17 December, 2020 - 20:44

Connecting for strength through COVID-19 and beyond

The BioBeat community is at the heart of tackling major challenges in global health. Founder Miranda Weston-Smith reflects on the importance of human connections for building a strong life sciences sector. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought out the very best of British life science, highlighting the resilience of the sector and our capacity for collaboration and innovation. 

We’ve seen examples of innovation at incredible speed, building technology solutions, creating data pipelines and setting up clinical trials in a matter of weeks. 

Resourceful leaders for challenging times

It is the strength in our human connections and teamwork that has got us through the year. The BioBeat community is a rich resource connecting biotech leaders and entrepreneurs to drive the growth of innovative companies that are making a difference to global health.  

Taking the theme ‘Connecting for Strength’, our seventh Movers and Shakers in BioBusiness report showcases 30 women leaders changing the face and future of healthcare. 

Many have been instrumental in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, while others are pioneering healthcare innovations that will bring benefits to patients across a wide range of conditions. 

Over the past six years we have profiled hundreds of leaders in the life sciences sector, creating a vibrant and strong network across the UK. 

For the first time, this year’s Movers and Shakers features nearly 200 alumni from previous reports who are keen to share their skills and knowledge as we build the future together.

From Cambridge to the world

This richness was also in evidence at our eighth annual summit, BioBeat20: Accelerating data-driven health, hosted in partnership with the Francis Crick Institute. More than 200 scientists, leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs joined the online event from around the world.  

The overarching theme emerging from the summit was the importance of putting compassionate patient care at the heart of healthcare innovation.

Expert speakers discussed the growing market for digital healthcare and wellness, offering shorter timelines and lower risk than conventional biotech approaches. 

Biodata collection and analysis is booming, along with the rapidly expanding use of digital technologies that enable remote monitoring of health conditions. 

The increasing use of health data and digital technologies is something that will undoubtedly continue in a post-pandemic world. For example, ‘virtual wards’ have allowed COVID-19 patients to be safely monitored at home and could be rolled out more widely for other conditions. 

Another growth area is applications and wearables that enable deeper understanding and more effective management of long-term conditions such as diabetes, mental health and hypertension.

BioBeat21 – from innovation to outcomes

Over the past year we’ve witnessed the impact that collaboration across disciplines and sectors can make, supported by new ways of working together. 

Now is the time to build upon the momentum and learnings that have come from COVID-19 and apply them to all diseases, so that we can make a real difference to global health.   

BioBeat continues to support the strong connections that will foster the growth of innovative biobusinesses for the future. We are excited to be partnering with AstraZeneca to host the BioBeat21 Summit focusing on how clinical digital innovation can drive improved patient outcomes and look forward to seeing you there!

We are deeply grateful to all the nominators and reviewers of the Movers and Shakers report, Kate Bingham for providing the Foreword, the participants in the BioBeat20 summit, and our partners: Appleyard Lees; AstraZeneca; Cambridge Judge Entrepreneurship Centre; Covington; the Francis Crick Institute; Innovation Forum; MSD; and One Nucleus.  

Visit mws-consulting.co.uk/biobeat to find out more and download the 2020 Movers and Shakers in BioBusiness report.

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