All posts in “Health”

Meet the speakers at The Europas, and get your ticket free (July 3, London)

Excited to announce that this year’s The Europas Unconference & Awards is shaping up! Our half day Unconference kicks off on 3 July, 2018 at The Brewery in the heart of London’s “Tech City” area, followed by our startup awards dinner and fantastic party and celebration of European startups!

The event is run in partnership with TechCrunch, the official media partner. Attendees, nominees and winners will get deep discounts to TechCrunch Disrupt in Berlin, later this year.
The Europas Awards are based on voting by expert judges and the industry itself. But key to the daytime is all the speakers and invited guests. There’s no “off-limits speaker room” at The Europas, so attendees can mingle easily with VIPs and speakers.

What exactly is an Unconference? We’re dispensing with the lectures and going straight to the deep-dives, where you’ll get a front row seat with Europe’s leading investors, founders and thought leaders to discuss and debate the most urgent issues, challenges and opportunities. Up close and personal! And, crucially, a few feet away from handing over a business card. The Unconference is focused into zones including AI, Fintech, Mobility, Startups, Society, and Enterprise and Crypto / Blockchain.

We’ve confirmed 10 new speakers including:


Eileen Burbidge, Passion Capital


Carlos Eduardo Espinal, Seedcamp


Richard Muirhead, Fabric Ventures


Sitar Teli, Connect Ventures


Nancy Fechnay, Blockchain Technologist + Angel


George McDonaugh, KR1


Candice Lo, Blossom Capital


Scott Sage, Crane Venture Partners


Andrei Brasoveanu, Accel


Tina Baker, Jag Shaw Baker

How To Get Your Ticket For FREE

We’d love for you to ask your friends to join us at The Europas – and we’ve got a special way to thank you for sharing.

Your friend will enjoy a 15% discount off the price of their ticket with your code, and you’ll get 15% off the price of YOUR ticket.

That’s right, we will refund you 15% off the cost of your ticket automatically when your friend purchases a Europas ticket.

So you can grab tickets here.

Vote for your Favourite Startups

Public Voting is still humming along. Please remember to vote for your favourite startups!

Awards by category:

Hottest Media/Entertainment Startup

Hottest E-commerce/Retail Startup

Hottest Education Startup

Hottest Startup Accelerator

Hottest Marketing/AdTech Startup

Hottest Games Startup

Hottest Mobile Startup

Hottest FinTech Startup

Hottest Enterprise, SaaS or B2B Startup

Hottest Hardware Startup

Hottest Platform Economy / Marketplace

Hottest Health Startup

Hottest Cyber Security Startup

Hottest Travel Startup

Hottest Internet of Things Startup

Hottest Technology Innovation

Hottest FashionTech Startup

Hottest Tech For Good

Hottest A.I. Startup

Fastest Rising Startup Of The Year

Hottest GreenTech Startup of The Year

Hottest Startup Founders

Hottest CEO of the Year

Best Angel/Seed Investor of the Year

Hottest VC Investor of the Year

Hottest Blockchain/Crypto Startup Founder(s)

Hottest Blockchain Protocol Project

Hottest Blockchain DApp

Hottest Corporate Blockchain Project

Hottest Blockchain Investor

Hottest Blockchain ICO (Europe)

Hottest Financial Crypto Project

Hottest Blockchain for Good Project

Hottest Blockchain Identity Project

Hall Of Fame Award – Awarded to a long-term player in Europe

The Europas Grand Prix Award (to be decided from winners)

The Awards celebrates the most forward thinking and innovative tech & blockchain startups across over some 30+ categories.

Startups can apply for an award or be nominated by anyone, including our judges. It is free to enter or be nominated.

What is The Europas?

Instead of thousands and thousands of people, think of a great summer event with 1,000 of the most interesting and useful people in the industry, including key investors and leading entrepreneurs.

