Health is considered to be one of the largest economy boosters in the world. In the US alone the industry is worth over $3 Million dollars. Universities like Harvard, Northwestern and Duke offer online courses and hackathons that tackle the mix of entrepreneurship and health, and governments are pushing and supporting the entrepreneurs’ creation and innovative solutions.
Health data analysis and transparency, fitness tracking, self-measurement, IoT devices, and more, are some of the developments we’ve seen and that will continue to evolve as the industry shifts and breaks its old-fashioned status.
In an effort to improve the Health industry, the Techstars Healthcare Accelerator, in partnership with Cedars-Sinai, was launched this year and is a collaboration to help today’s technology innovators turn their ideas into breakthroughs that can improve the lives of patients around the world.
What are you most excited about for your upcoming event?
The idea of contributing to fostering innovation in a sector that tends to be very conservative makes us really excited! And seeing Health professionals thrilled by the idea of experimenting the entrepreneurial way of life and of contributing to the future of their industry makes us really happy.
What makes this Edition interesting?
Startup Weekend Tours e-Health edition is the fourth Startup Weekend we are organizing here in Tours. We had been thinking about it for a long time but now it seems that this is a good timing to focus on this Edition for several reasons:
- The French national dynamic on e-Health is more favorable than ever.
- The eHealth ecosystem is structuring (particularly around an association called eHealthTech France that brings together more than a hundred of French startups operating in the e-health industry).
- The launching of a public investment fund for « the future of Medicine” is encouraging.
- Julien Dargaisse who founded InterviewApp, a startup which helps over 1 000 organizations in France and abroad to optimize the performance of their recruitment process through a one-way video interviewing technology. He also created a non-profit organization named Palo Altours, which aims at fostering the innovation community here in Tours.
- Rodrigo Reyes who founded Orthoscribe, a startup which helps speech-language pathologists to transcribe their sessions reports.
- Julien Boulanger, a videast and photographer at Bereflex.
- Marie Cottu who founded Adbok Design, a design studio.
- Alexis Gandubert, who founded Smartvitale, a startup operating in the health field with his Vitale card (our National Health Insurance card) reader.
- Rémi Toisier, who work for a regional delegation of the French State in charge of digital transition, GIP Recia.
- Marie Gassie, co-founder along with Julien Dargaisse of both InterviewApp and Palo Altours!!
We are really delighted to help Techstars grow the Startup Weekend community year after year and get ready because we’ll have a yoga session during the event.
As one of the proud community leaders of Startup Weekend Pittsburgh, I believe that our events bring out the best in our community. We’re the ones who teach others to stand at the edge and leap head-on into the unknown. We encourage people to listen to our city’s problems, create solutions, and iterate them if they don’t work out.
However, I think we sometimes get a little caught up in the glory of the startup world and forget about the pressing needs that are surround us at all times. Pittsburgh’s certainly a city on the rise, but it’s a city with a lot of work to do as well.
All proceeds go entirely to 412 Food Rescue, a non-profit initiative to reuse unsellable food and convert them into healthy, delicious meals for our community’s hungry. The event will take place at The Livermore in East Liberty on July 25th from 7pm to midnight.
Here are 7 figures that motivate our entrepreneurial efforts to curb this very serious problem (facts and figures mostly extracted from Feeding America):
That’s the percent of people who live in Allegheny County who are “food insecure,” or are unable to feed themselves adequately. That seems small, but here’s another number.
The number of people who are food insecure in Allegheny County. You could almost fill Heinz Stadium three times over with that many people.
How many children are food insecure in Allegheny County. That’s greater than the capacity of PNC Park.
How much an average healthy meal costs in our region.
How much it would cost to eradicate hunger in Allegheny County every year.
The price of a ticket to the Summer Harvest. Using 412 Food Rescue’s efficient, ecological approach, each person who attends this will be able to feed a family of suffering from hunger for an entire week.
The number of people it takes to make a difference.
As an entrepreneur and a community organizer, I am convinced of the power of a single individual to make a huge difference in their community. This is not idealism – such impacts happen all the time. After all…
If you’d also like to sponsor or donate, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for reading!
