Longevity Network
  • Mar 17, 2018
  • Sarah Flink

Q: How are wearable sensors currently being used in healthcare?

To put this question in perspective, Apple recently reported that wearables were their second strongest revenue driver in the 4th quarter of 2017, and healthcare is at the center of almost wearable initiative Apple is pursuing. There are already products on the market to monitor everything from heart murmurs to changes in text habits indicative of a behavioral health decline. It’s a really exciting time to be working in wearables, because–as Patrick Bertagna said below–wearables have the potential to shift healthcare from being reactive to proactive.


more information

  • Mar 18, 2018
  • Christopher Hale, Founder

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 testmore information

  • Mar 17, 2018
  • Kirsten Straydom, Principal

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. more information

  • Mar 17, 2018
  • Hilary Lefebvre, The Longevity Network

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 information

  • Oct 02, 2017
  • Jeffrey Fry, CEO/President

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 themore information

  • Aug 23, 2017
  • Jeffrey Fry, CEO/President

Q: Why do investors care so much about CAC (cost of customer acquisition)?

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 situamore information

  • Dec 06, 2017
  • Soo-Jin Imani, Product Engineering Group Director

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 errandmore information

  • Dec 28, 2017
  • Sam Averill, Graduate Student

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 canmore information

  • Jan 17, 2018
  • Maya Lindsey, CIO

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 information

  • Oct 02, 2017
  • Jeffrey Fry, CEO/President

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.more information

  • Aug 23, 2017
  • Hilary Lefebvre, The Longevity Network

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

According to Lisa Suennen in her Investor Spotlight Q&A for The Longevity Network, she is constantly telling entrepreneurs who come and pitch her that consumers are very rarely willing to pay out of pocket for healthcare products. “Consumers expect insurance to pay for healthcare products and services and they do not typically make long-term investments in their own health,” she says. “It’s unfortunate but true.”


more information

  • Mar 18, 2018
  • Rachel Neifeld, Dietitian

Q: How can mobile health apps empower consumers?

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 synced blood pressure cuffs, blood glucose monitors, and scales. This places valuable data in the hands of the patient providing them with greater insight into their health and progress towards their personal goals. Patients are not completely on their own, though, as telemedicine apps such as Fruit Street Health provide communication with the patient’s HCP via in-app messaging and video conferencing to provide guidance, support, and medical intervention as needed.

more information

  • Sept 19, 2017
  • Marguerite Manteau-Rao, Co-Founder of Neurocern

Q: How can personalized healthcare be used at the consumer level?

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 indicatomore information

  • Aug 18, 2017
  • Maya Lindsey, CIO

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

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 indicatomore information

  • Aug 23, 2017
  • Aimee Adamec, Sr Director, Product

Q: How can technology be used in behavioral health care?

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, shared and seamlessly integrated into practice. This is new way of thinking and being for many clinicians and could benefit greatly from the effective use of technology. As for BH care, it has been largely siloed and the separation has resulted in suboptimal outcomes especially with respect to chronic disease. Bringing BH needs and treatment under the umbrella of total patient care is necessary to effectively battle rising health care costs. Hopefully at some point separating the mind from the body will seem as foolish as separating the heart from the body.


more information

  • Mar 18, 2018
  • Hilary Lefebvre, The Longevity Network

Q: How can VR devices like the Oculus Rift be used in healthcare?

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 that some patients can experience. VR can even provide pain relief, for example successful VR experiences have been created that let viewers walk through a world of ice or snow for burn victims.

VR can also be used as part of the treatment plan for patients with Alzheimer’s. Efforts like The Wayback project are recreating life experiences older adults may have had to help them connect to their past. Sometimes even walking through a calm environment, like a sunny meadow, can help calm agitated dementia patients.

These are just a few examples of the ways VR is being used in healthcare, but the industry is really just beginning to explore the possibilities.

more information

  • Sept 22, 2017
  • Soo-Jin Imani, Product Engineering Group Director

Q: What do caregivers think about wearable sensors?

more information

  • Sept 27, 2017
  • Maya Lindsey, CIO

How do I develop products that will actually be adopted by the 50+?

As with any other product, designers and developers have to always keep their end user in mind. If the product is in5ended for use by older adults, they should be asking questions like, “Is the text large enough to be seen without reading glasses?” “Are the buttons big enough for people who may have limited dexterity?” “Can my interface be understood by someone who hasn’t used a computer their entire life?” One way to make sure your team is considering the user experience of older adults is to get them involved in the design process! Some companies and organizations have paired with retirement communities to great success. It’s an experience that can be beneficial to the company, and the residents.


more information

  • Oct 26, 2017
  • Phac Le Tuan, CEO

Q: Are fitness trackers on their way out?

