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  • Darren Spevick, Eventum talks people and health tech

    Darren Spevick runs the executive recruiting company Eventum Partners, and has spent the last three years looking at health technology through the lens of the need for talent and human resources. Big corporates are hiring innovators. Smaller tech companies are trying to figure out how to commercialize and who they need to do that. Darren has a birds eye view of this. I had a quick interview with him about that view and what he was seeing. If you are interested in who’s doing what in Health tech, it’s well worth a listen. Like me, Darren will be at Health 2.0 Europe in Barcelona next week! Tough for us!

    Pip unveils Deeper Insights and Actionable Data into Stress with My Pip

    My Pip provides deeper insights and motivation to help individuals learn to better manage everyday stress.

    Galvanic, the company behind the Pip (, a device that detects stress, announced the launch of My Pip – a cloud platform which enables users to better manage everyday stress. My Pip syncs with Pip’s suite of Apps, providing deeper insights and actionable data into the user’s response to stress, encouraging and motivating them as they learn to manage everyday stress.

    ‘Launching My Pip is a key milestone for us’ says David Ingram, CEO. ‘Following a successful Kickstarter campaign, Pip was launched in October 2014 and has been incredibly well received by therapists, psychologists and consumers around the world, who are using it with great success. With My Pip’s launch we’re further adding to our customer experience and this, together with recent global retail distribution agreements, allows us to further deliver on our promise to bring Pip’s benefits to consumers worldwide. ‘

    Ensuring consumers’ data privacy with HIPAA Compliance

    My Pip is a HIPAA compliant cloud platform. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is the primary U.S. law governing the security and privacy of personal health information.

    ‘As a company we respect our customers’ privacy and prioritise protecting and securely storing their data’ said Daragh McDonnell, CTO. ‘Our compliance with HIPAA ensures this commitment to Pip users. Just as Pip is putting professional stress management techniques into consumers’ hands, My Pip is ensuring general consumers have professional-level data security.’

    About Pip
    The Pip is a device that allows you to see your stress levels. The Pip detects electrodermal activity (EDA), a scientifically validated indicator of stress. The Pip connects your emotions with engaging Apps. Through biofeedback – an effective stress management technique, the Pip teaches users to control their response to stress.

    Launched in October 2014, the Pip is trusted and recommended by Stress Experts. Over 30 research institutions and organizations around the world are incorporating the Pip into research studies to help manage stress.

    The Pip is offered in 2 colours (black and white) and comes with a suite of 3 free Apps (iOS and Android). It is available to purchase on,, and select retailers for $179 / £145 / € 179.

    Further information

    Health 2.0 Unveils “10 Year Global Retrospective”

    10 Year Global Retrospective Graphic_Option 1 Final

    Health 2.0 announced today “10 Year Global Retrospective”, a platform to recognize outstanding achievements in health tech over the past ten years.

    For nearly a decade, Health 2.0 has served as the preeminent thought-leader in the health tech sector and showcased and connected with thousands of technologies, companies, innovators, and patient-activists through an array of events and conferences, challenges, code-a-thons, and more.  Since its first conference in 2007, Health 2.0 has grown into a global movement with over 100,000 entrepreneurs, developers, and healthcare stakeholders, and 110+ chapters on six continents.

    In recognition of its 10th year, Health 2.0 will honor the superstars of the health tech community over the past decade through the global retrospective, a platform which will poll the collective insight of its vast network of health tech stakeholders who will nominate and vote for the top influencers in four categories. The winners will be showcased at Health 2.0′s 10th Annual Fall Conference in September in Santa Clara, CA.

    The four categories open for nominations:

    Industry Leaders (non-patients)
    Patient Activists
    Technology Companies
    Health Care Organizations

    Open nominations begin February 11th, 2016 and will close April 15th, 2016. Any person, company, or organization can be nominated and need not have appeared on the Health 2.0 stage to qualify.  Each individual may nominate and vote only once and must nominate a minimum of two per category, and no more than ten for each category. All nominations are submitted anonymously.

