Professor Richard Susskind

The future of the professions: how will technology transform the work of human experts

Giving the first presentation of the Symposium, Professor Susskind explored how the professions might approach the future – the mindset it would be helpful to have – and discussed the changes occurring at the forefront of the professions. He also described how he saw technology unfolding and its relevance for the professions, its impact on jobs and on new models for the delivery of professional services.

Professor Dimitrios Spyridonidis MRCVS

Innovation and disruption demystified

Dimitrios Spyridonidis MRCVS, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Warwick Business School, sought to demystify innovation and disruption.

He explained that innovation was often still thought about in the same way as it was 20 years ago – as an incremental process. However, developments were now happening so rapidly that, while incremental progress remained important, ways of thinking about innovation had to change.

Christopher Woolard

Project Innovate: a regulatory strategy to support innovation

Why is innovation important, and why does a regulator need to get involved?

These questions were addressed in a presentation by Chris Woolard, Director of Strategy and Competition at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Dr Umang Patel

Telemedicine and clinical standards: a case study in human healthcare

Babylon Health has a mission to put an accessible and affordable health service in the hands of every person on earth, the company’s Clinical Director Dr Umang Patel told delegates.

Babylon Health offers an online and app-based telemedicine healthcare system built on artificial intelligence. It was founded in January 2013 and developed its first app in April 2014. It now has more than 800,000 global users and operates in the UK, Ireland and Rwanda.

Dr Adam Little

Veterinary innovation in North America – challenges and opportunities

Adam Little, Director of Veterinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Texas A&M University, remarked that the coming decade will bring more change to the veterinary arena than has been seen over the past 50 years combined. An overwhelming amount of change is already happening he said, and he believed that, ultimately, change will be for the better.

Dr Guen Bradbury MRCVS and Dr Greg Dickens MRCVS

Innovation steps: breaking down the gap between ‘here’ and ‘there’

Guen Bradbury and Greg Dickens described their company, innovation consultancy Innovia Technology, before discussing the steps of innovation and how the profession might move towards the future.

Vets’ understanding of first principles, their skills and knowledge across a range of species and situations, and their problem-solving abilities make them natural innovators, they said.

Panel debate 1

Panel debate 1 – Here and now: telemedicine, wearables and big data

In the first of two debates at the Symposium, delegates had the opportunity to put questions to a panel of innovators in the field of animal health technology. The session began with each panellist briefly describing their particular approach to innovation.

Dr James Andrews MRCVS, a vet, entrepreneur and co-founder of animal health data company Felcana
Dr Nuala Summerfield, veterinary cardiologist and founder of Virtual Veterinary Specialists
Francesco Cardoletti of telemedicine company Pawsquad
Professor Ivan Andonovic of the University of Strathclyde
Chaired by Amanda Boag MRCVS, RCVS Vice-President

Panel debate 2

Panel debate 2 – Coming to a vet near you soon

The second panel debate of the Symposium considered technologies that are currently in the pipeline. The three members of this panel were also asked to briefly introduce themselves and the technology they were developing.

Ian MacLaren-Lee of Oxford Nanopore Technologies
Dr Payam Barnaghi, Reader in Machine Intelligence at the University of Surrey
Dr Adam Little, Director of Veterinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Texas A&M University
Chaired by Professor Stephen May, RCVS President

Anthony Roberts

The RCVS and innovation: what next?

Anthony Roberts, Director of Leadership and Innovation at the RCVS, explained why the College is engaging with innovation. He aimed to convince delegates that the regulatory aspects of innovation could be as exciting and engaging as the technology and process aspects.