An over-arching theme of the 2023 CES conference was Human Security for All, abbreviated as HS4A.
And what, you might ask, do “human” and “security” have to do with the largest annual consumer technology conference, held last week in Las Vegas?
Here’s what. “This is the first CES not only in the new post-pandemic or live-with-pandemic era. But this is the first time we actually had a theme. And that theme is focused on what technology can do to make the world better,” Gary Shapiro, CEO and President of the Consumer Technology Association, expressed in his opening speech for #CES2023.
CTA is collaborating with the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security and the World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS) on a campaign to support tech innovations that improve the lives of everyone. That’s the “For All” lens on the campaign. FYI, the WAAS was founded in 1960 by Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, Bertrand Russell, and other global-minded smart folks confronting the role of technology and humanity in their time.
As Gary explained in his opening keynote to #CES2023, “Our world needs us…it needs all of us….to pay attention, to plug in, to commit…the stakes are higher than ever,” he implored, citing examples of food insecurity, climate change, and access to health care which he said, “are the critical issues technology has the power to solve.”
The scale is “everywhere:” these challenges impact “every industry, every city and every home,” Gary continued. We can innovate our way to a healthier, more sustainable world, he summed up.
Succinctly, the campaign is committed to exploring and supporting how tech innovations can protect human security or, in Gary’s words, “as we call them, human rights.”
Among those rights, he cited clean air, clean water, food [and] the right to not be hungry, health care, community engagement, and political involvement.
This diagram illustrates the seven focus areas of the HS4A project, including food security, access to healthcare, economic security, environmental protection, personal safety and mobility, community security, and political freedom.
Read more about the campaign here on the World Academy’s website.
Start with food security; that’s where John Deere comes into this picture and vision of HS4A.
The CTO of John Deere, Jahmy Hindman, delivered the opening keynote address at CES 2023 following Gary’s introduction. “Everything we do at John Deere is focused on real purpose and real impact,” Jahmy began, detailing the company’s focuses on food, fuel, fiber, and infrastructure.
Food is at the base of our essential needs, so let’s start with that aspect of HS4A.
Among several of John Deere’s CES announcements, the one to point out here is ExactShot, a technology embedding robotics and sensors that makes fertilizing and planting smarter. The innovation can save 93 million gallons of starter fertilizer every year, avoiding waste and improving productivity. “With the global population expected to grow from 8 billion to nearly 10 billion by 2050,” the company noted, “farmers need to increase production by 60% to 70% on today’s arable land.”
Now think about the right of access to health care, which Gary asserted was a basic human right.
MedWand Solutions is not a newcomer to CES: I met up with the pioneering company at CES 2020 when the technology earned a CES Innovation Award and was dubbed “Last Gadget Standing” in the and was also dubbed a “Star Trek-like Tricorder.”
Fast-forward to CES 2020 with the initial product having undergone iterations and improvements. This year, MedWand launched the Urban-Rural Healthcare Alliance, having known where the virtual care puck has been going since the company’s inception. Healthcare can be delivered almost anywhere with the right infrastructure — remember that one of HS4A’s seven principles looks to health care access, and other pillars also attend to physical and community security. MedWand is collaborating with AT&T, HP and Oracle on this initiative. That’s cross-industry collaboration, the kind required to solve thorny big challenges like health equity and access to care for all health citizens.
“What started as a multi-sensor device to enable doctors to examine patients remotely via the Internet has developed into an entire ecosystem that….provides a bridge to universal access to high-quality healthcare and health equity,” Robert Rose, MedWand President and CEO, explained.
The initial MedWand offering now bundles customizable MedWand Clinics, VirtualCare platforms, and Command Center monitoring stations with connectivity via AT&T, mobile computing tools form HP, and cloud support from Oracle. Health equity and access is core to the mission of the Alliance.
Next, consider personal wellbeing, safety and security.
“Tech for good, beauty for all” is the mantra of HAPTA, another cross-industry collaboration that addresses a social and personal challenge.
“Beauty is health and health, beauty,” I commented on my LinkedIn post on HAPTA. “Thanks to L’Oréal, the innovation of HAPTA is making applying cosmetics more inclusive for people who have challenges with hand and arm mobility.”
In public health context, some 40 mm people in the U.S. have movement disorders preventing them from everyday tasking.
Each year at CES, I explore what L’Oreal has in store for innovations that support our wellbeing. This year, I was particularly inspired by HAPTA. Check out this video for testimonials of three women enchanted and buoyed by HAPTA.
I myself am buoyed and inspired by the H2FA mission and the three examples I’ve shared with you here on Health Populi. In this new year where we have the opportunity and motivation to do better for our fellow health citizens, I am energized to keep going with our amazing community of problem-solvers, designers, care providers, data gurus, and brothers and sisters on this journey.
We go further, together.
As Bertrand Russell, one of the Founders of WAAS, said, “Remember your humanity, and forget the rest.”