Lee Ngo is a community leader based in Pittsburgh, PA.
For our second “pre-event” leading up to our Health + Fitness Edition in NYC (the first being a ride with SoulCycle!), Startup Weekend NYC hosted a panel to discuss innovation and growth opportunities in the Healthcare Industry. This was a sold out event held at WeWork Soho Lounge, and included a group meditation facilitated by Buddhify. We were fortunate to be joined by:
- Derek Flanzraich: Founder and CEO of Greatist
- Dr. Bobby Green: VP of Clinical Strategy of Flatiron Health
- Calvin Hwang: CXO of CityMD
- Mike Kopko: Head of Business Development of Oscar Health Insurance
- Fon Powell: Founder of SALT (Sodium Analyte Level Test LLC)
After an hour of very lively discussion and facilitating questions from the attendees, we pulled together this list of 15 things that were most interesting points to come from the event:
- Healthcare is having a tremendous moment now!
- Surprisingly, numbers point to the reality that millennials are not any healthier than their age group was a generation ago.
- NYC is a “startup” startup-scene.
- Let’s get doctors doing more doctor stuff less administrative work.
- Opportunities around the “consumerization” of healthcare have never been so numerous and fantastic!
- NYC is offering startups incredible science and technology resources to build amazing Health tech solutions.
- It’s exciting to hear about how technology is completely changing how an entire industry is operating.
- I am not sure we are seeing another industry be so completely disrupted.
- Building a company in the healthcare space is challenging but knowing those unique differences can make or break a company.
- Preventive health is a broader and more impactful approach to health living!
- We need to create partnerships in healthcare to help push prevention to the forefront of people mindset.
- An integrated view of health history is super important to provide consumers with the best tools to work with doctors.
- Healthcare very scattered, not enough focus on patients and patient care specifically. Data will change things!
- Responsibility around regulations and privacy is very high.
- NYC offering next level tech talent and a great consumer base for consistent growth!
So what is a health startup weekend all about? Check out this montage from Australia’s First Startup Weekend held March 2015 in Brisbane Australia.
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Amazing. That was my reaction, and expect yours will be too, learning about the efforts of Dana Lewis and Scott Leibrand, true independent health innovators, on their closed-loop DIY Artificial Pancreas System (DIYPS). They began work on it in 2013, initially setting out to create a better glucose monitor alarm system–for example, one loud enough to wake someone before blood sugar dropped to dangerous levels. From that foundation, they set out to tackle “state-of-the-art medical technology that was stuck in the last century.”
After a full year of trial data (patient sample size: n=1… Dana herself) and lab-tests, they observed reduced eAG and A1Cs (tests which show blood glucose levels over the prior 3 months).
The DIYPS includes an insulin pump, and a cloud-connected continuous glucose monitor (with a receiver that auto-uploads).
From the DIYPS.org Blog:
#DIYPS was developed with the goal of solving a well-known problem with an existing FDA-approved medical device. As recounted here (from Scott) and here (from Dana), we set out to figure out a way to augment continuous glucose monitor (CGM) alerts, which aren’t loud enough to wake heavy sleepers, and to alert a loved one if the patient is not responding. We were able to solve those problems and include additional features such as:
- Real-time processing of blood glucose (BG), insulin on board, and carbohydrate decay
- Customizable alerts based on CGM data and trends
- Real-time predictive alerts for future high or low BG states (hours in advance)
- Continually updated recommendations for required insulin or carbs
…and as of December 2014, we ‘closed the loop’ and have #DIYPS running as a closed loop artificial pancreas.
The pair are looking for funding “to develop #DIYPS into a scalable system” to help make managing diabetes easier. FDA approval notwithstanding, it’s hard to imagine how an open-source biomedical technology could meet with anything but excitement by those in need of a solution.
Dana writes: “Scott and I are hoping that we can not only show the world how open source innovation and new regulatory paradigms can deliver safe and effective results… but that we can also change how all successful medical device companies approach interoperability, and how traditional medical researchers do research – possibly in partnership with patient researchers like us.”
