Put Me In Coach: Wearables in Professional Sports

Lisa-Suennen-photoThe following post first ran on Venture Valkyrie on April 10.

Old School Song by John Fogerty, Creedence Clearwater Revival: Put me in coach, I’m ready to play…

New School Response by Warriors Coach Steve Kerr: Well, you’re biometric readings tell me you need a rest….

So if you’re me, and lots of other people I know, this is the best time of the year – a virtual harmonic convergence of orgiastic sports joy.  I can watch back-to-back baseball and basketball and, since I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, I get to root for some pretty great home teams: Go Giants! Go Warriors! If you need me, just look for the remote control as it is glued to my hand as I switch between games. (more…)

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My Letter to Santa

Lisa-Suennen-photoThe following post originally appeared on author Lisa Suennen’s blog Venture Valkyrie.

Dear Santa,

imagesI’m writing to you with my Christmas wish list. I realize that I am a little over the typical age limit for this activity, but I am pretty short so maybe I can still pass for a kid? I also know that, as a venture capitalist, I may automatically default to the “naughty list.” But I am an eternal optimist and I’m hoping that the social value inherent in investing in healthcare instead of video games and drones can help me put a few points on the Santa board.

Here’s to hoping that my wishes will be fulfilled, For what it’s worth, I will be listening for Rudolph et al on Christmas Eve, cookies at the ready. I make really good cookies. Here’s my list, in no particular order:

1. Great companies with rational valuations –I know it’s hoping for a lot, particularly the latter part, but hey, it never hurts to ask. (more…)

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TBT: Announcing the 16 Disruptive Women to Watch in 2016

DW Women to Watch 2016 LogoBack in mid-October we announced our Disruptive Women to Watch in 2016. If you haven’t already take some time to get to know them and then be on the lookout for them and their work on 2016, we know they won’t disappoint!

All of our 16 Disruptive Women to Watch in 2016 personify DW’s mission “to serve as a platform for provocative ideas, thoughts, and solutions in the health sphere.” To learn more about each one, click here.

Congratulations to all the Disruptive Women to Watch in 2016!

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The Future 100 from JWT – Health Is Everywhere in 2016

Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

Today’s post first ran on Health Populi on December 9.

Food + Drink, Beauty, Tech + Innovation, Retail, Lifestyle…JWT pulls out their crystal ball for 2016, and I see health, everywhere.

JWT-Future-100_FINAL_COVER-HR-300x194The Future 100 – Trends and Change to Watch in 2016 is J. Walter Thompson Intelligence Innovation Group’s annual trend forecast, which I highly value and mine each year to help THINK-Health continue to hone our own environmental analyses for health and healthcare. [Here’s what I wrote one year ago about JWT’s 2015 forecast].

Health is baked into JWT’s 2016 trendscape, well beyond their “Health” chapter. (more…)

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December Man of the Month: David Shaywitz, MD, PhD

d shaywitzDavid Shaywitz is a man of many talents.  He serves as Chief Medical Officer for DNAnexus; writes for Forbes and other publications; is a visiting scientist at Harvard Medical School in the area of biomedical informatics and is also involved in the Center for Assessment Technology and Continuous Health (CATCH), and, of course, he hosts the Tech Tonics podcast with me, Lisa Suennen.  I’m so delighted to help feature David as the Man of the Month and to offer this interview, which shows the many different sides of this brilliant and loving man.

How do you define yourself?

I don’t really define myself through any one role.  Rather, I see myself as combining two very different impulses.  On the one hand I’m an integrative thinker seeking to get the 30,000 foot view of the world and identify the key trends; essentially I see this as pulling the “so what” out of different experiences.  On the other hand, I really don’t live entirely in the world of the mind.  I love the operational execution and implementation of ideas and especially the incredibly exciting and messy process of going from initial idea to real world impact. (more…)

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Introducing RecycleHealth.com

130123_10177_phcm137.jpgWith the abundance of wearable activity trackers currently available, it has never been easier to track steps and other health indicators. Currently 21% of US online adults use wearable activity trackers (Forrester Research). The pace of innovation in devices and the relative affluence of many purchasers lead to frequent upgrades to new devices, and to abandonment. One study found that 1/3 of devices are no longer used after 6 months (Endeavour Partners). Given current sales, there are conservatively millions of devices sitting in drawers. With the cost of these devices out of the reach of many, RecycleHealth.com was founded to give a second life to unused wearable activity trackers. (more…)

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Telehealth under alternative payment models

Susan Philip

The post below originally ran on Milliman, Inc. on November 23.

