Roundtable highlights: Cyber physical systems

Cyber physical systems roundtableOn Wednesday 22 June we held a roundtable on cyber physical systems as part of the Catapult’s showcase for London Tech Week. The event was a great opportunity for us to introduce people to the Network, as well as provoke discussion about some hot topics and issues.
We’ve summarised the discussions and included three of the presentations from the day:

Ian Hutchinson, Projects by If

Ian Hutchinson design_for_CPS LTW 2016

  • Blockchain offers opportunities that are, on the whole, untapped
  • Home servers offer users choice in what ‘function’ they want on or off. However, we need to acknowledge that there’s an interdependency between smart cities and smart homes in relation to I0T (as well as with smart contracts). If we’re trying to develop smart and connected cities then we can’t have closed homes in regards to data being stored on home servers as opposed to cloud servers
  • More research and development (R&D) is needed across organisations that are developing solutions – but they need customer data to achieve this and there’s a potential barrier in customers letting or not letting organisations use this for this greater good

Dr. Ben Bray, Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme

Ben Bray internet_of_healthy_things LTW 2016

  • Ben’s work is data focused instead of being tech focused, and his team are tackling issues around ethics, regulation and legal – not only about tech, but also how to visualise the data collected
  • Healthcare has some of the most stringent scrutiny – and issues around trust – in regards to the collection and sharing of data
  • Health tech also raises significant issues around ethics. For example:
  • Where people are buying health tech for their relatives, i.e. dementia sufferers, where do you draw the line with what’s ethical and what’s in the best interest for that person? Ben acknowledged there is tension where people are monitoring data of their relatives who can’t monitor it themselves. And in regards to data ownership, does the patient, the relatives or the wider systems own that data?
  • And should the ‘worried well’ buy health tech as prevention? Ben suggested that although prevention is better than cure, healthcare expenditure is mainly spent on older and unhealthy people yet most expenditure on health tech goes to young healthy people, which should be redressed
  • Questions were also raised about the interdependency between informed consent vs dynamic consent, especially in regards to using data for greater good. Ben suggested that how his team use dynamic consent data is very contained

Tracy Harwood, Institute of Creative Technologies, De Montfort University

Tracy Harwood trust_in_IoT LTW 2016

  • Tracy suggested that the United States is moving to a more federated contract of data ownership as opposed to service-specific
  • This is where the potential of blockchain is evident, in regards to the opportunities it presents around personal data storage solutions
  • However, if the only person in control of the data is the individual, what happens when something goes wrong? What’s the relationship / role of the service provider in fixing that problem?

Chris Green, Arup Digital Studio

  • Data emerging from new places (for example, robots) is increasingly creating more challenges, as well as opportunities in regards to trust
  • How can we think of data like more of a currency than one-way transaction? Chris suggested that this is where robots, including drones, have a big potential
  • However, in exchange for these more personalised experiences, products and services, such as a personal tour guide drone or ‘drones for good’, how much data are consumers willing to give in order to get back?
Fancy running a workshop, roundtable or meetup at the Digital Catapult Centre in London (or your own venue)? Complete the new PD&TN events planner (members, the link is in July’s monthly highlights), and remember this top tip: Start planning your event at least eight weeks in advance!