP attracted some of the biggest crowds.

IMG_20180110_170128791.jpgOverall the tone for 2018, seemed highly optimistic.  BiotechShowcase held a media roundup and echoes of optimism were heard from almost all panelists @barbara_ryan12 @TriangleInsight @CarolineYLChen @adamfeuerstein @statnews @SFBIZronleuty @BrittanyMeiling @endpts @juliet_preston @medcitynews @ldtimmerman .

Image result for biotech innovationThere is a general agreement that the pace of #innovation in biotech greatly accelerated in 2017 and is likely to continue. According to Luke Timmeerman, “sheer velocity of news in healthtech innovation is fascinating”. Transformative therapies across huge and diverse range of diseases are increasingly focusing on cures and going beyond the short term treatment focus. The surge of innovation has been led by focus on oncology although concern was also raised in one of the panels that we still continue to get stymied and realize how friggin smart the disease of cancer is and if we will truly crack the code on cancer in the immediate upcoming years. All signs are however, that next year we may see critical data from some clinical trials in immuno-oncology space that can cause market spikes.

Here are some areas of concern raised in some of the panels. In 2017, a slight dip was observed in the areas of orphan and rare diseases. Also there seemed to be a general consensus that we need smart policies that incentivize new anti microbial drugs and other treatments for infectious diseases. Due to increasing resistance of antibiotics, there is an ongoing and real fear for some of the infectious diseases to turn into pandemics. These are areas that bold entrepreneurs may focus on. Also medical devices continues to remain somewhat underfunded. Discussions around accelerating healthcare costs and drug pricing issues creeped over into many panels. Entrepreneurs with disruptive pricing innovation in product development as well as healthcare can easily have a tremendous leverage. It can’t be overstressed that finding effective pricing solutions holds key to continued and sustainable growth in healthcare sector.

Discussion in one of the panels focused for a few minutes around large investments in life sciences and if that indicated a healthtech bubble that may be due for a crash.  Indeed, some experts observed that pace of 2017 is unlikely to continue and there may well be a slight dip in 2018. But overall the consensus seemed to be, that a steep and deep pipeline of innovation in R&D is likely to prevent a crash, and the venture funding blizzard is likely to continue. Overall, the feeling among investors and healthcare experts was that among the industry, there is a strong focus on science and people are pursuing innovation with discipline that will ensure unprecedented mechanisms and novel medicines. All this activity is taking healthcare to a new level of cures and sustainability and stability from temporary treatment focus. Exciting indeed to be living in this era of amazing healthcare innovation.

 

 

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Biotech Showcase 2018 Preview: What it will mean to be living in the era of cures & more VC money


Lunch plenary sessions are always a huge draw at Biotech Showcase and are very exciting. On day one, a panel moderated by Sara Radcliff from CLSA will take a 60,000 feet view and will discuss what the future holds for biotechnology and life science sector. Biotechnology is increasingly going beyond treatment to focusing on cures. Day 2 panel moderated by Alice Valder Curran from Hogan Lovells with Eric Aguiar from Aisling, Philippe Lopes-Fernandes from Merck and Camille Samuels from Venrock will discuss “what it means to be in the era of cures”. The panel will discuss how public and private markets are still catching up with new policies on coverage, pricing, and liability issues, making it even more challenging to decide what product candidates to pursue.  Lunch panel on day 3 moderated by Ellen Corenswet from Covington & Burling LLP and populated by prominent VCs and industry experts will reflect on 2017 surge of venture capital.
Image result for future of healthcareImage result for healthcare venture capital

Besides all day information packed sessions focused on key diseases that are getting attention http://bit.ly/2pA45B7 , there are interesting panels and sessions on treatment modalities that are the garnering attention of investors and entrepreneurs http://bit.ly/2CjET4G .  And then there will be panels discussing investment in healthcare, what to expect in 2018 from investment perspective and what are likely to be new drivers of innovation in drug development, and new targets, new trends and new combinations in treatment.