Telehealth, as a modality of delivering healthcare services, is growing in terms of acceptance and adoption. There are a few key drivers for this dynamic: (1) consumer demand for convenient access to care; (2) availability of lower-cost telehealth technologies; (3) clinician comfort and willingness to provide certain services remotely; and (4) evolving payment models that seek to incentivize value and better population health.

Evolving payment models reflect the need to mitigate perverse incentives for the unnecessary healthcare utilization, waste, and inefficiencies that are inherent in a volume-based payment system, such as fee-for-service Medicare. Both private and public sector purchasers, such as Medicare, state Medicaid programs, and employers, are in the midst of testing and scaling alternative value-based models. Under these payment models, there are opportunities for telehealth adoption to the extent it encourages efficiencies in the system. Examples include: (more…)

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Social Determinants Impact Health More Than Health Care

Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

imageToday’s post first ran on Health Populi on November 9.

The factors of where people are born, live, work and age — social determinants — shape human health more than health care. Yet in the U.S. much more resource per capita is funneled into healthcare services than into social ones.

Beyond Health Care: The Role of Social Determinants in Promoting Health and Health Equity was published by The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured in November 2015, calling attention to the opportunity and wisdom of baking health into all public policy.

The social determinants of health (SDOH) include economic stability, the physical environment and neighborhood, education, food, community and social context, and the health care system, shown in the second exhibit. (more…)


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The New Rules of Fight Club, as Written by Women

Lisa-Suennen-photoThe post below originally ran on Venture Valkyrie on November 18.

BB8PORT.jpge204a4df-b817-46ad-a795-355912fc5e70OriginalIf you have any doubt that women’s roles are becoming more important in the workplace, look no further than the upcoming new Star Wars film. In the film, the main robot character, BB-8, has been designed to be female, according to news reports…and not just female, but pivotal to the plot and strong in character.

I love this new twist on Star Wars, as it occurs to me that it is our national standard to default to assuming most things are male, especially robots and CEOs, unless they are pink and purple and frilly. But most of the strong, fierce and successful women I know are neither pink nor purple nor frilly but are far closer to BB-8: curvy perhaps, but strong in character and pivotal to the plot. More often than not, they dress in black like the ninjas they are.Female-Ninja-ninjas-34049725-600-451

I read this story about BB-8 while on my way home from a retreat with a group of very senior female healthcare leaders.  It’s an organized group who meet once a year to share thoughts, stories, encouragement and support. (more…)

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Re-Imagining the Life Sciences & Research: A New Disruptive Women in Health Care Series

Robin Strongin

When I think of the value of the Precision Medicine Initiative that President Obama announced earlier this year, the money involved isn’t the first thing that comes to mind (although over $200 million in proposed dollars to entities like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute are worth cheering).  Actually, the focus on precision medicine provides a tremendous opportunity to take a step back and consider the future of research, medicine and the life sciences.

That’s exactly what we’re going to be doing over the next several days here in the Disruptive Women in Health Care space.   Experts from a variety of health related sectors and with diverse perspectives are going to be sharing their views on “Re-Imagining the Life Sciences and Research.”  We need discussions like this because, while the potential in this field is truly breathtaking and difficult to fully comprehend, there are critical unanswered questions. (more…)

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Meet Disruptive Woman to Watch: Anne Wojcicki

Anne_Wojcicki_IMG_5679_A_2The success of the Human Genome Project, over a decade ago, created a foundation from which science and the practice of medicine could be revolutionized, enabling greater knowledge about human health and new insights into the origins and nature of complex diseases.  For genomic research to reach its full potential, however, requires the vision and energy of pioneers who can democratize the science and give it profound, everyday meaning for the population at large.

