The OurCrowd Global Investor Summit has opened in Jerusalem, Israel, with a focus on medical technology – as the Coronavirus causes havoc across the tech world.

Speaking at a press conference, OurCrowd CEO Jon Medved admitted the virus, with which a record 14,840 people were diagnosed, was a “body blow” for his firm’s event, which has suffered drop-outs from its five-figure attendance.

Medved’s speech came just hours after organizers of Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest mobile technology event, pulled the plug on the Barcelona conference due to ongoing travel bans from China. The total number of Coronavirus infections has now reached almost 60,000.

Medved sees the virus as a clarion call for medical tech companies, several of which feature highly in OurCrowd’s 212-strong stable of startups, backed by over 41,000 investors. “This is a battle that’s not just China’s battle, it’s the world’s battle.

“The technology community has to take responsibility for being the frontline troops against this virus,” added Medved.

OurCrowd has stressed its medical solutions at the 2020 edition of its flagship event. Firms like HIL Medical, Barcode Diagnostics and Alpha Tau are pioneering developments in cancer treatment, while Sight Diagnostics, dubbed the “anti-Theranos” for its AI-based blood testing technology, promises to be a headline act.

“What we do affects lives,” said Medved. “And in the context of this moment in history we’re in today, that’s apparent.”

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