Besides three action packed days, the evenings will be packed with countless receptions and networking will continue late into the night. Concurrent 36th annual J P Morgan Healthcare Conference is expecting 400+ public and private companies to deliver presentations to over 8000 attendees. San Francisco will be taken over by everything health for three days, from January 8th through 10th, 2018.  

While JPM conference is by invitation only event, registration is open for Biotech Showcase at conferences@ebdgroup.com or at https://ebdgroup.knect365.com/biotech-showcase/agenda/1

 

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Biotech Showcase 2018 Preview: Treatment focus on microbiome, regenerative medicine, gene & immuno therapies


Image result for biotech showcase 2018Biotech Showcase taking place concurrently with the J P Morgan event in San Francisco, will host more than 3,500 attendees and 900+ investors. This event considered to be a critical strategic benchmark for business development activities in biotech, medtech, pharma and digital health, is regarded as among the year’s most important investor meeting place and sets the tone for financial health in these sectors, for the coming year.  Speakers and attendees at Biotech Showcase, will participate, network and listen to over 400 company presentations. Over 2,100 companies from 50+ countries will participate.  Besides 7000+ one on one meetings, general sessions will focus on a number of topics that are significantly expected to impact the healthcare arena. Here are some of the treatment modalities that are getting interest from both investors and entrepreneurs.

A panel moderated by Joseph Gulfo, Executive Director at Lewis Center for healthcare innovation and technology with Thomas Hallam, CEO of Leading Biosciences, Arpita Maiti, Senior Director, ES&I at Pfizer, Glenn Nedwin, CEO of Second Genome, will start day one. Microbiome refers to internal ecosystem of bacteria, widely believed to be residing in the gut. By some researchers estimates, over 90% of all diseases can be traced to the gut and health of the microbiome. However, new research on lung, skin, inflammation, immunology, and neuro microbiome is bringing together experts in neuroscience, gastroenterology, microbiology and more to unlock even larger role that microbiota plays in interacting with itself and its human host, in understanding disease and health and better understand possible treatment modalities.Image result for microbiome, neuro

Image result for regenerative medicineA panel moderated by Janet Lambert, CEO at Alliance for Regenerative Medicine will discuss next gen cell based immunotherapies with panelists Robert Preti from Hitachi, Bob Azelby from Juno Therapeutics, Manuel Litchman from Mustang Bio, James Noble from Adaptimmunie, Pascal Touchon from Novartis and Scott Walchko from Fate Therapeutics.  Immunotherapies use body’s immune system’s natural capacity to detect and destroy abnormal cells. Immmunotherapies have generated great deal of interest, specifically for treatment of cancers because these regimens present fewer side effects and have less potential for creating resistance when treating microbial diseases.

Image result for gene therapyGene therapies using genes to treat or prevent diseases, indicate promising though yet risky treatment options. What does the future hold for gene therapies, specially beyond rare diseases?  Bill Lundberg from CRISPR and Geoff Nichol from Biomarin will discuss outlook for gene therapies.  

PS: Here is link to my earlier blog on disease areas that will generate interest and renewed attention in some of the panels http://bit.ly/2pA45B7 . Registration is open for Biotech Showcase at conferences@ebdgroup.com or at https://ebdgroup.knect365.com/biotech-showcase/agenda/1

 

 

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Mission to do common good through better health – 2017 HTF Innovation conference – preview


Current discussions on repeal of Obamacare has brought much focus on issues of health and wellness in America and has energized the underserved communities.  The 6th Annual Health Technology Forum Innovation Conference taking place at Stanford University on May 1 and 2, 2017 will explore health and wellness through panels and speakers, with a central focus on technology and on implementation of key health policies.
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What kind of technology innovations may effectively address the unmet needs of the underserved and underrepresented markets?  Can next generation technology solutions provide better access and improve care outcomes? These and other issues will be discussed in outstanding panels. The Innovation Showcase will offer an exclusive networking opportunity to startups and investment community to develop strategic partnerships. The high visibility demo space in the expo corridor will allow startups an opportunity to highlight their offerings.

Every year, health technology forum conference offers phenomenal opportunity to bay area health strategists, providers, venture capitalists, startups, and professionals to come together with a mission to do “common good” through better health.  Please register for the conference at www.healthtechnologyforum.com .

