Exhibition World Issue 3 – 2021 | Page 21


Giant healthy leap …

EW meets serial entrepreneur and business visionary Barry Shrier , founder of GIANT Health , organiser of European Health-Tech innovation week
arry Shrier has been described as a visionary business pioneer . He built an enviable track record in telecom , sustainability and technology innovation , and then founded GIANT Health seven years ago . So , what precipitated his decision to focus on innovation in healthcare technology ?
BS : Having founded , scaled and exited several successful ventures in telecoms and green tech , I moved to the States to help look after my 91-year-old dad , and found myself completely immersed in healthcare . The experience was inspiring . I discovered some truths about the scale and the future of global healthcare . It was a real lightbulb moment .
It ’ s the largest industry in the world , creating US $ 20 trillion of revenue every year . Global demographics mean demand for healthcare is going to continue to rise , and our ability to deliver it won ’ t be able to keep up unless we accelerate the use of technological innovation . That ’ s why I founded GIANT Health , a spearhead movement determined to bring the latest technological advances to meet medical and healthcare needs . We connect investors , inventors , engineers , academics , researchers , students and medical professionals and give them the opportunity to exchange ideas , collaborate and create .
EW : What is the GIANT Health community , and why is it important ?
BS : Community requires a meaningful common purpose . Our purpose is simply to bring about a better future , where technological innovation delivers improved health outcomes at a lower cost . We started small , grew our networks and every year we focused our energies on the live GIANT Health event . By 2019 this had grown to 5,000 delegates and we attracted prominent sponsorship support .
We bind our community together with newsletters , our weekly live TV show , podcasts and smaller events , and cement our sense of community with the big annual event .
Live events are particularly valuable because they provide our delegates with opportunities for serendipity . And they ’ re an unbeatable platform for showcasing new technology where people can experience the real thing . Live is where the all-important sparks of innovation originate .
EW : This year you ’ ve created European Health-Tech Innovation Week . How is that different from the annual GIANT Health event , and what are you hoping to achieve with it ?
BS : The shock of a global pandemic , the cessation of live events and successive lockdowns meant that we had to hold our 2020 event virtually . While we attracted 20,000 delegates through
“ Live is where the allimportant sparks of innovation originate .”
Below : Barry Shrier our own virtual event platform , it really was no substitute for a live event , so we conceived European Health-Tech Innovation Week . This is a call to arms across the continent . The pandemic is causing devastation in healthcare , both directly from Covid-19 , but equally importantly , creating a colossal backlog of healthcare treatments and interventions . We can really help with this .
I wanted to bring Europe ’ s meditech sector together now that circumstances permit , so we ’ re hosting events in Liverpool , Paris , Barcelona , Stockholm , and Berlin on five consecutive days , with a mixture of live and online speakers and events , to create the largest ever meditech community platform for investors and innovators .
The ACC Liverpool was the venue for the first European Health- Tech Innovation Week , 17-21 May , before the series moved on to Berlin , Paris , Barcelona and Stockholm .
Barry Shrier said : “ The city and the whole region is home to leading academic and medical institutions and a strong medical technology industry , as well as having a global reputation for innovation , manufacturing and outstanding hospitality .”
Professor Shafi Ahmed , multi-award-winning cancer surgeon working at The Royal London Hospital , and who chairs GIANT , added : “ After a year of lockdowns the British government is permitting the resumption of proper business face-to-face gatherings , conferences and exhibitions . GIANT Health aimed to lead the way to help reopen society and celebrate the incredible work carried out by healthcare workers and businesses across Europe and beyond .”
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