May 17, 2020

Groundbreaking HS. accelerator launches for UK health tech entrepreneurs 

Digital health
Digital health
Catherine Sturman
4 min
China IPO (Getty Images)
A ground-breaking new accelerator programme is set to launch for businesses using technology to tackle the world’s most pressing healthcare challenges...

A ground-breaking new accelerator programme is set to launch for businesses using technology to tackle the world’s most pressing healthcare challenges.

The ‘HS.’ programme will build and scale healthcare technology businesses, help larger organisations drive healthcare innovation at a corporate level and position the UK at the forefront of innovation in global healthcare.

More than $23bn has been invested in healthcare start ups globally over the past seven years. However, few accelerator programmes are in place to sustainably launch and scale these health-tech businesses - and even fewer are able to offer their members deep insights and guidance on how to successfully bring healthcare technologies to market.

HS. will therefore fill this gap, with a programme built around the needs of health-tech start ups and an unparalleled team of healthcare experts and mentors. The accelerator aims to bring the most talented individuals and most innovative companies together to work on solutions for the world’s largest healthcare problems.

Dr Alex Young, CEO and co-founder of HS. explained: “Healthcare is on the cusp of radical transformation, and for the first time we will soon begin taking charge of our own health data. The HS. programme will harness the potential that change holds and bring together brilliant minds with a singular focus: solving the world’s most pressing healthcare challenges with technology.

“Impact comes from scale, and we want to build UK health companies that scale internationally - to impact patients around the world and make the UK a hub of excellence for health-tech.”

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Dr. Young is a trauma and orthopaedic surgeon by training. His latest company, Virti, is an immersive video training platform based in Silicon Valley and London. Dr. James Somauroo, his co-founder and CPO, has most recently led the Digital Health London Accelerator - a £3.4mn project in partnership with NHS organisations, healthcare charities, MedCity and the EU Regional Development Fund, providing market access to the NHS for high-potential healthcare businesses. He was also previously an Innovation Fellow for NHS England.

The HS. co-founders are joined by a seasoned group of clinical experts, startup advisors and mentors from the likes of Healthcare UK, MedCity, the BMJ, Department for International Trade, Johnson & Johnson and Philips.

For entrepreneurs and scale-ups, the HS. programme will place an emphasis on guiding and developing them as individuals and as businesses - and equip them with deep insights on how to achieve ‘product-patient fit’, matching them with clinical experts and patient groups even in their early stages.

At an event hosted by the Royal Society of Medicine in London today, HS. will also reveal its first cohort of entrepreneurs - 30 talented individuals across 13 companies, who were chosen from over 1,000 applicants after a rigorous selection process that focused on ‘talent and traction, before idea’. The first HS. cohort comprises of: 

  • Bioregenerative Technologies: uses intrinsic biological mechanisms to regenerate musculoskeletal tissues without surgery
  • Feebris: an AI-powered mobile health platform for diagnosis and monitoring of children and the elderly
  • FitXR: creates at-home fitness products that motivate and reward users, using Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
  • Healthchain: a blockchain-based health data startup, connecting your health data with researchers and healthcare providers
  • MRI.AI: uses computer vision algorithms to better interpret MRI scans
  • Orbiject: a self-injection management system to empower diabetic patients and aid healthcare workers
  • Qdoctor: a telehealth platform with an emphasis on quality of care provided
  • RiseIQ: a voice-bot coaching platform to help dementia sufferers and their carers
  • Respond: using cognitive insights and computer vision to help people with the early signs of dementia
  • i-rehab: intelligent, robotic prosthesis to help amputees regain function and rehab more quickly
  • Sermaurei: uses automatic speech recognition, natural language processing and machine learning to make recording medical notes a breeze.
  • Vesalian: making patient decision-making easier by providing accurate, intuitive and useful explanations on medical risks
  • XenBot: a chatbot that uses introspective questioning and AI to help you organise your mind and concentrate on what matters most

Dr. Somauroo, co-founder and CPO, adds: “The HS. founding team have broken down the traditional model of accelerator programmes, and rebuilt it specifically for building, scaling and innovating in healthcare while putting patients first. With our first cohort of businesses on board and the programme now open to corporate partners, we look forward to guiding their journey in tackling some of the world’s biggest healthcare problems with technology.”

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Jun 17, 2021

Peloton vulnerable to cyber attacks, McAfee research finds

2 min
​​​​​​​Software security experts McAfee discovered exercise bikes by Peloton are vulnerable to cyber attacks, which the company have since resolved 

Peloton, the popular exercise bikes, were found to be vulnerable to cyber attacks in the latest research from McAfee. 

Peloton is a brand of electric bikes that combines high end exercise equipment with cutting-edge technology. Its products use wi fi to connect to a large tablet that interfaces with the components of the exercise device, and provides an easy way for physical activity enthusiasts to attend virtual workout classes over the internet several times a week.

Peloton has garnered attention recently around the privacy and security of its products. So McAfee decided to take a look for themselves and purchased a Peloton Bike+.

The problem

Researchers looked at the Android devices and uncovered a vulnerability  that could allow an attacker with either physical access to the Bike+ or access during any point in the supply chain to gain to hack into the bike’s tablet, including the camera, microphone and personal data. 

For the person using it there would be no indication the Bike+ has been tampered with, potentially putting Peloton’s 16.7 million users at risk.  

The flaw was found in the Android Verified Boot (AVB) process. McAfee researchers were able to bypass the Android Verified Boot process, which normally verifies all code and data before booting. They were then able to get the device to boot bypassing this step. 

This could potentially lead to the Android OS being compromised by an attacker who is physically present. Even worse, the attacker could boot up the Peloton with a modified credential to gain privileges, granting them access to the bike remotely. 

As the attacker never has to unlock the device to boot it up, there would be no trace of their access on the device. This type of attack could also happen at any point from construction to warehouse to delivery, by installing a backdoor into the Android tablet without the user ever knowing. 

The solution

Given the simplicity and criticality of the flaw, McAfee informed Peloton while auditing was ongoing. The vendor was sent full details,  and shortly after, Peloton confirmed the issue and released a fix for it. 

Further conversations between McAfee and  Peloton confirmed that this vulnerability had also been present on the Peloton Tread exercise equipment. 

Peloton’s Head of Global Information Security Adrian Stone, commented on the research: “This vulnerability reported by McAfee would require direct, physical access to a Peloton Bike+ or Tread. Like with any connected device in the home, if an attacker is able to gain physical access to it, additional physical controls and safeguards become increasingly important.

"To keep our members safe, we acted quickly and in coordination with McAfee. We pushed a mandatory update in early June and every device with the update installed is protected from this issue.”

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