    What Happens Next?
    After open nominations close on April 15th, they will be reviewed by an expert panel (to be announced soon!). Health 2.0 will announce the top ten nominees in each category on May 9th, at which time a second round of voting will open. Voting will remain open for each category for one week:

    May 9 – 15, 2016:  Industry Leaders (non-patients)
    May 16 – 22, 2016:  Patient Activists
    May 23 – 29, 2016:  Tech Companies
    May 30 – June 5, 2016:  Health Care Organizations

    Winners will be announced June 27th and the top three finalists from each category will be invited on stage at the 10th Annual Health 2.0 Conference in Santa ClaraSeptember 25-28, 2016.

    Please Nominate, Vote and Share this Link!


    Pilot Day is Approaching Fast – Feb. 17, 2016


    On February 17, join New York City Economic Development Corporation in partnership with Health 2.0 and Blueprint Health for Pilot Day 2015. This event is an opportunity to discover and celebrate this year’s winning teams of Pilot Health Tech NYC. Watch innovative demos of new technology and help reinforce New York City as a crucial hub of digital health. Up to ten winning teams stand to take home a total of $1,000,000 in funding to kick off their dynamic relationships plugging digital health innovations into clinical settings.

    Pilot Day is the capstone of Pilot Health Tech NYC and an effort to support health providers and patients throughout New York City with 4-12 month long pilot projects between early stage healthcare innovators and established hosts including major universities, hospitals, and insurance groups. The winning teams have been selected by 24 expert judges based on criteria emphasizing their pilot design and potential for impact. Previous Pilot Days have been attended by over 200 leaders of the healthcare, technology, and venture communities.

    Last year’s winning pairs include:

    Smart Vision Labs / SUNY College of Optometry

    GeriJoy / Pace University

    QoL Devices, Inc. / Montefiore Medical Center

    Urgent Software / Mount Sinai Health System

    Nonnatech / ElderServe

    Fit4D/ HealthFirst

    AllazoHealth / Accountable Care Coalition of Greater New York

    Canopy Apps / Visiting Nurse Service of New York

    Healthify / VillageCare

    Tactonic Technologies / NYU Langone, Rusk Rehab Center

    Hindsait / NY Blood Center

    Read more about all the past winners and programs.

    Pilot Day is free and open to the public at the Alexandria Center for Life Science [map] on February 17, 2016 from 3:00pm to 5:00pm, but space is limited so register here to secure your spot!

    Three key takeaways from Health 2.0 Andalusia chapter

    We recently held the second chapter of Health2.0 Andalusia in Seville (Spain). This event allowed us to learn about the latest Digital Health developments in Andalusia, both in the public and private sector.
    Here are the key take away from this event:

    1. Research-based innovation in eHealth. Some high-tech companies, specialized in healthcare, go a step further than the design and development of healthcare products by incorporating a key innovative element: research. Salumedia is a good example. They carry out studies to assess the use and fitness of new technologies as digital solutions to improve the quality of life of patients suffering from different diseases. They also research how to transfer scientific evidence to patients and caregivers using digital tools. They are currently participating in two new European projects in ehealth research: CHESS and SmokeFreeBrain.

    2. Involvement of health professionals. There currently are a lot of mobile applications dedicated to healthcare that are not checked by doctors. In this context, two projects were presented, Imentia and Esporti, in which healthcare professionals participate in the design and development of digital solutions, ensuring a safe digital tool for the users. Imentia is an application used to detect possible cognitive diseases and design cognitive training sessions. On the other hand, Esporti is a project aimed at promoting physical activity and healthy behaviours.

    3. Public Administration supports Digital Health. The Andalusian Health Ministry, through the Health Quality Agency, is working on various projects, which aim is to ensure access to reliable and safe healthcare applications. Some of their projects are ‘Distintivo AppSaludable’ and ‘mSSPA Project’, a corporate ecosystem of mobile health applications that facilitates the exchange of data between the users and the Andalusia Public Health System.

    This new chapter helped us to highlight some of the trends in digital health in Andalucia and get a better idea of the involvement of the different local actors in this new healthcare model.

    Our Unusual Future

    There has never been a greater need to think outside the tiny box we call healthcare than there is now. The biggest idea is that we can leverage the technologies other industries have already mastered and dramatically improve health. This means that the future lies at the intersections of different technologies. Those who will push their comfort zones to learn about new technologies such as machine learning, genetic sequencing, programming, social engagement, 3D printing amongst many others will be the leaders of what is to come.

