June 20, 2024

Care Nex

Stay Healthy, Live Happy

Transforming Urban Health: A Conversation with Faisal Butt, Founder of Pi Labs

2 min read

Which startups are leading the way in this sector? 

Urban health technology encompasses a significant remit of digitally-powered solutions and services that seek to benefit the health of humans in urban spaces. With 56% of the world’s population living in cities, projected to increase to 70% by 2050 (World Bank, 2023), creating and sustaining healthier cities is an urgent and critical challenge of our time. These challenges need lateral thinking and today, we’re backing the startups who are creating the future of our cities in many different ways. From improving air quality, such as 720 and Airly, to early detection of viral outbreaks with Untap; from pharmacy-to-home delivery with Cure, to managing burnout in the workplace with Ambr.  

“Beyond our portfolio are many more examples of start-ups using technology to re-frame healthcare and improve access to healthcare in our urban centres, including Naytal, the virtual clinic partnering with employers to reduce costs of women’s healthcare; GoSense, creating technologies for visual impaired people; Awell, a low-code platform used by clinical and product teams to design clinical workflows. As you can see, this space is huge. Pi Labs is excited to become a part of this conversation, especially with the growing need for greater efficiency in our Urban Healthcare systems, as global populations increase.”

What challenges are they facing? 

“One of the biggest challenges is the fragmented healthcare delivery model in Europe, in a highly regulated sector. There is a vast amount of legacy healthcare technology and buildings across the region which are no longer fit for use, running inefficiently with significant environmental impact.  Urban HealthTech can ease these pressures, using digitisation in the right way to make a positive impact, not only on our health, but also the health of our planet. It’s about finding the sweet spot between the digital and physical. If you’d like a deeper dive into this topic, here’s a Pi Labs piece on Healthcare property under the microscope.”

With 70% of the global population estimated to live in urban centres by 2050, how can we ensure that cities are clean, liveable environments?

“To have a real impact on cities, you need to think outside of the box and look at the overall citywide infrastructure which needs to be tech-enabled. We must look at how cities can be optimised through technology to create healthy, accessible places which are environmentally sustainable. 

“With all the advances in AI, hardware technology, software, technologies in the last two decades, the capabilities of technology are starting to reach the advanced levels we need to make a real impact. We have many examples now of technologies that can be implemented at the scale that’s needed at the city level, to enable cities to be clean, liveable environments.”

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