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• No secret VIP rooms, which means you get to interact with the Speakers

• Key Founders and investors speaking; featured attendees invited to just network

• Expert speeches, discussions, and Q&A directly from the main stage

• Intimate “breakout” sessions with key players on vertical topics

• The opportunity to meet almost everyone in those small groups, super-charging your networking

• Journalists from major tech titles, newspapers and business broadcasters

• A parallel Founders-only track geared towards fund-raising and hyper-networking

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• A stunning awards dinner and party which honors both the hottest startups and the leading lights in the European startup scene

• All on one day to maximise your time in London. And it’s PROBABLY sunny!

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That’s just the beginning. There’s more to come…

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Interested in sponsoring the Europas or hosting a table at the awards? Or purchasing a table for 10 or 12 guest or a half table for 5 guests? Get in touch with:
Petra Johansson
Petra@theeuropas.com
Phone: +44 (0) 20 3239 9325

Instagram says “you’re all caught up” in first time well spent feature

Without a chronological feed, it can be tough to tell if you’ve seen all the posts Instagram will show you. That can lead to more of the compulsive, passive, zombie browsing that research suggests is unhealthy as users endlessly scroll through stale content hoping for a hit of dopamine-inducing novelty.

But with Instagram’s newest feature, at least users know when they’ve seen everything and can stop scrolling without FOMO. Instagram is showing some users a mid-feed alert after a bunch of browsing that says “You’re All Caught Up – You’ve seen all new post from the past 48 hours.” When asked about it, Instagram confirmed to TechCrunch that it’s testing this feature. It declined to give details about how it works, including whether the announcement means you’ve seen literally every post from people you follow from the last two days, or just the best ones that the algorithm has decided are worth showing you.

The feature could help out Instagram completists who want to be sure they never miss a selfie, sunset, or supper pic. Before Instagram rolled out its algorithm in the summer of 2016, they could just scroll to the last post they’d seen or when they knew they’d last visited. Warning them they’ve seen everything could quiet some of the backlash to the algorithm, which has centerd around people missing content they wanted to see because the algorithm mixed up the chronology.

But perhaps more importantly, it’s one of the app’s first publicly tested features that’s clearly designed with the “time well spent” movement in mind. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been vocal about prioritizing well-being on Facebook over profits, to the point that the network reduced the prevalance of viral videos in the feed so much that that app lost 1 million users in the U.S. and Canada in Q4 2017. “I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down . . . If we do the right thing, I believe that will be good for our community and our business over the long term too” he wrote.

But Instagram’s leadership had been quiet on the issue until last week, TechCrunch broke news that buried inside Instagram was an unlaunched “Usage Insights” feature that would show users their “time spent”. That prompted Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom to tweet our article, noting “It’s true . . . We’re building tools that will help the IG community know more about the time they spend on Instagram – any time should be positive and intentional . . . Understanding how time online impacts people is important, and it’s the responsibility of all companies to be honest about this. We want to be part of the solution. I take that responsibility seriously.”

Instagram is preparing a “Usage Insights” feature that will show how long you spend in the app. Image via Jane Manchun Wong

It’s reassuring to hear that one of the world’s most popular, but also overused, social media apps is going to put user health over engagement and revenue. Usage Insights has yet to launch. But the “You’re all caught up” alerts show Instagram is being earnest about its commitment. Those warnings almost surely prompt people to close the app and therefore see fewer ads, hurting Instagram’s bottom line.

Perhaps its a product of Facebook and Instagram’s dominance that they can afford to trade short-term engagement for long-term sustainability of the product. Some companies like Twitter have been criticized for not doing more to kick abusers off their platforms because it could hurt their user count.

But with Android now offering time management tools and many urging Apple to do the same, the time well spent reckoning may be dawning upon the mobile app ecosystem. Apps that continue to exploit users by doing whatever it takes to maximize total time spent may find themselves labeled the enemy, plus may actually be burning out their most loyal users. Urging them to scroll responsibly could not only win their favor, but keep them browsing in shorter, healthier sessions for years to come.

Microsoft’s Xbox Adaptive Controller is an inspiring example of inclusive design

Every gamer with a disability faces a unique challenge for many reasons, one of which is the relative dearth of accessibility-focused peripherals for consoles. Microsoft is taking a big step towards fixing this with its Xbox Adaptive Controller, a device created to address the needs of gamers for whom ordinary gamepads aren’t an option.