    Exponential Medicine focuses on bringing people from these disciplines together with physicians at the forefront of care delivery. It is there where I had the distinct pleasure of grabbing breakfast with Gautam Gulati. Gautam -or Dr.G – is a globetrotting expert on innovation. While on paper he is typically defined by the two letters that proceed his name “DR”, he is most valued for his diverse (& seemingly random) collage of experiences, interests, & skills spanning across a wide range of industries that have come to represent his signature trademark as being simply ‘unusual’.

    Dr. G is the founder of Unusual Inc., a storytelling media expedition celebrating human ingenuity, diversity, & imagination. Most recently, he was the Chief Medical Officer & Head of Product Innovation for Physicians Interactive. He serves as an Adjunct Prof of “Medical Innovation & Entrepreneurship” at John Hopkins University Carey Business School, sits on numerous company boards, & regularly speaks at a variety of events around the world, including TEDxMidAtlantic.

    There is a lot to learn about where the world is going from Dr. G, and as we sipped on coffee and ate delicious breakfast treats on a sunny San Diego morning, I had the chance to pick his extremely creative and very (you guessed it) unusual brain.

    Guatam Gulati

     Dr. Gautam at Exponential Medicine 2015

    Omar Shaker : Gautam thanks for being here, so who are these unusual clients and what kind of work do you guys do together?

    Gautam Gulati: The unusual suspects I work with are companies that we don’t think primarily of as healthcare companies, but span diverse industries as entertainment, media, hospitality,  financial services, telecom and more, that, believe it or not, are going to radically change healthcare.. For many of these executives, I have been their personal advisor, helping them creatively navigate the complexities of healthcare to uncover unique game changing opportunities.

    Unusual Inc is an innovation focused media company designed to help leaders generate new perspectives to advance innovation. It consists of a publishing arm that identifies novel market opportunities, an event experience arm (that includes Unusual Intersections) showcasing the stories and perspectives of unusual change agents, and a studio lab designed to incubate new businesses focused on our mission.

    OS: Can you elaborate on the purpose and idea behind the Unusual Intersections event?

     GG:We focus on trying to uncover what helps individuals transform industries and it is all about how they do it. A common thread with innovators is that it is an art of exposing yourself to things not in your comfort zone. Innovation is really a matter of capturing every possible perspective and then connecting the dots over time.

    One inspiring moment actually came from my son. We were driving in the car and he looked at the sun coming in and out between the trees and he goes “Look Daddy, the sun is playing peek-a-boo” and I was like ‘Wow! what an amazing perspective!’. By habit and convenience, we all tend limit ourselves to groupthink and what is most familiar to us. I open myself up to diverse industries which you typically wouldn’t think has any relevance to what we are doing. For example,  I go to conferences about retail, transportation, smart cities, education, energy, and much more to get inspired with new ideas and perspectives that I can apply to what I am doing in healthcare. I guess that’s what makes me a bit unusual.

    You’d be really surprised by the cross applications between industries. At the end of the day the world is trying to solve very few problems at its core. Although it may seem contrary to our natural assumptions, we can learn a lot about how to build a field of precision medicine, for example, from the ideas developed in the fields of education and hedge funds.

    At Unusual Intersections we bring people from different fields and explore how they are solving similar problems, and you’d be surprised what you can apply from education to genomics or from 3D printing to smart cities.


    The Unusual Intersections Event in 2015

    OS:Very Interesting. What would you say makes a company or individual innovative in practice beyond that inspiration?

    GG:Well no one ever said “We reinvented a field by doing the usual things”; but what you see during a transformational  paradigm shift, is that innovators tend to do things a bit unusual that are not part of our typical playbook. I’ve been thoroughly studying eras of re-invention and the patterns behind these transformational periods and one of the things I do in my upcoming book, ‘The Unusual Truth’, is to share the innovative stories of these transformational change agents that will help to uncover a new innovative playbook we can all use.

    A common pattern amongst these great innovators is that they visualize new technologies in the context of our how we live and experience our daily lives. For example, Edison didn’t invent the light bulb, he understood how to commercialized it that made the light bulb consumable for the masses. Ford did not invent the car but created franchising to spur greater distribution  Singers work with the sewing machine was used in the industry 20 years later for mass manufacturing, and Steve Jobs didn’t invent the computer but he brought it into our lives in a meaningful way.

