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Giant Interview: Barry Shrier – Founder and CEO – Giant Health

Giant Interview: Barry Shrier – Founder and CEO – Giant Health

[00:00:03] Hello and welcome back to Tech Innovators for Women’s Health. Twenty nineteen, a giant health event, and we’re here, obviously, and our wonderful city of London and we’ve had some fantastic guests on so far talking all things within medtech and in particular as well, the way how women are disrupting the market within medtech and within fintech as well.

[00:00:23] Now, I’d like to introduce our next guest. Everybody from our viewership probably knows who he is already, but I’d now like to introduce none other than Barry Shrier, who’s the founder of this whole event of four giant health. Barry, thanks very much for joining me.

[00:00:34] Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be here. And glad to have you guys here as well. Thank you. We’re really grateful for the Disruptive Live sponsorship.

[00:00:41] Oh, absolutely. And we love working yourselves as well. And it’s always great for us to to come to these events, learn a little bit more and to really find out really what’s going on within this area. Excellent. Just for the viewers at home to give a little bit of an overview, really, about Giant and where you guys are at right now, this is one of the first ones you’ve done for the the women’s event as well, isn’t it?

[00:01:03] That’s right. Yes. So Giant itself is an acronym that stands for global innovation and new technology. And we run what BBC journalists and others refer to as Europe’s largest, most valuable annual event about health care, tech innovation. And what we’re doing is we’re expanding our offer to our community. Our community are quite literally people around the world whose business is health care.

[00:01:28] And so we have about 170000 people in the community and we’re expanding the service. We provide them by, for example, running new special focus one day conferences like the one that we’re having today, which is an all day conference looking specifically at tech innovation for women’s health issues.

[00:01:46] Yeah, and this is a thing and it’s a it’s a it’s a difficult market to break in no matter what within within medtech as well. And you find that a lot of start-ups do struggle. But these events really do help start-ups to be able to talk to the right people and to get the right investment as well.

[00:02:03] Yes. Yes, exactly. Well, I’m glad that you guys were able to observe that.

[00:02:05] And I appreciate that there’s four important audiences in the world of successful health care. Number one, obviously, you need the providers of the health care, the ambulances, the GPS, the clinicians in hospitals, the hospitals themselves, the health care system. But of course, every individual medical treatment or service is related to technology. So where does the technology come from? It comes from innovators.

[00:02:34] Those are often start-ups and small businesses, and then it comes from global businesses who are manufacturing all that health care technology.

[00:02:44] And then the, if you will source, which brings all that together, are the investor community. So what Giant is doing is bringing together all those innovators, the start-ups, the small businesses with the radical innovation ideas, together with the global corporations who always tell us there are challenged to find all that innovation. So we bring them together with the investors. And obviously everywhere we have the clinicians, the doctors, the hospital management and that type of thing.

[00:03:10] Yeah, and it’s relevant to have the conversations for all four of them really, isn’t it, as well. I thought for that to be a cross communication.

[00:03:17] Exactly. And it’s difficult and I don’t think I appreciated that in my early career. My entire career has been as a tech entrepreneur.

[00:03:24] So I’m very comfortable in the Start-Up environment where you’re launching businesses which statistically are highly likely to fail. So most new businesses go bust. That’s what innovation is about. And what I didn’t realise is, of course, that’s very difficult in a very large global business. Imagine saying to your boss, Hello, can I borrow ten million dollars? I’m going to launch a new product and it’s probably going to fail. It doesn’t work in a big business. That’s very, very difficult. But that’s what start-ups are doing every day of the week, remortgaging their houses and going through all those challenges. So to be able to bring those audiences together is a really valuable service for the community to accelerate tech innovation, to deliver better health care outcomes.

[00:04:05] Yeah, and that’s what everybody really here is is aiming to achieve really at the end of the day, and also to to provide the best support and best product for the end user as well.

[00:04:15] Yes, exactly. I mean, we’re so lucky and I feel extremely humbled. We’ve got practically 200 people here today who are all incredibly innovative, passionate, really dynamic and focussed on success in health care innovation. And the result will be successful new products. What I always like to remember is if you go to visit your GP and, you know, whatever, she listens to your heart with a stethoscope.

