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John Mattison, CMO, Kaiser Permanente, will speak at #TiEcon and at #HealthTechForum  

While he has pursued a wide range of activities in health and wellness, Dr. John Mattison, Chief Medical Officer at Kaiser Permanente, in his own words, is an “accidental informatist”.  Very early in his own practice and prior to joining Kaiser Permanente, Mattison implemented electronic record system at his family practice, in 1984.  Soon thereafter, he was drafted with a mandate to advance Health Information Technology, at Kaiser, and to advance health policy at both state and federal levels.

Mattison firmly believes that integrated care is extremely important, though he concedes that achieving it is not simple.  However, if you are a member of Kaiser then this oft-quoted example may not appear farfetched, where an optometrist was able to make a life saving intervention.  Apparently a woman went to an optometrist and optometrist noticed that she was due for her mammogram and helped schedule it for the same day, and her abnormality was caught in time.  Time and again I have had similar experiences (though not as dramatic), at Kaiser, where I would go in for a physical and they notice that I am due for a mamo or pap and seamlessly it is scheduled and completed, in one visit.

Mattison believes that available technology can enable health providers to make seamless, integrated care possible, whether it is through Electronic Medical Records, Big Data Analytics, Cloud Computing, Mobile Health Apps, or social gaming.  Mattison also firmly believes that patient engagement is the key to superior health outcomes.  (As a health services consumer, I would say that it is so much easier to be an empowered and engaged patient, when care is integrated and seamless).  Mattison’s objective is to harvest the exponential growth of knowledge about health and use it to help individuals become more engaged in their own health, and then to go a step further and engage communities in promoting health outcomes.

CrossCity Connect, Clinical Commissioning Grou...

CrossCity Connect, Clinical Commissioning Group Patient Engagement Event (Photo credit: podnosh)

Mattison is leading many innovative and exciting projects at Kaiser Permanente, with a potential to change the dialog on health.  He is also currently launching a project to transform how complex data sets including genomic, microbiomics, exposomics, socialomics, and phenomics can be transformed through visualization, into intuitive representations, that support shared decision making and enhanced patient engagement.  If any of this seems like a mouthful or too far-fetched then see below two great opportunities to hear him speak in May, 2014 at #TiEcon and at #HealthTechForum conference. – If you are a professional  in #healthIT, #digital health,  #internetofthings, #cloud, #bigdata or related, I would say this is the conference, you don’t want to miss – It offers a fabulous opportunity to network with 3000+ professionals and listen to top notch speakers and panelists.  You can register for #TiEcon (May 16 & 17 at Santa ClaraConvention Center) at link  as my guest & enter promo code tievalue to get $100 discount.

Healthtechnology Forum conference, focused on exploring pathways to sustainable health, is on May 20 in SF. Please register for the conference as my friend, with the discount code “HTF14-FriendOfOrganizer” and send me your first & last name at wd_darshana at hotmail dot com, to get $150 off the price of the ticket.  Also check out & participate in code-a-thon on patient engagement, for May 8.  Over 20K+ in prizes.

JOBS: are posted at the link




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Rapid Non-Invasive Treatment for Stroke

Dr. Mark Borsody, Founder and Chief Medical Officer at Nervive Inc, spoke about stroke healthcare, at event.

Stroke has been a #1 cause of severe disability, #2 cause of death in the world (responsible for more than 5 million deaths, each year), and it is 4th leading cause of death in the US.  About 800,000 people in the US have stroke, each year.  One American dies from stroke, about every 4 minutes.  In fact, stroke is responsible for putting the biggest healthcare burden, worldwide and the burden is likely to increase in the foreseeable future, said Dr. Borsody.  Stroke results from “plumbing problem”, in the brain.  Ischemic stroke is caused by blockage of a blood vessel due to reasons like thrombosis or arterial embolism.  Hemorrhagic stroke is caused by bleeding of blood vessels of the brain, either directly into the brain or into the surrounding brain tissue.

While treatment options for hemorrhagic stroke are limited, current treatment options for ischemic stroke include intravenous “clot busting” through tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) or through endovascular catheter devices for blood clot retrieval.  Worldwide, an estimated 180,000 tPA treatments are done every year and 22,000 clot retrieval treatments are done.

Microphotograph of HE stained section of human...

Microphotograph of HE stained section of human brain tissue upon acute ischemic stroke. Orgininal magnification 400x (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Honing in on the major problem, Dr. Borsody discussed why do so few patients with stroke receive timely treatment.  Timely intervention is the key for treatment of stroke.  Like all cells in the body, neurons and other brain cells require oxygen and glucose delivered through the blood in order to function and survive.  A few minutes of oxygen deprivation can kill millions of neurons.  Additionally, stroke can provoke inflammation, swelling (edema), and other processes that can continue the damage for hours or days after the initial attack.  However, often treatment of stroke within 60 minutes is very rare due to the time required for patient transportation and in-hospital evaluation.  Effective treatment for stroke can be simple, but it needs to be immediate.  So how come there aren’t many innovations to bring the treatment to the patient, even to buy them some time?

Nervive’s Vital Flow Stimulator is a simple device that is aimed at targeting the facial nerve behind the middle ear.  The objective is to control the cerebral arteries through the facial nerve, which regulates the function of the arteries.  It is comprised of 3-4 cm coil placed over the ear.  Magnetic fields readily penetrate any tissue and creates electrical currents in neural tissues, leading to axonal and soma depolarization.  Early indications are that it is effective in treating ischemic stroke and it is safe in ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke.  This device is moreover, simple enough to use without any special training.  Vital Flow complements other therapies and bring exponential benefits of rapid treatments.  The device will be inexpensive, portable, and extremely easy to transport in the ambulance.  The treatment can be administered within a few minutes.  Animal studies show increased blood flow after facial nerve stimulation and improvement in several measures after stroke.