 

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Invention, Innovation and Entrepreneurial Thinking – Talk by Mir Imran


Mir Imran, CEO at www.incubelabs.com, spoke on “invention, innovation, and entrepreneurial thinking” at www.bio2devicegroup.org and www.eppicglaobal.org joint event at Wilson Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati, Palo Alto.

There are many examples of innovation, in history, said Imran.  However, for the most part, innovation has been left to chance.  Imran said, it was important for him to think about how to turn innovation into a process, so that it can be made a daily practice inside an organization, and not be left to chance or a random occurrence.

Through examples and stories, Imran shared how innovation is practiced at Incube.  Incube is an applied research lab and was found in 1995.  Incube has evolved into a star incubator of companies, but is unlike other incubators, where external companies with promise, get incubated, in-house.  At Incube Labs, only in-house created companies are incubated, most of them originating from one or more of Imran’s patents.  

Imran said, “I am agnostic to technology”, and boasted of a world class multi-disciplinary team, at Incube Labs.  He said the only way one can excel while remaining agnostic to technology, is if one is a broad thinker and can embrace all technologies, so as to apply the most optimum solution for a problem.  At Incube Labs, all team members are compelled to work outside of their chosen field.  All team members pick up new skills and grow in breadth and depth, in the process.

Imran has found 28 companies, to date.  Twenty-six of them are in life science arena and 2 are in the area of security.  Despite his 400+ US patents and about 1500 foreign patents, according to Imran, filing patents, is not a measure of success, inventions don’t always translate into innovations; and even less frequently, they translate into entrepreneurial success.  Clearly, Imran has managed to translate his inventions into huge commercial success.

Some of Incube portfolio of companies

 VidamedPython MedicalPercusurgeZONAREPhysiometrixNfocus Medical

Imran discussed three different models of innovation.  Technology favored innovation model is frequently found in academic institutions.  The focus here is on finding applications and filing patents for a new technology that is invented, and then licensing the IP or starting a company around it.  The problem with this approach is that entire focus is on specific technology and on forcing it to fit a problem, said Imran.  Skill based innovation approach begins with applying a skill, and again it takes away from focusing on the problem.  

Imran then discussed his own need based model of innovation.  In this approach, innovation begins with identification of a poorly solved or unsolved problem.  Picking the right problem to solve, and framing it appropriately, assumes that one has the requisite broad background to understand the problem, and it is the single biggest challenge of innovation, said Imran.  Once the problem has been identified and defined, then one can focus on developing solutions and filing patents.  However, the entrepreneur must assume that an initial solution may be a partial solution.

The entrepreneur is called upon to analyze the commercial value of the solution and be prepared to “kill”, when a solution does not meet the required criteria.  Imran said, in previous models of innovation, the entire focus remains on the technology or the skill, and not on the problem.  One needs to be brutally honest when assessing the commercial viability of the identified problem, said Imran.  

Imran then discussed incremental vs. disruptive innovations.  An incremental innovation improves upon existing product or  service, resulting in an improved product or service.  In this model, there is lower risk, lower possibility of failure, and one operates in a crowded IP space.  Frequently large companies embrace this kind of innovation.  Disruptive innovation is when one develops a NEW way of describing a big problem, which may result in a highly impactful solution.  In this approach, there is higher risk, higher possibility of failure, and potential for strong IP.  Together, these two models form the innovation continuum, said Imran.  

At Incube, the process truly begins with finding worthy problems to solve.  It involves identifying the high level attributes of the problem, including the size of the problem, costs associated with the problem, identifying attributes of current solutions, including efficacy, side effects, cost, quality of life impact, understanding the progression of the disease, various biomarkers, genotypes and phenotypes that can be used for diagnosis and monitoring, and so on.   Even for viable problems, before launching a company, one must go through a focused risk analysis to identify market worthiness of solutions.  It should include detailed analysis for potential IP, efficacy and cost considerations, assessment of clinical trial length and costs involved, analysis of reimbursement issues, financing requirements, and potential for corporate partnerships.