[00:04:37] At one stage years ago, there was no such thing as a stethoscope at all. So somebody came up with those ideas and developed them. That business had to be funded, that had to patent their technology, turn it into a product to sell regionally, nationally, internationally. And now we think, well, that’s pretty obvious, you know, stethoscope. But at one stage that wasn’t that didn’t exist. So if you think about what’s going to happen, say, for example. Ten years from now, when the stethoscope will be the size of, like a little cigarette lighter and the DR will just kind of wave it at you and it will connect to the Cloud and say, I can hear something which a human could not hear. This person has a little murmur in their heart and we better get them to have extensive additional evaluation. That’s new technology. Yeah. Which is going to save lives and improve well-being.

[00:05:25] And the thing is, with this technology, it needs to be there because otherwise a lot of time there’s big pharma can hold things back. I’m sure this is something that conversation happens on a daily basis. Big Pharma challenges there, yet would like to hold this back. But without these start-ups, it’s difficult to say, as we say, get progress there. And it’s it’s so relevant and needed. And just quickly as well, because we’re talking here for the event as well, which is innovation for women’s health. I’ve seen this before. No, no, I’ve seen it. It’s been behind me the whole day. There you go. And just just quickly as well, where would you say we’ve talked about some of the costs, really your opinion, though, on maybe some of the challenges that we’re facing with women within medtech as well? Where would you say they are?

[00:06:06] Yeah, well, there’s some basic aspects of society which we’re trying to, if you will, address as an example, a majority of investors around the world are men. Nothing wrong with that. But that means they’re possibly naturally less inclined to concern themselves with women’s health issues. I, for one, am not so comfortable talking about vaginas and cervical cancer and all these things, which are a little bit taboo in our society. But these are normal women’s health issues. So you have the, if you will, the male dominated themes in business, in conferences, in investors. So that’s one thing. That’s one, if you will, barrier that we’re trying to break down. Another is there is quite clear lack of investment in research to develop health tech innovation for women’s health issues. So, again, these are one of the things that we’re working on developing and if you will, addressing. The final thing is and this is anecdotal, but I see it myself. I go to lots of conferences here in the U.K. and around the world, and the vast majority of the business conferences I go to are always frequented by men. You go to a conference and 60, 70, 80, 90 percent of the people at the event are men. Why is that? Why aren’t women in the workforce saying to their boss, I’m not going to be in the office today, I’m going to a conference.

[00:07:32] So we’re trying to address things like that as well, breaking down a cycle which is very important. And just quickly as well, this is is it the first giant event on this calendar year? And when is the next ones which are date? And obviously, of course, as well for the year there’s one which is the big one that we go to as well every year as well, just for some of the people who don’t possibly know about your events.

[00:07:54] Yeah, exactly. So mainly as a business, we run we run one large international event. It’s what journalists refer to as Europe’s largest, most valuable Chelsie event, the up at Chelsea Football Club.

[00:08:07] So the event this year, the giant health event, which is our main event, is right here, 15th and 16th of October at Chelsea Football Club here in London.

[00:08:18] And obviously, we’ve had a really long standing partnership with Disruptive Live. You guys are on this amazing live TV studio there every year, bringing all the VIPs in to speak on television, live at your studio. And that’s a really valuable partnership for us.

[00:08:33] We have, for example, already confirmed this year British government Secretary of State Matt Hancock, who’s speaking at Giant this year on the 16th. Fantastic.

[00:08:42] We have a very famous international tech entrepreneurs like Brent Hoberman, perhaps the father of tech innovation and e-commerce here at the UK coming to speak, and a lot of absolutely fabulous people coming along. So we certainly hope that everybody that hears about it will approach us.

[00:08:59] Our website is W-W giant health event dot com, and you can read all about it there.

[00:09:05] Fantastic pleasure as always, Barry. Thank you. Nice to see you. And I’m grateful for your partnership with us. Thank you. Thank you. All the best.