    If you look at Uber  or Airbnb for example, they don’t have any proprietary technology. They have mashed up a bunch of technologies to make sense for an experience about the future self and the context of how we live. They have been particularly brilliant in challenging our existing regulations which have shaped our entire policy about how we regulate hotels and cabs. I see it analogous to what Singer has done with the sewing machine and made it relevant to customers.

    OS:Last night after dinner, we had so much fun at the drum circle! One thought that ran through my mind was how all these physicians and engineers challenged their comfort zones by picking up an instrument and together we created this beautiful rhythm. You are a musician yourself, and I was wondering if you see a parallel between music and innovation?

    GG:The fundamental thought processes between music and innovation are very similar because they are both about connecting the dots and building on prior pieces of inspiration. Even the greatest musicians such as Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan or the Beatles have adapted their unique sounds by drawing upon inspiration from different kinds of musical genres that preceded them. It doesn’t come from thin air and it’s hard to imagine something that doesn’t already somehow exist. I would argue that the things we often think are unimaginable and everything we see today in Exponential Medicine is built off a spark or inspiration that we have previously been exposed to, consciously or not. Downtempo, electronica and rock and roll are all a cross breed of genres. Even Taylor Swift is a country singer who sings pop!


    A younger Gautam hitting the congas “Music works just like innovation” he says.

    OS:Another thing you excel at is the art form of inspirational talks. What do you think makes an audience connect and engage to your ideas and stories?

    GG:What makes a really good talk is poetic story telling with intention. We are wired to be drawn to personal stories, which is an art form that develops with practice over time. However the question is how do you link the story that you are telling to a clear call to action for the aduience? The way I go about this is by closely observing other speakers, both the good and bad, and seeing what techniques resonate with their audience. I then practice diligently and try to emulate these effective techniques. Everyday, during my morning run, I usually put on a list of talks I want to watch on my phone and study the speakers and format closely. I learn both what to do and as well as what not to do. I also leverage the learnings from my own previous talks to better understand what topics resonate with my audience. This is actually what currently determines what goes into my book, similar to how a comedian goes on a road show to test new material.

    OS:Which areas in healthcare excite you the most right now?

    GG:Two areas fascinate me: The first is the use of AI in healthcare whether that is to support clinical decision or with predictive analytics. The other one is at the intersection of humans, hardware and software. These two areas, I believe, hold the greatest potential impact, however we are still at an early stage with a long way to go before we see these solutions seeded in our everyday lives.









    Building Fortune-Teller Bots for Healthcare

    Since the dawn of time, people have sought and claimed to be able to predict the future by looking at the stars, a magic ball, or in the palms of our hands. We tend to believe those who do because there is a very obvious value to knowing the future: We can avoid crises and seize opportunities. Today, many companies have already established pretty accurate predictive abilities. For example, Netflix predicts which movies you’ll want to watch, Amazon knows which books you’ll like and Target can tell which items you will need even before you realize it. They have been doing it for years, and we are only starting to realize the power of that in healthcare.


    IBM’s Watson famously winning on Jeopardy

    This is being made possible by two things: The first is the increased power of machines to learn statistical patterns and forecast outcomes at radically cheaper prices, and the second is the open data movement. The Center for Disease Control, CMS and Health Departments are making very large datasets available about hospitalizations, claims and disease patterns. In addition to that, spatiotemporal data about the environment, traffic and demographics are readily available on Blending these very different datasets can give us new unimaginable insights into our health, a term coined as the ‘Mosaic Effect’.

    To learn more, I got in touch with Jay Bhatt, Internist, Geriatrician and Chief Health Officer at Illinois Hospital Association. During his previous public health tenure as Managing Deputy Commissioner and Chief Innovation Officer, Jay created partnerships and brought together an eclectic team of individuals with the necessary skills to use the power of machine learning, natural language processing, and predictive analytics learning giving insight into how health departments can approach health issues across the nation in a more proactive way. They built models around food inspection, lead poisoning, mammography and West Nile fever, and neighborhood assessment.


     Dr. Jay Bhatt

    Hey Jay, thanks for being here. Can you start by telling us why you chose these topics specifically for predictive analytics?

    It’s my pleasure to represent our collaborative effort which continues despite having moved to my role at  the Illinois Hospital Association. We started with food inspections and remediation of buildings for lead poisoning because you are dealing with a resource constraint between the amount of work that needs to be done versus the amount of people you have. So you either have to hire more people, expend more resources, or become smarter with data.

