Health 2.0 NYC: Pitch Yourself Into the ‘Shark Tank’

with Philippe Chambon of New Leaf Venture Partners. Other panelists included fellow entrepreneur Brett Shamosh of Wellapps (purchased by Medivo), Milena Adamian, MD of Life Science Angel Network, Esther Dyson of EDVenture, Donna Usiskin of a private investment team, and Alan Brody of the iBreakfast start-up forum.

Both the winner and runner-up were considered by the panel and audience to be ‘contendahs’:

The winner was not related to telehealth at all–BriteSeed’s SafeSnips technology is a near-infrared sensor which can detect blood vessels’ location, diameter size and blood flow, preventing catastrophic cutting into same during minimally invasive or robotic surgeries. This risk is estimated at 2.9% of these surgeries and SafeSnips would help surgeons avoid this at an average cost of $200/surgery. The technology was originally developed out of Northwestern University and they have an outstanding advisory board. And they already have a strong marketing tag: ‘SafeSnips puts the sense into surgical tools’. Congratulations to founder Paul Fehrenbacher on an excellent presentation which smartly included some rather graphic (to non-clinicals) surgical video to drive home the ‘catastrophic’ point. (Pictures do tell the ‘pain point’.) Editor Donna’s neighbor’s consensus was this was a high risk venture (with FDA approval and patent still pending)–but also high potential reward.

The runner-up is of interest to our readers who are concerned with older adults and their living arrangements, especially when that person can no longer live at home safely or needs a higher level of special assistance in everyday care, such as what we in the US call ‘memory care’. Silver Living is effectively a TripAdvisor(R) for senior communities. It independently reviews communities on factors such as care, appearance (independent photos), geography, residence availability, pricing, independent family and resident reviews, and state inspection reports. It also enables users (primarily younger family members) to compare communities much like an does with cars. In the US, senior communities are a $200 billion market, but with a 46% turnover and onsite sales only; family members often cannot conveniently visit or compare desired communities, as they may live at a distance from the older adult at what is often a painful and emotional time. Bookings could be made directly on the site. Silver Living would also be a useful tool for hospital discharge planners, geriatric care managers, home care managers, doctors and social workers who generally do not have complete or updated referral resources. The revenue model is based on resident referrals (a potential limitation) but with the market size and need…the audience consensus was, ‘why hasn’t someone thought of this before?’ Congratulations to founder Tal Ziv on a strong and detailed presentation

The other presenters were Health2Social (patient empowerment using social media), Health Options Worldwide (automating care and treatment options for companies’ high cost patients) and Talk About Health (a platform for cancer questions, answers and support). All great ideas and developing in the heart of NYC, which is slowly but surely becoming friendler (albeit expensive) territory for healthcare-related startups.

Video will shortly be available on this link. Many thanks to the organizers, especially Alex Fair of FairCareMD and the first healthcare crowdfunder MedStartr. (TA 12 July; more on this to follow) and Steve Greene of Sperlingreene.

All the telehealth you need, ‘in’ your phone

phone-sensorsIf the Lifewatch V does what it claims to do, hubs and connected devices may be on their way to obsolescence.  Using sensors on and apps in an Android-based smartphone, it measures ECG (one lead), body temperature, blood glucose, heart rate, oxygen saturation, body fat percentage and stress levels (heart rate variability), delivering the test results to a cloud-based server accessible for analysis and sending to the monitoring physician or clinician. For blood glucose, your strips are actually inserted into the phone.  There’s also a med reminder, a pedometer application, diet plans and logs for exercise and weight.  Whew!  The company is based in Israel and is actively seeking partners for launch into markets.  Gizmodo calls it the smartphone that could save your life.  Oh yes, it alerts a call center–and you can make phone calls, text and email too.  Not FDA approved as of yet, but it is definitely in the whiz-bang category.  Hat tip to one of our readers (at his request, anonymous.)

Telecare Soapbox: The Genius of Tunstall, and Close Encounters of the Hampshire Kind

Despite Tunstall’s stream of eye-glazing ‘look-at-us-the-market-leader’ press releases one has to admire the genius of its directors for maintaining the company in that position.

Being a market leader has both advantages and dangers. Strengths and weaknesses are two sides of the coin. Generally, some of the sources of failure for market leaders include… (more…)