BioAsia: Onus on companies to build products that are safe to use says Nadella

Sees confluence of biology and computing helping in clinical trials, TB management and better patient care.

By   |  Business Bureau  |  Published: 23rd Feb 2021  7:33 pm
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in conversation with IT Minister KTR virtually.

Hyderabad: Like there are safety norms for food and drug industries, there can also be rules and regulations when it comes to data privacy and security. However, it will help if a same set of rules is followed globally. This will ensure that the innovation does not get affected, according to Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella.

Participating in a fireside chat with Telangana Industries and IT Minister KT Rama Rao on the sidelines of life sciences industry event BioAsia 2021, he said that privacy has started to be recognised globally as human right. The privacy and security law, which started in Europe as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), is spreading to many countries, he said.

Companies that building technology tools and platforms have to take the responsibility to ensure that we build for privacy, security, AI ethics and general internet safety. “These are the things cannot wait. We cannot afford to say we will build a product or a service, see what breaks and the fix it. Such an attitude is not tolerated in any other industry and it should not be tolerated even in the technology industry,” Nadella said replying to a query from Rao on concerns of privacy and security even as technology is becoming all pervasive.

“There will be regulations which are going ask who is benefiting because of the data use. If patients data is being used, it has to benefit patients,” Nadella said adding that the data privacy and security rules should encourage the companies to comply as well as build products that are safe to use.

On KTR’s other query on role startups in the healthcare ecosystem, Nadella said startups are bringing together biology with the power of computing. This combination is already helping in cutting the wait period in clinical trials. The long time taken for clinical trials is a barrier to launch new products. He also said voice technology is being used remove the barriers in achieving great healthcare. “For example, Apollo Hospitals has built a complete 24X7 approach to how they can take their care. Some of the technologies around voice enabling things are being built by startups, even out of India. This is fantastic to see,” the Microsoft CEO said.

“We have worked longtime on medical adherence technology at a lowest cost using essentially someone calling you or messaging you on the cell phone for TB. It was called the 99 dots programme. But the thing that really warms my heart is it being scaled up a startup Everwell Health Solutions. I think there will be lots and lots breakthroughs- whether it is around the patient care or on the drug discovery- that I think are going to get funded. All of us surely need these breakthroughs around the world,” he said.

Nadella recollected his visit to the T-Hub five years ago. “T-Hub has shaped up really well. It has become the epicenter of activity for startups in Hyderabad. We look forward to you visiting us nex time when you get around to visit India and Hyderabad,” the Minister said.


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