    The status quo is that food inspection only happens after a poisoning case is reported and buildings were being remediated of lead after someone living inside it had already presented with neurological symptoms and high blood lead levels.

    These two efforts were also very reactive in nature. What we did was build models that can predict which restaurants will be subject to food poisoning and which areas had the highest risk of lead poisoning. This allows for a very proactive intervention before the problems happen.

    Fascinating…so what kind of data did you use?

     In the food inspection example, we used environmental open data exclusively starting with many factors and narrowing it down to 13 which were relevant. With lead poisoning we also added in some clinical data regarding blood lead levels which the state provided us with from clinics in real time. We then added data about premature deaths, neurological issues and migration patterns to determine exposure and narrow down areas that require remediation.

    Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 6.42.40 PM

    The lead model turned the impossible effort on the left to a more focused and doable effort on the right

    What kind of partnerships did you establish to make this project successful?

     We partnered with the University of Chicago’s Center for Data Science and Public Policy. Our collaborative team created a model that helped us identify those women and children most at risk. As a result inspectors could get out in front of the problem.

    In the lead poisoning example, how can doctors and clinics make use of this data on an individual patient level?

    We are actually seeking funding to integrate the model with electronic health records. I see this as a powerful decision support tool, by stratifying the patients into high, medium and low risk in a dashboard in the EMR. Doctors may not order a blood lead level until later in a child life, but if a pregnant woman or her child walks in and is flagged as high risk, the doctor might want to reconsider waiting that long. This can keep us a few years ahead of the curve. On a population health level, the doctor may identify a few high risk individuals who have not come in for a check up for a while and call to follow up with them.

    Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 12.19.45 AM

    Dashboards could guide the physicians proactive attitude

    That does sound like a game changer. What are some of the challenges you face?

     Connecting different kinds of datasets is tough and requires different techniques to address that. Home addresses potentially have errors for example, and you have to clean it and match it. Clinical data is tricky because you need to make sure that the data matches appropriately and that HL7 integration is done.

    How do you see this playing out in to the future of healthcare in the upcoming years?

    These kinds of technologies that tap into big data are going to be more of the norm, and decision support whether through Watson or other approaches integrated with the EMR will be easier to access due to big data methodologies. We will be able to anticipate what happens to a patient and that will change our approach. Doctors will be more adept in using the data to make decisions, and that will impact the quality of care. I also think the clinical realm will see an integration of other data sources such as social media, wearables, education and even criminal and justice system.

    Open platforms like Hadoop will be more noticeable and I’m intrigued to see if clinic-level people will have the bandwidth to use it. There is also more integration of data such as what is happening between retail groceries and pharmacies like CVS or Walgreens. Independent medical groups are also partnering with Blue Cross Blue Shield who are sharing claims data because it helps their members’ bottom line. It will be interesting to what kind of unusual suspects partner together with data being the anchor. I would also love to see de-identified patient data being open and available for the innovator community.

    At the end, the patient or consumer should really be at the center and the question is how can we make the healthy the choice the easy choice using data?

    Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 12.20.37 AM

     Jay speaks about the future at the Health 2.0 Fall Conference


    We live in an increasingly complex and yet beautiful world of data. While pessimists raise more issues, futurists such as Jay and his team are figuring out how we can derive the most value from these data streams and do things we never imagined possible, in a secure fashion. Falling prices of increasingly strong processors, higher accuracy of sensors, and the open data movement are all exponential enablers to what we can do with this sea of information. We can’t know the future, but we can sure predict it much more accurately than we could 5 years ago.


    What does an investor want to hear?

    Fundraising is not an easy job, especially in Europe where money is scarcer than in the US for instance. When you approach an investor in Europe, you have one shot, so you better not miss your chance.

    Investors are very popular. They can receive between 500 and 2000 demands a year (depending on the size of the firm) from entrepreneurs who are looking for funding. You want your solicitude to catch their attention. That’s why you need a great teaser.

