4 trends from LeWeb that could make waves in the Arab world in 2015

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LOIC LE MEUR AND FRED WILSON at LeWeb 2015

The end of the year is always an interesting time. Some like to go back on what happened in the year gone by, while others try to predict what will be happening in the year to come. LeWeb, the biggest tech event in France, is one of the latter. This year, they focused on what topics in tech would be trending in 2015. We picked four that could make waves in the Arab world in 2015.

The crowd economy gears up

Forget about the sharing economy, the time has come for the crowd economy. Companies, in many different sectors, will increasingly count on the crowd to build their products and services in the year to come.

While Uber, Airbnb, and LendingClub and are on their away to become this decade’s success stories, the crowd economy is expanding to new markets. On the LeWeb stage, Jeremiah Owyang unveiled a diagram to highlight new sectors recently impacted by the crowd economy: education (he cited MOOCs as an example), logistics (with services like Dubai-based Friendshippr), telecos (with Fon), health, (with Cohealo), and others.

It was overall an interesting talk that shows that the many Arab entrepreneurs who’ve dipped their toes into the crowd economy are onto something. Learn more in this video:

Wearables are for professionals

We’ve heard a lot about watches and fitness trackers as consumer gadgets, but this is actually only the tip of the iceberg. According to the speakers at LeWeb, wearables have a big role to play in the lives of professionals. A recent Forrester study found that 52% of IT and business managers identified strategy and support of wearable devices as a critical, high, or moderate priority.

Health trackers can enable companies to check if workers in extreme conditions are in good shape or if they need an emergency help, and can help, for example, airport workers checking the conditions of planes on the tarmac ask for remote team’s expertise. This trend will no doubt inspire the Arab entrepreneurs who have been making strides in the wearable industry.

Check out this video for more possible uses:

A healthy mind in a healthy body

Will this year be the year entrepreneurs finally startup paying attention to their mental health? Entrepreneurs who are into meditation and yoga took the main stage twice, and led sessions in a dedicated meditation room throughout the event.  

They wanted to prove to entrepreneurs the benefits of meditation and yoga: less stress, better decisions, clearer vision of what their company needs, better hold on their ideas. Seeing how many people took part in the sessions, the message seems to be striking a chord.

Neuroscientists also took the stage to explain how mediation can help people get rid of their addictions, whether from cigarettes, Facebook, or... selfies. Thanks to mobile apps and crowd power, mediation programs are at everyone’s reach (watch this video to learn more).

Give a try to yoga and meditation with this video, and see if this helps you forget Cairo’s mad traffic, or finally get control over (admit it) your addiction to selfies:

Digital health, the new Eldorado

Health is a huge market – in the US, health-related expenses should reach $4 trillion dollars in 2015 – but it still hasn’t gone through a digital revolution.

As Daniel Kraft noted at LeWeb, bringing digital in the health sector could help power a shift from reactive care to prevention. Wearables, such as FitBit, connected contact lenses, or connected onesies for infants, could enable medical professionals and laypeople alike to gather data that will expedite treatment. Digital also enables the development of insideables, connected objects that can work within the human body, like this pills that can replace a colposcopy.

Digital can also help predict disease by making genome sequencing within everybody’s reach, and improving the quality and affordability of check-ups, with tools like the digital stethoscope that works with an app, or digital eye check-up that only requires an add-on to a smartphone.

Digital can also help treat people in remote or poorly connected areas, thanks to online check-ups, and drone-powered drug delivery. Health has been a really hot trend in the Arab world, and this video proves how far we can still go. 

Learn how digital can impact the health sector in this video:

Photo credit: LeWeb

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