This is the kind of creative energy that improves (and even saves) lives. Open Source/DIY technology is one kind of innovation that would be exciting to see at Health Startup Weekend in May. Personal necessity is often the wellspring of innovation. What will your legacy be?
The Wright Brothers were never top-ranked pilots. J. Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press, did not become a famous author or journalist. Philo Farnsworth never produced a TV series, though he invented the television. Stradivarius the Luthier did not achieve worldwide fame as a violinist.
Names forever associated with their Art– and they didn’t need to learn to fly loop-de-loops, or play in a concert hall. They are a part of all that was to come.
The shipwrights of HMS Victoria did not travel with Magellan. Surgical tool engineers are not surgeons. Industrial designers of microphones and mixers tend not to have gold records or top ten hits.
So few ever learn the names of the craftsmen, the innovators, yet they too were a part of all that was to come from their efforts.
How much would never have happened, if not for people such as these? It’s unknowable.
And thus what they’ve produced for the world is beyond calculation.
Come join us at Startup Weekend Health.
What will your legacy be?
Katrine Marthinsen works with Startup Weekend in Bergen, Norway and manages much of the social media for those events. She also has a startup revolving around health and fitness, making her the perfect facilitator for this year’s Startup Weekend Aarhus Health.
Earlier today we took a few minutes with Katrine to ask her about her experiences with entrepreneurship, Startup Weekends, and how she sees her role as an event facilitator.
“I think the benefit of a Startup Weekend is that participants get to play with ideas in a totally safe and supportive environment,” explains Katrine. “This gives participants the chance to learn new skills and test their ideas.”
However, Startup Weekends aren’t all about simply playing with ideas. The intention is that participants develop their ideas into a working business.
“I’ve had cases where participants end up quitting their job and just starting up because things worked so well with their team,” Katrine explains. “I remember one team where they all ended up moving to the same city to work full-time on their business, which still exists today and is really going strong.”
Katrine is also quick to point out that she doesn’t believe there is a simple recipe for making a team work. However, she does believe there are some traits common to successful groups.
“You need to be committed to the idea and be passionate about it. That is the number one thing you need,” says Katrine. “So if the whole team has a similar vision of what this company could become after the Startup Weekend, I think that is always a good starting point.”
While having an idea that your team is passionate about is important, having the skills to execute the idea in practice is equally as vital according to Katrine.
“For this you need a team with diverse skills,” she explains. “You need someone with business skills, someone who knows how to market it, someone who knows how to develop it, and someone who can manage the team so they can use their skills properly.”
As a Startup Weekend facilitator, Katrine doesn’t just see herself as a motivator, she believes it is part of her job to help the teams see the long-term potential in their ideas.
“One of my jobs as a facilitator is to make them dream about what they can do with their ideas and help them build a community around them.”
Katrine stresses the idea of building a community quickly around an idea and not being afraid to share the idea by networking. She points out that this is one of the reasons teams are encouraged to pitch their ideas frequently. The teams are also encouraged to validate their ideas, which is one of the requirements for the event judges at a Startup Weekend.
In fact, Startup Weekend has three criteria that participants have to meet when presenting their ideas to the judges.
“The first of these is validation,” Katrine explains. “The teams have to go out and get feedback from the people who might use their service or product.”
The second criteria is that the teams need to have a business model so the judges can see how they plan to make money. The last criteria is execution.
“Execution is the most important of the criteria,” Katrine explains. “Without an idea you can’t build a business model. But a business model can only work by being executed.”
Meaning that the teams need to be at the stage where they have made a prototype of their product that can test quickly on the market.
Katrine also sees her role as a facilitator as passing on the beliefs behind Startup Weekend.
“Ultimately, I want the teams to succeed and have a good experience,” Katrine says. “The mission of Startup Weekend is to educate people about entrepreneurship so that they can also realise what they can achieve in as little as 54 hours at a Startup Weekend.”
