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

A: Wearable sensors can play a major role in predicting, preventing or monitoring the progression of an ailment. They can be used to track people with dementia or Alzheimer's that wander, they can monitor weight, gait and activity which are all indicato... (more)

Answer written • Mar 19 Q: We’ve got a new wearable that we believe has a lot of potential to help seniors manage a chronic condition. It’s worked well in our in-house testing so far–but how do we find volunteers outside the company to test our product?

A: This is a difficult one for any startup in product development, but you're right to focus on it as it's crucial to get authentic feedback from users without any bias. In the several startups I've been a part of, the most effective way of finding test... (more)

Answer written • Mar 17 Q: Does the move to value-based care make it easier or harder for care providers to adopt digital health solutions?

A: The shift to value-based care happening now places financial incentive on healthcare providers to seek demonstrable positive health outcomes in their patients, so it's a shift that opens doors for digital health solutions. It means startups have a tr... (more)

Answer written • Jan 17 Q: How can VR devices like the Oculus Rift be used in healthcare?

A: Virtual reality systems are just starting to be used in healthcare, but patients and providers are already seeing results. In a hospital setting, VR can be used to figuratively get patients out of their hospitals beds and ease the boredom and anxiety... (more)

Answer written • Jan 4 Q: How do I develop products that will actually be adopted by the 50+?

A: As with any other product, designers and developers have to always keep their end user in mind. If the product is intended for use by older adults, they should be asking questions like, "Is the text large enough to be seen without reading glasses?" "... (more)

Answer written • Dec 28 Q: Is technology bringing back the concept of doctor house calls?

A: Yes- while house calls may seem outdated, they are actually a great option to help older adults and others with mobility issues to get the care they need. They don't miss appointments due to lack of transportation, and they avoid the stress that can ... (more)

Answer written • Dec 6 Q: What do caregivers think about wearable sensors?

A: Wearable technology has been developed to alert caregivers when their patient or loved one gets out of bed (“wanders”), if they fall, or if their behavior is out of the ordinary. This means that a caregiver can leave the room, run an errand, or g... (more)

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 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)


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