    What investors call a teaser is a one page document (one page max) that summarizes your business plan and emphasizes the Unique Selling Proposition of your idea. It should include the following information:

    • Introduction of yourself and of your company
    • The problem you are solving and its market size
    • How you are solving that specific problem and what is special and uniqueabout your solution
    • Who are your competitors
    • Briefly mention the technology behind your solution if relevant
    • Your business model: How are you planning on making money?
    • Your team: profile, background and previous experience of the core members. Mention advisers especially if they are recognized in the ecosystem
    • Financial projection for the next years (it’s recommended to do a 3 year projection plan). How much are you currently raising and how will you use that money (no need to get into too much details at that stage)
    • What’s your long term view for the company: IPO? Being bought? etc

    Be clear and concise! Emphasize the uniqueness of your solution. If you can’t answer some of those questions, then you are not ready to speak to investors. Be over-ready: Master your business plan, master your story and have it clear why you want to raise money.

    Do your homework before approaching investors: make some research and target the investors who are investing in the sector and stage growth you are at. Send your teaser to THAT list.

    Final tips:
    –> Find an investor who you will enjoy working with on a daily basis
    –> Find the right investor that can help you in the stage you are
    –> Take only the money you need for the stage you are at

    Thank you Vishal Gulati and Steve Seuntjens for your time and insights.

    Tricks or tips for fundraising your startup

    One of the biggest challenges for a startup in Europe is to raise money. Why? Because nobody in EU is rich enough to put money in series A and above and it is also a cultural issue: People in Europe are more risk advert and cautious than in the US for instance.

    In Europe we are lacking money to accelerate. Seed money to start business is available but growth series A is lacking.

    Barcelona was recently hosting a session on fundraising organised by The Family, a French company dedicated to supporting startups in their growth and who has been raising more than 120 million dollars in the past 2 years. They have chosen Barcelona to open their next office, after Paris and London.

    Oussama Ammar, partner and cofounder of The Family gave a very inspiring talk and great tips on raising money. Here are my 8 take aways:

    • Traction is king to raise money

    What is traction? Exponential increase; having one single metric inside your business that is exceptional. Does your numbers positively surprise you? That’s traction! Continuous hiring growth within a company is a great sign of traction.

    The more traction you have, the more talents you will attract and the less arguments you will get while negotiating for fund. People may not understand your product, but traction convinces them!

    • Exceptional team attracts money

    How do you define an exceptional team? A team that did it once before, that had at least one exit. Such a team can be enough to fundraise, without doing anything else. Investors know that the money they put on that team is smaller than the money they will loose not betting on it. Never underestimate the power of the team you are building.

    • Don’t raise money unless you really need it.

    In Europe, you have one single shot to fundraise. Make sure you do it at the right moment.

    There are 2 types of fundraising: One that helps you survive and one that helps you grow. If you need money to survive, go and get a side job to support yourself.

    Remember that the less you need money, the more you will raise.

    • Good entrepreneur is good at storytelling his own story

    Don’t tell your story, tell A story. No need to share all the failures you went through till now, just focus on what is important and what people want to hear.

    • The more you are good at pitching, the more money you will raise, the higher your valuation.

    Pitch pitch pitch, again and again and again. In front of your mirror, with friends etc… get feedbacks. Again, make sure you are pitching what the investor wants to hear.

    • Focus 1st on your customer, then on your employees, then on investors.

    Make sure you understand who your potential customers are and what they want, as they will be the one buying your solution. Then look after your team. As we said before exceptional team is key to success. Make sure to retain your actual employees and attract new talents. After that, focus on investors. But be careful of the advice you get from VCs: They know numbers but not your product.

    • Good entrepreneurs negotiate terms, bad entrepreneurs negotiate valuation

    Negotiate the price 1st (negotiate hard), then negotiate the terms by decreasing the price. Better terms with better investors are better than higher valuation with incompetent people.

    Terms include valuation, controls within the company, plus other clauses.

    Make sure you hire a good lawyer to help you with the terms, as it’s quite technical but the one thing your lawyer won’t be able to do is to negotiate for you. Be obsessed by who controls your company and to keep control of your company versus the price you get.

    One golden rule: don’t let anybody negotiate your salary!

    • Bad entrepreneurs take decision listening to others instead of using information from others

     Final note to conclude: Never compare yourself with successful entrepreneurs because you are meeting them at the end of the learning curve. They had their own issues at the beginning too.