Imran proceeded to discuss Incube’s commercialization process and how vertical integration at Incube enables efficient execution.  In recent years, because the cost of building life science companies has dramatically increased, there has been a compression of returns.  In order to reduce cost of building companies, Imran acquired Modulus, a contract manufacturing company.  This has enabled Incube companies to operate without requiring their own manufacturing capability, and has contained costs.  The venture funds, InCube Ventures and a crowd funding portal, VentureHealth, have enabled financing for the companies.

Imran shared examples and lessons learned from some of his past successes and how he has applied the lessons learned to his several current companies.  Neurolink  is focused on new pharmacologic drug therapy for epilepsy, with repurposing of an old cardiac drug.  One of his exciting new companies, Rani Therapeutics, is not focused on a specific disease, but on  delivering injectable drugs (biologics) orally, via smart pills and is thus providing a breakthrough solution for delivery of therapeutic peptides, proteins, antibodies, and vaccines and has demonstrated greater than 50% bioavailability in large animal models.  Imran said it is a truly disruptive, transformative technology, with strong patent position.  Intrapace is built around an implantable sensor based gastric pacemaker for the treatment of obesity. Nfocus Medical Nfocus Neuromedical developed endovascular neurosurgery solutions to treat intracranial aneurysms, and was recently acquired by Covidien.  Also, Spinal ModulationSpinal Modulation, which developed a novel therapy for the treatment of chronic pain, was recently acquired by St. Jude Medical.

One of Imran’s companies, Intella Interventional, a cardiology company, ran into difficulties.  Imran managed to salvage it but he said he learned an important lesson, to not fall in love with the technology, and to not rely solely upon physicians to give the right answers.  “Also, talk to the skeptics”, said Imran.  Imran said he also learned from the failures of two of his companies.  From the failure of Surface Genesis, which had a flawed licensing model, Imran said he learned that he needed to do business modeling, earlier in the process.  His company, MDIsource was launched about 3-4 months before the market crash of early 2000, and it failed on account of bad timing.  Sometimes events outside your control can also have an impact.    

Imran said that in the course of his innovation journey, he learned several important lessons.  It is important to be current with the literature, and also listen to the naysayers.  However, entrepreneurship is a lonely journey.  In the end, an entrepreneur must be his or her own guide, and must be willing to blaze their own trail.  Despite deep knowledge and extensive literature review, successful entrepreneurs understand that published articles do not account for total truth, and they understand that 50% of scientific data is likely to be flawed or limited in some way.  Entrepreneurs must be willing to take risks, be willing to fail.  In the pursuit of innovation, failure is a constant companion and success an occasional visitor, said Imran.  He said, “question everything, including what I have said”.  

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Harnessing Cloud Technology to improve Customer Engagement for Medical Device


Aroon Krishna and David Judelson, co-founders at VirtuMed talked about the challenging environment for current medical device manufacturers and VirtuMed’s Synapse Mobile cloud based, on-demand, customer engagement platform solution to address the challenges, at a recent www.bio2devicegroup.org event.

Enumerating examples of challenges impacting medical device marketplace, Judelson, said Boston Scientific neuro modulation business has declined due to reimbursement challenges, Medtronic agreed to settle and stop the sales of pain med pump due to link with patient deaths, and big promise and subsequent failure of renal denervation solution has cut the growth among other device manufacturers.  There are challenges across the board from development to commercialization, said Judelson.  Hospitals are faring no better.  Nearly 40% of California hospitals received bad grade, constant M&A activity among hospitals, pressure from changing government initiatives, difficulties with privacy and security of EMR data has all led to medical device companies spending more money to get less and spending more in sales and marketing efforts is not the answer.

Five current headwinds are defining the existing environment.   Increased regulation and declining reimbursement from fee for service to bundling and changes in how CMS pays, is putting a lot of pressure on providers who pass the burden on to device manufacturers.  Second, there is a lot of variability in how different hospitals measure quality.  Third, aging population with increasing co-morbidities is leading to variability in clinical trials and making it challenging to assess the effects of interventions.  Four, challenges are increasing with decreasing hospital access for sales reps.  Five, huge global volatility with large swings in foreign exchange rates, government uprisings etc. is making it hard to estimate earnings.