Anne Wojcicki, the founder and CEO of 23andMe, is one of those pioneers.  She is also a Disruptive Woman to Watch for 2016.

Wojcicki, who had spent years investing in innovative healthcare companies, saw the decoding of the human genome and realize it presented an opportunity to bring a new degree of empowerment to patients and healthcare consumers. (more…)

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Meet Disruptive Woman to Watch: Elizabeth Gore

elizabeth-gore2The United Nations is committed to the idea that the health and well-being of people throughout the world can be significantly improved through a vibrant expansion of entrepreneurship.  In fact, it is one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals that all of the world’s citizens should have free and equal work through job creation and entrepreneurship, with a goal of creating 600 million new employment opportunities worldwide by the year 2025.  The task of translating that goal into action falls upon leaders like Elizabeth Gore.

Let’s strike the term “falls upon” and replace it with “is enthusiastically embraced by,” because that’s the spirit Gore brings to her efforts to make an impact on the global stage.

Gore is Entrepreneur-in-Residence for technology giant Dell.  Her job title has a far different meaning today, or at least in the way she performs her responsibilities, than it has in the past. (more…)

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Meet Disruptive Woman to Watch: Susan DeVore

Susan-DeVore-president-and-CEO-Bio-Photograph2In the continual quest to develop a healthcare system that delivers higher quality and better patient outcomes at lower costs, experts would do well to turn their sights to Charlotte, North Carolina.

Charlotte is the home of the Premier, Inc., an alliance of approximately 3,400 hospitals in the United States and over 100,000 other healthcare providers, including nursing homes, community hospitals, surgery centers and physician offices.  Under the direction of president and CEO Susan DeVore, a Disruptive Woman to Watch for 2016, Premier is transforming patient care in this country from the inside.

With such a large membership base, Premier is in an ideal position to demonstrate the value of data sharing and collaborative innovation.  In a healthcare system that is frequently criticized for its fragmented nature, DeVore and her organization are proving that the sharing of ideas and information is good for both patients and the financial bottom line. (more…)

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Thoughts on the Digital Health Gold Rush

Lisa-Suennen-photoThe post below was originally published on Venture Valkyrie.

In 1998 I was forming my first venture fund with a focus on healthcare IT and healthcare services. It was an interesting time to be undertaking such a mission. The Internet boom was in full swing and the money was flooding away from healthcare. Few were yet talking about rising healthcare costs the disastrous state of healthcare errors, or the need to share data to improve the management of chronic disease, much less the operating efficiency of payers or providers. One seasoned VC, whose firm was in the process of laying off all of its healthcare partners in 1998, told me that my firm’s strategy was “quaint.” In other words, maybe I should consider a career in plastics.

237e2d6Fast forward 17 years and the times have changed, to say the least. Everyone is talking about the fiscal crisis wrought by healthcare cost escalation. Even at cocktail parties you can hear people discussing mishaps they have experienced while colliding with our dysfunctional healthcare industry. And in a particular twist, healthcare IT, or its new more hipster moniker, digital health, has become THE place to invest for many. (more…)

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Disruptive Woman to Watch says there’s one simple problem with our healthcare system

The following was written by Kevin Loria and was published in Tech Insider on September 2nd. You can see the original article here. Elizabeth Holmes was one of Disruptive Women’s 2015 Women to Watch.

Billionaire founder of Theranos says there’s one simple problem with our healthcare system

elizabeth-holmesThe basic problem with our healthcare system, according to Elizabeth Holmes, the billionaire founder of the blood testing company Theranos, is that we diagnose disease in the wrong way.

As she explains in a recent video on Makers, a web documentary site that tells the stories of women leaders, “If you look up the word ‘diagnose’ in the dictionary, it’ll say ‘to determine the presence of disease from its signs and symptoms.’”

But as Holmes has pointed out many times, once signs of disease are clearly visible, it’s often too late to cure an illness, or at the very least outside the ideal window for effective treatment. (more…)

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