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, 5capturing more data about our physical activities over time.

The data trackers provide is too valuable for many reasons, even though the data set might be sparse, as there will be occasions when people would not wear them for any reason.
There are big data techniques to work around such missing data, and altogether, the fitness trackers will provide the context by which other health related measurements (such as vitals, but also medication compliance, lifestyle choices, etc…) will be interpreted in order to obtain a better understanding of the determinants of health of each individual patient.


more information

  • Aug 23, 2017
  • Jeffrey Fry, CEO/President

Q: Does HIPAA apply to devices like Alexa?

more information

  • Aug 23, 2017
  • Jeffrey Fry, CEO/President

Q: Why do investors care so much about CAC (cost of customer acquisition)?

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 prepared to just walk away.

more information

  • Mar 17, 2018
  • Kirsten Straydom, Principal

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

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 tremendous opportunity if they can demonstrate measurable value to a care provider.

The tricky part for providers comes down to interoperability–how to integrate all these different platforms and products into one system practitioners can use. How to bill for it through insurance is less of a roadblock than the arduous process of training all healthcare personnel on a new platform that might only manage one type of condition or one type of patient. Still, if interoperability can be solved, the potential remains huge for digital health solutions to change the face of healthcare and deliver positive health outcomes and the data to prove it.


more information

  • Aug 21, 2018
  • Nick Baily, The Longevity Network

Do older consumers want to learn how to use new technology?

more information

  • Sept 25, 2017
  • Jeffrey Fry, CEO/President

Q: What are some pain points of caregiving?

more information

  • Aug 22, 2018
  • Hilary Lefebvre, The Longevity Network

Q: Where are the pain points for seniors who want to age in place?

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 other family members are asleep, it can be extremely dangerous.


more information

  • Aug 23, 2017
  • Jeffrey Fry, CEO/President

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?

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 they know a lot) about, and 2) even if you have a compelling story that is understandable, they are not going to take a chance on a product / service that they do not feel warm and fuzzy about. Having to educate an investor is just a royal waste of time.

more information

  • Sept 22, 2018
  • Dr. Mylea Charvat, CEO & Founder of Savonix

Q: At this point, are mobile healthcare apps more novel than useful?

more information

  • Aug 23, 2017
  • Lauren Mitchell, The Longevity Network

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?

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 have no real way to prevent or reverse it yet. Moreover, it’s a need that is likely to get more and more acute as the global population becomes more and more urbanized and particulate air pollution worsens. This is going to be amplified yet again by the increasing longevity experienced by a number of countries. “…[T]hose countries will have a large, aging population bearing the burden of this lifetime of exposure.”

more information

  • Dec 01, 2017
  • Brenda Schmidt, CEO

Q: What startup accelerators exist that have a stated focus on healthcare?

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 information

  • Aug 23, 2017
  • Lauren Mitchell, The Longevity Network

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

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 products”. His advice was to find mentors with experience in your field to help set a realistic timeline.

more information

  • Sept 29, 2017
  • Sam Averill, Graduate Student

Q: Is technology bringing back the concept of doctor house calls?

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 come with leaving the house. Companies like Heal, Dose Healthcare, and Doctors Making House Calls are using technology to let patients schedule on-demand house calls, and to coordinate doctors’ schedules.


more information

  • Aug 26, 2017
  • Hilary Lefebvre, The Longevity Network

Q: Why are there so few unicorns in the health startup sector?

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 true collaboration), extensive regulation hurdles and the pesky problem of who pays. But they also include various accounts of unreasonable or misguided expectations among investors. Some of our coverage has included pondering why there are so few digital health ‘unicorns’ and why that measure of success itself is out of step with healthcare innovation.


more information

  • Mar 17, 2018
  • Sarah Flink

Q: How are wearable sensors currently being used in healthcare?

To put this question in perspective, Apple recently reported that wearables were their second strongest revenue driver in the 4th quarter of 2017, and healthcare is at the center of almost wearable initiative Apple is pursuing. There are already products on the market to monitor everything from heart murmurs to changes in text habits indicative of a behavioral health decline. It’s a really exciting time to be working in wearables, because–as Patrick Bertagna said below–wearables have the potential to shift healthcare from being reactive to proactive.


more information

feature block image 3feature block image 3
Close