Hospitals are often burdened with internal challenges of system integration, promise and challenges of mobile technology, problems of achieving seamless inter-operability, thinning margins, vendor management issues, physicians getting overburdened with administrative tasks, HIPPA issues and more.  All these challenges are compounded with sub par performance from medical device companies as they are delivering more failures in R&D, demonstrating lack of innovation with decreased ROI followed by decreasing investment in venture and M&A activity.

Currently, there are few solutions for comprehensive customer management, said Judelson.  Some general solutions like Salesforce, Oracle, imshealth, freshdesk, Veeva and Zendesk have been applied.  However, these require significant customization, often have complex pricing structure, are pricey for small to mid-sized enterprises, have complex IT integration and archaic mobile user interface, and are often based on limited knowledge of medical device econsyste.  There are no existing CRM solutions specially designed for medical device industry, said Judelson.

VirtuMed’s cloud based remote connectivity solution specifically fills in this gap, where device manufacturers can establish direct line with the customer, provide better, more timely customer support as a value added service, develop apps, and leverage knowledge of product users globally with access to real time outcomes data.  There are many gains from such timely information.  Research indicates that with timely physician access to post surgery recovery process and real-time conversation with patients, recovery occurs faster and patients remain more engaged in their recovery.  While there is a great deal of patient to patient interaction in social media, there are fewer tools for patient to provider engagement and that needs to change.

VirtuMed’s Synapse mobile solution helps build a connected ecosystem that combines commercial CRM, social networking, on demand communication, big data visualization, HIPPA compliant infrastructure, and enhances security with data changing hands while ensuring availability of data at the right time to the right people.  This solution aims to unite all key stakeholders on a single platform with primary objective for positive patient impact, said Krishna.  VirtuMed product is poised to offer support to companies of any size and its tech solutions can be applied at each stage in medical device life cycle, from early innovation to clinical stakeholder engagement, to customer engagement to CRM platform to enable growth in emerging markets; literally from ideation to discovery to clinical to commercialization, said Krishna.

The talk with followed with Q&A.

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Innovation underway in “Oil & Gas” – TiEcon 2015 track & keynote preview


Plate-forme pétrolière Oil platform from NASA ...

Plate-forme pétrolière Oil platform from NASA JPL. The Arguello Inc. Harvest Oil Platform is located about 10 km off the coast of central California near Point Conception. http://www-aviso.cnes.fr:8090/HTML/information/publication/news/news8/haines_uk.html catégorie:énergie fossile (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oil and gas industry may have been in the headlines for occasional security glitches or even plant explosions.  But what is often not mentioned, is a quite transformation happening inside the industry, to improve daily operations and safety.  The technology adoption rate may be slower in this industry, due to sensitivity around safeguarding of trade secrets, IP issues, and data security concerns.  But there is an increasing recognition of the need for enhanced operational excellence, in this industry, concerned with confining costs and refining margins.

The unconventional and controversial practice of horizontal drilling combined with hydraulic fracturing (converting organic matter within the rock to synthetic oil and gas), have been recent game changers.  Apparently what can be produced by a vertical well in 30 to 35 years, can be done in a horizontal well,  in a span of mere 6 months, environmental concerns notwithstanding.

There is now a thirst for innovative ideas within the industry, to minimize negative environmental impact, increase safety, contain costs, and enhance operational efficiency.   Many oil and gas service centers have opened innovation centers in Silicon Valley to enhance implementation of new ideas.  With the help of emerging technologies in visualization and complexity management, and with advances in cloud computing, big data analytics and Internet of Things, the industry is poised to transform itself for the better.

Neal Dikeman, Senior Venture Principal at Shell Technology Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Royal Dutch Shell, will give a keynote address at TiEcon, 2015.  Join in discussions and learn how startups and large players are partnering to disrupt the current practices in Oil and Gas industry.  Register at https://www.123signup.com/register?id=ygszb&ref=4182698 to get a $100 discount on the two-day conference at the non-member rate.  When prompted, enter the promo code VOL500 at checkout:

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