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Answer written • Oct 10 Q: What startup accelerators exist that have a stated focus on healthcare?

A: I am involved in the Cedars Sinai Healthcare Accelerator sponsored by TechStars as a mentor. They provide access to thought leaders at Cedars Sinai and a small amount of capital during an intensive a 3-month program.... (more)

Answer written • Oct 21 Q: How can technology be used in behavioral health care?

A: Technology can bring value to BH in two ways, first by bringing data to inform treatment and second by integrating BH care into the holistic care of the patient. For evidence-based treatments to be widely adopted, the data has to be gathered, share... (more)

Answer written • Oct 20 Q: How are wearable sensors currently being used in healthcare?

A: Heres a great article to open doors to the new world "According to Deepak Prakash, Vancive Medical Technologies, wearable medical technology is opening new healthcare frontiers. Skin-worn patches present one path to remotely and accurately capture... (more)

Answer written • Oct 11 Q: At this point, are mobile healthcare apps more novel than useful?

A: This question was sent to me for a perspective today and as I type this answer I am in a room at the California Precision Medicine meeting. A few minutes ago Brennen Spiegel, MD, MSHS, of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, presented on the use of wear... (more)

Answer written • Oct 11 Q: How can mobile health apps empower consumers?

A: Mobile health apps empower consumers by allowing them to self-manage their health and have more control over their own outcomes. Patients can track their health through use of wearable devices such as Fitbit, virtual food journals, and digitally syn... (more)

Answer written • Aug 23 Q: Why are there so few unicorns in the health startup sector?

A: Recently on The Longevity Network, we’ve covered various opinions on why digital health startups often face a much harder road than their counterpart consumer tech startups. Reasons range from an entrenched healthcare culture (including lack of tru... (more)

Answer written • Oct 2 Q: When pitching an investor, how much overview of the problem is appropriate or necessary for telling the company’s story? How do you determine how much base knowledge to assume?

A: Here is the #1 lesson I have learned in pitching my 10 other startups. If you have to "educate" and investor, do not even bother pitching. Why? Most (like 99%) of investors will NOT invest in a segment they do not know a LOT (or at least think the... (more)

Answer written • Aug 23 Q: Why do investors care so much about CAC (cost of customer acquisition)?

A: I totally agree with Nick's assessment below. Low CAC is vital on how fast you can grow, and actually, as you get larger, the CAC should get less. But also to the point, when you can prove a low CAC, most investors will not believe you, so be prepa... (more)

Answer written • Aug 22 Q: Does HIPAA apply to devices like Alexa?

A: Caution: There is not such thing a being "HIPPA" compliant in the sense that you get a certificate. You are compliant by following the guidelines set out in the HIPPA document, and if and when a breach does happen, you have a plan to rectify a situa... (more)

Answer written • Oct 2 Q: What are some pain points of caregiving?

A: OK, I am going to assume that this is about a family member taking care of a loved one. With that said, the most obvious and prevalent is that caregivers do NOT take care of themselves. In doing so, they quickly get burned out, and become ineffecti... (more)

Answer written • Aug 22 Q: Are there apps or other technology available now to help coordinate caregiving?

A: Yes, there a quite a few, but most involve wearable and remote monitoring. There are a few that deal with matching you with a caregiver, but the only one I know that deals with helping a family manage a loved ones care is In addi... (more)

Answer written • Sep 27 Q: Are fitness trackers on their way out?

A: I don't think so. They are here to stay, morphing into a variety of objects that people would be wearing without thinking about it, capturing more data about our physical activities over time. The data trackers provide is too valuable for many re... (more)

Answer written • Sep 22 Q: How can personalized healthcare be used at the consumer level?

A: Past and present health, age, gender, education, other socio-economic factors will influence my view of what I want and need in terms of personalized health care. All those characteristics can be mapped and ingested by an AI engine. Eventually person... (more)

Answer written • Aug 23 Q: How do you choose between a business model that sells direct-to-consumer versus one that sells to providers or payors?

A: Agree with Hilary. Patients expect their health insurance to pay for their health expenses. That being said, there are exceptions. I am thinking for instance of Lumosity. In that case, the company tapped into a deep-seated fear which in the consumers... (more)

Answer written • Aug 22 Q: Do older consumers want to learn how to use new technology?

A: Not to mention that the longevity economy includes a large number of Baby Boomers who are completely comfortable using technology in their day-to-day lives. These boomers will be the next wave of older consumers who not only want, but EXPECT to have ... (more)

Answer written • Aug 23 Q: We are about to take our product prototype and launch into developing it. What are the common pitfalls to watch for?

A: Anupam Pathak commented on this in his Entrepreneur of the Week interview for The Longevity Network. He said it’s really common to underestimate “the amount of time, effort, and planning required in early design is substantial for hardware produc... (more)

Answer written • Aug 23 Q: What do you see as the biggest growth opportunities in the 50+ economy?  Is there an area of the market that really isn’t being covered?

A: According to Alex Morgan in his Investor Spotlight Q&A for The Longevity Network, an underrepresented area is pulmonary problems. “Monotonically decreasing lung function” is already a problem most adults encounter as they age, he says, and we... (more)

Answer written • Aug 22 Q: Where are the pain points for seniors who want to age in place?

A: Wandering can also be a serious safety challenge for a person living with dementia, and major source of worry for their caregivers. This is difficult during the day, but if this happens in the middle of the night when it's dark and their caregiver or... (more)

Answer written • Aug 23 Q: What was the biggest mistake you made in your startup?

A: I didn’t insist that we outline everyone’s expectations in writing—and that goes especially for your co-founders. Even though we thought we had a verbal agreement on everyone’s role and it seemed clear cut, it led to there being a great deal ... (more)

Answer written • Aug 22 Q: Can smart speakers (Amazon Echo, Google Home, etc.) be used in Alzheimer’s care?

A: Smart speakers can’t replace human care and companionship, but they can be a helpful tool for an individual with dementia, and give caregivers some needed respite. They can be programmed to provide daily reminders and alarms to take medication, ch... (more)


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