At the time of writing this post, the teams at this year’s Startup Weekend Aarhus Health have been working for almost 24 hours. It is already apparent that Katrine has gone a long way to achieving what she wants as a facilitator. The teams are working hard, have validated their ideas, and many of them are already preparing prototypes ready for presenting to the judges tomorrow.
Sunday night at The Dallas Entrepreneur Center, Dallas Startup Weekend finished up on it’s first ever health focused event. Entrepreneurs, developers, designers and health professionals from all around the Dallas/Fort Worth area came together to build products, services and applications focused on improving health and healthcare.
Among the amazing list of other ideas Virtual Visit, Health Record Trust and ReLyf took home top prizes during the weekend.
3rd Place: ReLyf
Helping doctors provide a more personal touch to visits, by giving them the ability to quickly look up current patient information before entering the exam room.
2nd Place: Health Record Trust
Health Record Trust provides a software service to remove personally identifiable information from EHR health records and deliver HIPAA-compliant data to meet your research needs.
1st Place: Virtual Visit
Virtual Visit provides a new way for families to track and understand the day to day lives of family members living in skilled nursing facilities. Whether it’s keeping track of doctor visits, meals or just general satisfaction, through the use of an end-user focused mobile application.
Rather that looking to the facilities for revenue, Virtual Visit is giving an incentive the facility employees who use the app, then transferring the cost to the family. Doing this allows the app to be included in various packages that the facility may offer to new residents.
For winning, Virtual Visit has access to $24,000 in hosting credits with SoftLayer, $1,000 of production credits with True Vault (a HIPAA compliant data storage API), one month of residence at the Addison Treehouse, Consulting time with lawyers at Stewart Courington and will be presenting at Dallas New Tech, next month.
The Startup Weekend sprint can be a bit of a grind, so to give all the teams a much needed break, the Dallas organizers hosted the first ever Dallas Startup Weekend Table Tennis Tournament. Participants from each team competed for the coveted 3M Cup. Players signed up and a single elimination bracket was created. The event took only one hour, but gave participants a well deserved break while also creating a little camaraderie among the teams.
Dallas is primed for health and health technology innovation, and the ideas that came out of Startup Weekend Dallas: Health prove that there is not only a need but a passion to make great strides in the health industry as a whole.
Congratulations to all the teams who participated, it’s people like you who will make health and healthcare better for the future.
Photos from the event can be found on our flickr page. (which will be updated shortly)
Healthcare has seen impressive advances in technology but what might come as a surprise is the number of women whose research and investment lies behind them. Here are just five.
This post is written by Bonnie Boglioli-Randall and originally published on Women 2.0.
Women in technology may remain a minority, but that hasn’t stopped them from flocking to the fast-evolving landscape of health tech. Bringing their own brand of savoir-faire to address a variety of issues old and new, they innovate, problem-solve and collaborate to create uncommon opportunities.
Given their penchant for helping others and the voids to be filled that an industry in flux presents, it’s little wonder that there are more female-owned businesses in healthcare than any other single industry.
The women below represent a slice of those tackling obstacles in wide-ranging areas including digital health, wearables and biotech. Though they are as diverse as the technologies they stand behind, their shared passions urged them into new frontiers – carving out pathways for themselves, their peers and ultimately for healthcare consumers.
Co-Founder & CEO of Lumo BodyTech
Avid athlete and veteran entrepreneur Monisha Perkash has long known the benefits of a healthy posture. It wasn’t until technologist and back pain sufferer Andrew Chang discovered the rewards while taking classes from Perkash’s spinal physician husband that the light bulb went off in her head. “When I saw the profound impact that postural movement had on Andrew’s life,” she says, “I knew that Lumo BodyTech would be my next calling.”
Perkash and Chang joined forces with physician-turned-entrepreneur Charles Wang to found the company in Palo Alto in 2012. Following the success of a stellar crowdfunding campaign and its first wearable postural feedback product, the company’s second gen wearable – the sleeker, design-savvy and feature-laden Lumo Lift – is due out later this summer.