The XAC, revealed officially at a recent event but also leaked a few days ago, is essentially a pair of gigantic programmable buttons and an oversized directional pad. 3.5mm ports on the back let a huge variety of assistive devices like blow tubes, pedals, and Microsoft-made accessories plug in.

It’s not meant to be an all-in-one solution by any means, more like a hub that allows gamers with disabilities to easily make and adjust their own setups with a minimum of hassle. Whatever you’re capable of, whatever’s comfortable, whatever gear you already have, the XAC is meant to enable it.

I’d go into detail, but it would be impossible to do better than Microsoft’s extremely interesting and in-depth post introducing the XAC, which goes into the origins of the hardware, the personal stories of the testers and creators, and much more. Absolutely worth taking the time to read.

I look forward to hearing more about the system and how its users put it to use, and I’m glad to see inclusivity and accessibility being pursued in such a practical and carefully researched manner.

Instagram CEO confirms upcoming “time spent” Usage Insights

Instagram is jumping into the time well spent movement, following the unveiling of Google’s new time management controls last week. Code buried in Instagram’s Android app reveals a “Usage Insights” feature that will show users their “time spent”. It’s not exactly clear whether that will be your total time spent in Instagram ever, which could be a pretty scary number to some users, or within some shorter time frame like a day, week, or month. Instagram has also prototyped a new commenting interface with a row of quick-add emojis and an @ button for tagging friends.

[Update 5:30pm: Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom has now tweeted a link to this article with a confirmation that Instagram is building this Usage Insights feature. “It’s true . . . We’re building tools that will help the IG community know more about the time they spend on Instagram – any time should be positive and intentional . . . Understanding how time online impacts people is important, and it’s the responsibility of all companies to be honest about this. We want to be part of the solution. I take that responsibility seriously.” This article has been updated to reflect the confirmation.

It sounds like Instagram is willing to endure a potential reduction in usage and ad views to be serve the mental health of its community. That’s an admirable pledge, and we’ll see what degree of transparency Instagram rolls out. ]

By being upfront with users about how much of their lives they’re investing in their favorite apps, tech giants could encourage people to adopt healthier habits and avoid the long, passive, anti-social browsing sessions that can harm their well-being. These features could also help parents keep track of what their kids are doing online. Both might lead people to spend less time on certain apps, but they could be happier with companies like Instagram.

The Usage Insights screenshot and “time spent” code were discovered by prolific app investigator Jane Manchun Wong inside the Instagram for Android application package, or “APK”. She wrote “Be self-aware or be prepared to be ashamed for Instagram addiction”. When asked by TechCrunch for more evidence about how the feature worked, she tweeted screenshot above of Instagram’s code that shows a “slideout_menu_time_spent” element.

Instagram Comments Emoji Bar

Several of Wong’s other recent discoveries of unlaunched features like Facebook Avatars and Twitter encrypted DMs were subsequently confirmed by the companies as being in testing. She also just spotted code revealing an new Instagram commenting interface with an Emoji Bar that let’s you add the most popular little icons with a single tap, and an @ button that reminds you to tag a friend. 

She also found code showing Instagram prototyping Android notification actions that let you reply to a comment directly from a notification without opening the Instagram app.

Time Well ‘Grammed?

Google’s I/O conference saw the debut of a new Android time management tool that shows a daily look at how much time you spend on different apps, and lets you set time limits. But since most of Google’s apps outside of YouTube are utilities designed to be used as quickly as possible, it might have less to lose by revealing how users spend time on their phones than Facebook . Many are hoping to see Apple launch time management features at WWDC this year.

Google’s new Android time management features. Image via The Verge.

Offering “Usage Insights” aligns with Facebook’s recent discussion of research that shows active social networking, like messaging, posting, or commenting can be positive for people’s well-being, but endless zombie scrolling can make people feel worse. While Facebook hasn’t created anything like this feature in its own apps, it’s started to change its algorithm to promote active interactions while downranking viral videos that people consume passively. That led to Facebook’s first ever decline in its North American daily user count in Q4 2017, though it was growing again in the region by Q1 2018.

