NEXT Day 1: Careware

August 30, 2010 | 21:44
NEXT Day 1: Careware
NEXT Day 1: Careware
Today I visited the first of five days NEXT conference (Nordic Exceptional Trendshop 2010) in Arhus, Denmark. The event is all about what’s next on the technology radar: speakers, exhibitions and exclusive behind the screens. It promises to be a great week.

Upon arrival in Arhus it becomes clear that NEXT isn’t just your average get together of technology freaks and press. International knowledge center InnovationLab provides an intimate experience that stimulates participation and conversation. Two things I most often miss at other conferences. Mads Thimmer, co-founder and CEO of InnovationLab, opens the conference with inspiring words. NEXT is broken down into five categories spread out over five days; Health, Food, IT, Design and Green. Theme of today: Health (Careware).

I was impressed by Esther Dyson her talk on healthcare moving into the digital sphere. Most of us know Dyson as the woman behind Flickr and Del.icio.us, but today she presented some of her latest online brainchilds. One of them being 23andme, an online genetic testing service with a social edge. Kind of a Genome Facebook if you will. The last couple of years Dyson sees a rapidly growing market in online healthcare and thinks collecting personal health data is essential for the future of healthcare. 23andme is a pretty cool example of that idea being put into practice. Basically it comes down to this: you subscribe to the site, spit in a tube, put the tube on the mail and 23andme puts your complete genome profile online. The website tells you what healthrisks you have and how much of your genes match those of your relatives. How will that do you any good? Well, information is knowledge, and knowledge often leads to action. Health data through services like 23andme provide people with rich insights. Will services like 23andme replace doctors? No, but they might stimulate people to live healthier and create awareness.

It will be an exciting week with two very interesting days for Tech the Future. I'm looking forward to the talk by Anthony Townsend, Director of Technology Development at the Institute for the Future. Anthony for instance conducts research on the impact of new technology on cities and public institutions. Friday it's time for Ken Rother, Treehugger's COO, to send some inspiration our way. I'll drop another small post tomorrow, in the mean time follow Tech the Future on Twitter for regular updates and thoughts on the conference (hashtag #NEXT2010).

Day 2 of the conference: Food

Day 3 of the conference: Digital
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