Like many women innovating in the health space, Perkash places an emphasis on heterogeneity. “I seek talent from a pool that extends beyond the typical start-up jockeys,” she explains. “Having a diversity of people is a competitive advantage because people who are different from one another bring more ideas to the table and challenge each other’s thinking.”1
VP of Operations at Mango Health
Leveraging her experience in the mobile gaming space, Caitlin Collins risked leaving an industry she knew well to join a budding health and wellness app targeting patients on a prescription and supplement regimen. She cites the diverse consortium of former game industry veterans, Googlers and healthcare platform developers as her biggest lure.
At Mango Health, Collins and crew whip up their gaming-meets-healthcare recipe to encourage deeper user engagement with medications vis-à-vis a slick smartphone app1. Seeking to decrease staggering prescription non-adherence rates with classic gaming incentives, Collins cites better patient outcomes as the inspiration behind everything she and her fellow Mangos do.
“We believe that if you are taking medication or supplements, you should be both motivated and proud to take them correctly,” says Collins. “That’s where better health starts for millions of us.”
M.D., Ph.D., CEO of OvaScience
Coupling scientific know-how with entrepreneurial acumen, Dr. Michelle Dipp may be young, but she is one of biotech’s leading female innovators. A decade ago while Dipp was still pursuing her degrees at Oxford University, the discovery of egg precursor cells challenged the consensus on women’s biological clocks.
Following a successful track record in R&D at GlaxoSmithKline, Dipp leveraged her entrepreneurial skills to co-found OvaScience in 2011. The company’s patented technology (which is still in development) utilizes a woman’s own precursor cells to greatly improve IVF success rates, particularly for women over the age of 35.
In addition to her role at OvaScience, Dipp thrives off the many hats she wears. Offering her insight to several healthcare advisory boards, she serves as a founding partner of the Longwood Fund which invests in healthcare companies.
Dipp is bullish on what her female counterparts can offer to science and biotechnology. “The list of female CEOs is growing within and outside of our industry,” says Dipp. “I believe that speaks to the wide-spread recognition of the abilities and accomplishments of so many women today.”
Co-Founder & CEO of SweetWater Health
Ronda Colliers pivoted away from her career as a senior director of engineering in the high tech sector in search of something fresh, challenging and altruistic. Cashing out old stock money to earn an M.A. in Psychology, Colliers studied the direct correlation between stress and our biochemistry. “Stress is the weak link in our chain,” explains Colliers. “90 percent of chronic diseases are related to it.”
Together with two fellow women geeks-turned-entrepreneurs, Colliers co-founded SweetWater Health in 2011. The company’s smartphone app helps uber athletes and everyday Janes alike monitor and manage their stress by tracking heart rate variability (HRV).
Colliers and others believe that HRV sheds light onto how we cope with stress, and may be a key indicator for a range of additional health issues. To Colliers, SweetWater Health’s bottom line extends beyond their financials. “We know we’re going to be successful any way we look at it,” she says. “We’re doing something good for people.”
Founder & CEO of Theranos
The tale of the 19-year-old prodigy Stanford dropout who applied for a patent on a wearable patch that administered drugs and monitored the bloodstream is fast becoming Silicon Valley lore. Recognizing that advancements in old-fashioned phlebotomy could provide early diagnosis and detection along with greatly reduced healthcare costs and increased consumer access, Elizabeth Holmes is turning health diagnostics on its head.
Now 30, Holmes leads the helm of the company she founded in 2003 with technology that is considered revolutionary. Using infinitesimal amounts of blood compared to traditional draws, Theranos provides quick, efficient and full bloodwork results for hundreds of tests that can be run in combination, thus eliminating trips to the lab. The company also provides full cost transparency along with price tags that are a small fraction of typical hospital lab charges.
“We’re building the first consumer healthcare technology company,” Holmes told the Wall Street Journal last year. “Patients are empowered by having better access to their own health information, and then by owning their own data.” Expect to see Holmes’ brainchild at a Walgreens near you soon, where Americans from coast to coast will have access to fast, affordable lab testing for the first time ever.