    Winter is here! Final Agenda for WinterTech 2016

    Health 2.0 announces the final agenda for the WinterTech conference, January 13, 2016 in San Francisco, California. As the only event dedicated to health tech and investing during the health investment mecca, JP Morgan Week, the event features leaders from Venrock, Canvas, Grand Rounds, Doximity, Livongo, Omada Health, Maverick Capital, GE Ventures, Kaiser Permanente and more. The conference brings together top health tech entrepreneurs, investors, and the health care establishment to discuss financial and business trends. “Everyone knows by now that health tech is a hot place for venture investing,” says Health 2.0′s Co-Founder Matthew Holt. “At Health 2.0 WinterTech, we are going to uncover the secrets of how the top VCs think and how they work with the star CEOs.” Key speakers will include:

    • Vinod Khosla: Founder, Khosla Ventures. Vinod will discuss his thoughts on the digital health care space, his investments, and more with Health 2.0 CEO & Co-Founder, Indu Subaiya.
    • Bryan Roberts: Partner, Venrock. Known as the original digital health VC, Bryan has made a lasting impact in the health care landscape. Health 2.0′s Co-Founder Matthew Holt will have a one-on-one with Bryan to address what investing in digital health really means.
    • Jonathan Bush: CEO and Co-Founder, athenahealth. A firm believer in creating a marketplace that allows the unlimited and effective exchange of health information, Jonathan is set to keynote at this year’s conference.

    With sessions addressing New Clinical Tools and Platforms, the Convergence of Life Sciences and Health Tech, the New Consumer Health Ecosystem and more, other speaker highlights include:

    • Owen Tripp, CEO, Grand Rounds
    • Glen Tullman, CEO, Livongo Health
    • Sean Duffy, CEO, Omada Health
    • Rebecca Lynn, Co-Founder & Partner, Canvas
    • Jeff Tangney, CEO, Doximity
    • Joan Kennedy, VP Consumer Health Engagement, Cigna
    • John Mattison, CMIO, Assistant Medical Director, Kaiser Permanente
    • Peter Ohnemus, President & CEO, dacadoo
    • Jody Holtzman, SVP, AARP
    • Ruchita Sinha, Director, GE Ventures
    • Ankur Luther, Executive Director, Morgan Stanley
    • David Duncan, Co-Founder & CEO, Arc Programs
    • Carolyne Zimmermann, Partner, Novartis dRx Capital
    • Ambar Bhattacharyya, Managing Director, Maverick Capital
    • Dave Francis, Managing Director, RBC Capital Markets

    … Plus over 20 more speakers including live product demos.

    Health 2.0 is famous for its incredible selection of LIVE demos, and this year you’ll see:

    • Redox
    • Lyra Health
    • Accordion Health
    • Bigfoot Biomedical
    • Outset Medical
    • dacadoo
    • Propeller Health
    • LifeQ
    • physIQ

    An exclusive Investor Breakfast is open to attending startups looking to discuss business models, examine trends, and explore portfolios before the mainstage kickoff. This year’s investors include Norvartis dRx Capital, Maverick Capital, Sandbox, Ziegler, HealthBox, Link-age Ventures, Arsenal Venture Partners, and more. Apply to attend by submitting your application here.

    Learn more about the agenda here and visit the registration website to attend. We were sold out last year so buy your tickets soon!

    About WinterTech
    Through fireside chats, interviews, and compelling panel discussions, Health 2.0′s WinterTech brings together historically distinct industries in health to challenge the current landscape and push it towards an environment that is user driven, informed, and financially profitable for all players involved.

    The Scandal of Healthcare Metrics

    We have all gladly put Volkswagen to shame for tweaking technology to say that its cars are environmentally friendly, rather than actually lower the the nitrogen oxide emission. I think the whole healthcare industry has been just as guilty for doing the same thing for decades.

    Hospitals are trying to report less readmissions, diabetic apps try to show that users have lower glucose levels and fitness apps congratulate us about making more steps. These are all attempts to hide manifestations of disease, rather than tackle the deep-routed social issues which cause the dysfunction.

    It is a fact that Healthcare outcomes are still not up to par with how we would like them to be. While most organizations are trying to push for an improve in outcomes, some interesting entrepreneurs are actually measuring health in a totally novel way, which is alien to the industry, but arguably makes more sense.

    I was taught in medical school that healthcare starts with a state of biochemical imbalance conveyed as signs and symptoms that can be labelled as a diagnosis, which requires investigations, a treatment plan and follow up. After joining a hospital, I learned that the whole system was incentivized to have more sick people, rather than less.