Instagram’s photo and video-heavy feed especially lends itself to the negative social networking behaviors like envy spiraling, where users constantly compare themselves against the glamorous highlights posted by their friends. Letting users know how long they’re Instagramming, or even letting them set time limits, could push people to go out and live life instead of watching through a screen as others live it.

Systrom’s pledge mirrors that of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s promise from January, when he wrote about the well-being algorithm change: “I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down. But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable. And if we do the right thing, I believe that will be good for our community and our business over the long term too.” They both believe that priortizing time well spent is not only moral, but the right long-term business strategy since ignoring unrest about overuse could be an existential threat to their apps’ popularity.

Hospitals can save billions by improving operational efficiencies; Qventus just raised millions to help

A lot of money — about $140 billion — is lost every year in the U.S. healthcare system thanks to inefficient management of basic internal operations, according to a study from the Journal of the American Medical Association.

While there are many factors that contribute to the woeful state of healthcare in the U.S., with greed chief among them, the 2012 study points to one area where hospitals have nothing to lose and literally billions to gain by improving their patient flows.

The problem, according to executives and investors in the startup Qventus, is that hospitals can’t invest in new infrastructure to streamline the process that’s able to work with technology systems that are in some cases decades old — and with an already overtaxed professional staff. 

That’s why the founders of Qventus decided to develop a software-based service that throws out dashboards and analytics tools and replaces it with a machine learning-enhanced series of prescriptions for hospital staff to follow when presented with certain conditions.

Qventus’ co-founder and chief executive Mudit Garg started working with hospitals 10 years ago and found the experience “eye-opening.”

“There are lots and lots of people who really really care about giving the best care to every patient, but it depends on a heroic effort from all of those individuals,” Garg said. “It depended on some amazing manager going above and beyond and doing some diving catch to make things work.”

As a software engineer, Garg thought there was a simple solution to the problem — applying data to make processes run more effectively.

In 2012 the company started out with a series of dashboards and data management tools to provide visibility to the hospital administrators and operators about what was happening in their healthcare facilities. But, as Garg soon discovered, when doctors and nurses get busy, they don’t love a dashboard.

From the basic analytics, Garg and his team worked to make the data more predictive — based on historical data about patient flows, the system would send out notifications about how many patients a facility could expect to come in at almost any time of day.

But even the predictive information wasn’t useful enough for the hospitals to act on, so Garg and company went back to the drawing board.

What they finally came up with was a solution that used the data and predictive capabilities to start suggesting potential recipes for dealing with situations in hospitals. Rather than saying that a certain number of patients were likely to be admitted to the hospital, the software suggests actions for addressing the likely scenarios that could occur.

For instance, if there are certain times when the hospital is getting busier, nurses can start discharging patients in anticipation of the need for new capacity in an ICU, Garg said.

Photo courtesy of Paul Burns

That product, some six years in the making, has garnered the attention of a number of top investors in the healthcare space. Mayfield Fund and Norwest Venture Partners led the company’s first round, and Qventus managed to snag a new $30 million round from return investors and new lead investor, Bessemer Venture Partners. Strategic backer New York Presbyterian Ventures, the investment arm of the famed New York hospital system, also participated.

So far, Qventus has raised $43 million for its service.

As a result of the deal, Stephen Kraus, a partner at Bessemer, will take a seat on the company’s board of directors.

“Hospitals are under tremendous pressure to increase efficiency, improve margins and enhance patient experience, all while reducing the burden on frontline teams, and they currently lack tools to use data to achieve operational productivity gains,” said Kraus, in a statement. 

For Kraus, the application of artificial intelligence to operations is just as transformative for a healthcare system, as its clinical use cases.

We’ve been looking at this space broadly… AI and ML to improve healthcare… image interpretation, pathology slide interpretation… that’s all going to take a longer time because healthcare is slow to adapt.” said Kraus. “The barriers to adoption in healthcare is frankly the physicians themselves…the average primary care doc is seeing 12 to 20 patients a day… they barely want to adopt their [electronic medical health records]… The idea that they’re going to get comfortable with some neural network or black box technology to change their clinical workflow vs. Qventus which is clinical workflow to strip out cost… That’s lower hanging fruit.”