Ending his talk, Dr. Borsody said, Nervive has a strong IP position, the technology is targeting a market with huge potential, and it is substantiated by preclinical and clinical science.  They are starting fund raising for series A round.  To emerge from the dark ages of stroke healthcare, we need some disruptive, out of box (out of hospital) thinking, said Dr Borsody.
Mark your calendars for following events……..

May, 6 – EPPIC will host Dr. Sarvajna Dwivedi, Founder, Pearl Therapeutics that was acquired by Astra Zeneca for $1.15B, last year.  Register at, @EPPIC_GLOBAL
May 16, 17 – #TiEcon 2014 will feature Healthcare Track to showcase and discuss new innovative technologies in Life Science and healthcare industries, @TiEcon
May, 2014 – Healthcare Code-a-thon will be hosted by @HealthTechForum
May 20, 2014 – “Pathways to Sustainable Health” conference hosted by
You can follow me on Twitter at @DarshanaN
Every Tuesday exciting speaker –


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Challenges and Opportunities in Developing Products for Older Adults

Health Tech Forum ( recently hosted a panel to discuss challenges and opportunities in product development for older adults and marketing challenges in the disparate aging market.  The event was held at Hogan Lovells office in Menlo Park, CA.

Moderator Stephen Johnston, Co-Founder of Aging 2.0, began the session by sharing some eye opening statistics.  Try to guess the percentage of Americans who will be 50+ by 2017.  The answer is at the end of this article.  There were 6M Americans with 85+ years of age, in 2010.  By 2050, there will be 19M.  In 1950, the global median age of Americans was 29.  In 2050, the median age of American population will be 46.  Clearly, older adults represent a growing market; albeit, a disparate market with varying needs.  While some older adults may need help with daily activities like dressing, laundry and eating, others may need help with instrumental activities like housekeeping and managing finances.  While it is a growing market, there are many barriers to innovation in this segment.  First, entrepreneurs need to have empathy and understanding of the needs of the aging and must come up with designs that are appealing to them.  Marketing would be a unique challenge in this fragmented market, which has indirect gage keepers, and multiple decision makers, said Johnston.

Aging 2.0 is a global innovation platform aimed at addressing the needs of the aging market.  The objective is to connect, educate, and support innovators in aging and long term care.  Entrepreneurs in this space are seeking to address such diverse issues as senior living, travel, geriatric care management, remote caregiving, telehealth, new distribution channels, and address health specific issues such as dementia, incontinence, palliative care, and medicine management.

Dr, Leslie Kernisan, a practicing geriatrician and self described “cautious techno-optimist” and “enthusiastic caregiver educator”, talked about the overarching need to improve healthcare.  Additionally, there are specific and changing needs of the aging population.  Some of them are “old old” and others are “young old”, who may be in their 70s and may be very healthy and active.  Purpose of healthcare is to maintain wellbeing, maintain ability to participate in life activities, prevent daily health complications, prevent or keep the chronic disease from worsening, and avert catastrophic events, said Kernisan.

Richard Levinson, Founder and CEO of BrainAid, shared about BrainAid’s PEAT device that provides cognitive assistance for independent living, by helping cue and schedule tasks, meetings, medicines etc.  Normally the brain helps in three critical functions, said Levinson; to assess, plan and execute.  With brain injury or impairment, sometimes it gets locked into execution mode and a person may keep reacting but lacks the ability to assess and plan in order to appropriately execute the function.  This makes them unable to manage daily activities.  Unlike other devices that may assist with scheduling etc., PEAT has inbuilt flexibility to re-plan and update the schedule data when changes occur.  Life is not static and taking the dynamic aspect of everyday living, the PEAT system schedules changes, adds activities, reschedules tasks and notes and accounts completed or skipped tasks.  BrainAid is also working on integrating the technology with other sensor based, wearable devices including Pebble Watch and Google Glass, said Levinson.

Iggy Fanlo, Co-Founder and CEO of MyLively, talked about their patented product, the lively hub with activity sensors that log a person’s daily routine.  This comes with no annoying gadgets to wear and there are no intrusive video cameras.  The sleek design of the lively hub makes it seem less like a monitoring device and more like some cool new technology.  The tiny sensors can be kept in various places of significance.  For instance, a sensor on a pillbox can keep track of an individual taking the medication at appropriate time, another one can be attached to the fridge, and yet another one can be attached to the keychain to measure the time spent outside the home.  The easy to install Lively hub receives activity signals from each of the sensors to compare daily events with normal routines and healthy preferences.  Lively can share activity patterns through a secure computer or a tablet or through a smart phone.   Fanlo said, many people as they age, fiercely seek to remain independent but often miss social connections.   Lively comes with an additional feature called the LivelyGram.  Twice a month, Lively automatically compiles and publishes a personalized printed LivelyGram (through pictures and messages shared on computer or smartphone or social network site) and delivers this personalized printed document through the postal mail.  This is something that is perfect for non internet users; a population that may be even more lonely, and this may give them something to feel connected, something to hold in their hand, and something to talk about.

So what percentage of Americans will be 50+ by 2017?  A staggering 50% of us will be over the age of 50, in USA, in about 3 years.  Every single day, life expectancy increases by 5 hours.  Yes, every day!!

This was a great event that drew a huge participation from entrepreneurs, software developers, gerontologists, geriatricians, and others.  The panel generated many excellent questions and comments from the audience and participants continued the discussion after the event, in informal networking.

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