    This counter-intuitive idea can explain doctors’ frustrations, patients’ lack of well being and even the reluctance of hospitals to share data. From a manger’s perspective, having less doctors see more patients while owning the patient’s data exclusively means good business. It also means an outrageously expensive and fragmented healthcare system.

    This is not a problem of managers per se but one of policy and funding priorities. The recent epiphany is that the problem may lie in how we define health to begin with. Research[1] shows that the whole healthcare system only accounts for 20% of a community’s health. Equally determinant is the genetic makeup (also at 20%), while the main constituents for health (60%!) are environmental and behavioral factors.

    “We’re at a point where there is a battle of ideologies” says Pritpal S Tamber, a UK based doctor and physician editor of TEDMED 2013. “Healthcare has a narrow lens on what health is; it’s bio-medical plain and simple. That is a very slim definition of what people and communities look for in health.” He said to a very engaged audience at Exponential Medicine 2015.


    Pritpal S Tamber inspires the crowd with his community oriented approach to health care

    Pritpal is the founder of Creating Health Collaborative, which supports entrepreneurs to work on projects that explore and deliver health beyond the lens of health care. It often means strengthening and leveraging the idea of civic engagement to get communities to express what and how they see their health.

    So where do the healthiest communities live in the world? Let me direct your attention to the impressive case of Okinawa, an island in Japan known for it’s communities’ measurably long and arguably happier lives. Okinawa does not have more hospitals, better technology, big data or “patient-centric healthcare delivery”. What they have is much simpler: A very strong sense of community and long hours of sleep. They also live on a low meat diet, are generally active, and have a lot of festivals.


     Okinawa has one of the oldest and happiest populations in the world

    Similarly, there are other spots in the world that just live longer lives and have similar traits and are characterized by their community and habits. A whole list is available about the National Geographic-led research on these areas, dubbing them the Blue Zones.

    “It is simple, we want a healthy happy long life with lots of love and no regrets. Why shouldn’t these become our health indicators?!” says Alex Jaddad, a pain physician and Founder of the Centre for Global eHealth Innovation at the University of Toronto. “We are trapped by an evidence-based paradigm, which I was a part of myself. We need to extradite ourselves from this idea, and provide precision medicine that is based on how the patient feels.”

    Alex Jadad

             Alex Jaddad speakes to a very engaged audience in #xmed

    There are more and more tools being available to measure what are called “Social Determinants of Health.” One example is the Life Change Index Score  created by Dartmouth university to quantify how  certain life events (such as divorce or losing a loved one) affect our likelihood of disease. It is still limiting to see social factors from that biomedical lens, but this is a good start to recognize and address these factors.

    Health 2.0 is all about changing how we look at traditional medicine and health care. One of the most popular sessions at the Fall Conference is called “The Unmentionables” where technologies which transform patients’ lives by targeting poverty, sex, emotional well being and other uneasy topics are showcased.


    Unmentionables sessions by Alexandra Drane during Health 2.0′s Fall Conference

    Alexandra Drane started it off this year by showing that people who had some of these life factors where 2.6 times more likely to develop chronic diseases such as Diabetes, a metric they called the “Vulnerability Index”.“It is time to stop admiring this problem and start putting it out of business.” as Alexandra Drane placed it.

    Companies like Honor and Seniorlink  empower caregivers to actually get paid while doing what they love without being marginalized and underpaid as they are now with 60% of them on government assistance. TrueLink, a credit card  that helps elderly patients with dementia control their finances, is another great example of a company that targets health in a totally new meaningful way.

    Caresource takes a bold approach to care by helping patients find jobs  as opposed to lecturing them about health, while Zensource helps patients  by bringing emotional support to palliative care and enhancing a patient’s dying days.

    The bottom line is that if it is health we seek, we need to understand how people and communities define it. Spending on healthcare services alone, is akin to attempt to improve the nation’s cars by investing in mechanics rather than new factories.

    Most governmental and big private healthcare behemoths are invested in doing things the same way and resisting the entrepreneurial change of community-driven, socially-minded healthcare. If this were the car manufacturing industry, wouldn’t they have all been fired by now?

    Isn’t it ironic how we care about the health of our cars and environment much more than our own bodies?


    [1] J. Michael McGinnis, Pamela Williams-Russo and James R. Knickman The Case For More Active Policy Attention To Health Promotion Health Affairs, 21, no.2 (2002):78-93


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