Posts Tagged technology

Technology disruptors like AI & Data reshaping Marketing & Advertising with improved personalization & enhanced targeting

Technology is impacting every area of our lives. Blending marketing and advertising with technology dubbed MarTech and AdTech, is entirely changing the marketing landscape. When combined with big data and AI, there is now greater efficiency in advertising and marketing; from building, managing, delivering and optimizing campaigns, to placing, buying, and selling ads, to targeting to most optimum potential buyers.

Image result for what is martechBut it’s not about build it and they will come or turn it on and it will deliver. Often martech purchase decisions underdeliver. As an entrepreneur, if you plan to lead your company through various stages of business lifecycle from seed stage to growth stage to expansion and maturity, then you will encounter an array of marketing challenges that will require different strategies and tactics.  While in earlier phase, your focus will be on building customer and prospect lists to drive product awareness, it will soon evolve into tracking and accessing purchasing activities, supporting customer segmentation based on demographics, past purchase history and gaining deeper insight about the customer to support segmentation and personalized targeting.

At TiEInflect 2018, the largest entrepreneurship conference to take place in May at Santa Clara Convention Center, a focused track on MarTech will feature exciting topics like “Marketing to the power of AI”, “Marketing maturity model for entrepreneurs” and more. Register for the conference at .

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Harnessing Cloud Technology to improve Customer Engagement for Medical Device

Aroon Krishna and David Judelson, co-founders at VirtuMed talked about the challenging environment for current medical device manufacturers and VirtuMed’s Synapse Mobile cloud based, on-demand, customer engagement platform solution to address the challenges, at a recent event.

Enumerating examples of challenges impacting medical device marketplace, Judelson, said Boston Scientific neuro modulation business has declined due to reimbursement challenges, Medtronic agreed to settle and stop the sales of pain med pump due to link with patient deaths, and big promise and subsequent failure of renal denervation solution has cut the growth among other device manufacturers.  There are challenges across the board from development to commercialization, said Judelson.  Hospitals are faring no better.  Nearly 40% of California hospitals received bad grade, constant M&A activity among hospitals, pressure from changing government initiatives, difficulties with privacy and security of EMR data has all led to medical device companies spending more money to get less and spending more in sales and marketing efforts is not the answer.

Five current headwinds are defining the existing environment.   Increased regulation and declining reimbursement from fee for service to bundling and changes in how CMS pays, is putting a lot of pressure on providers who pass the burden on to device manufacturers.  Second, there is a lot of variability in how different hospitals measure quality.  Third, aging population with increasing co-morbidities is leading to variability in clinical trials and making it challenging to assess the effects of interventions.  Four, challenges are increasing with decreasing hospital access for sales reps.  Five, huge global volatility with large swings in foreign exchange rates, government uprisings etc. is making it hard to estimate earnings.

Hospitals are often burdened with internal challenges of system integration, promise and challenges of mobile technology, problems of achieving seamless inter-operability, thinning margins, vendor management issues, physicians getting overburdened with administrative tasks, HIPPA issues and more.  All these challenges are compounded with sub par performance from medical device companies as they are delivering more failures in R&D, demonstrating lack of innovation with decreased ROI followed by decreasing investment in venture and M&A activity.

Currently, there are few solutions for comprehensive customer management, said Judelson.  Some general solutions like Salesforce, Oracle, imshealth, freshdesk, Veeva and Zendesk have been applied.  However, these require significant customization, often have complex pricing structure, are pricey for small to mid-sized enterprises, have complex IT integration and archaic mobile user interface, and are often based on limited knowledge of medical device econsyste.  There are no existing CRM solutions specially designed for medical device industry, said Judelson.

VirtuMed’s cloud based remote connectivity solution specifically fills in this gap, where device manufacturers can establish direct line with the customer, provide better, more timely customer support as a value added service, develop apps, and leverage knowledge of product users globally with access to real time outcomes data.  There are many gains from such timely information.  Research indicates that with timely physician access to post surgery recovery process and real-time conversation with patients, recovery occurs faster and patients remain more engaged in their recovery.  While there is a great deal of patient to patient interaction in social media, there are fewer tools for patient to provider engagement and that needs to change.

VirtuMed’s Synapse mobile solution helps build a connected ecosystem that combines commercial CRM, social networking, on demand communication, big data visualization, HIPPA compliant infrastructure, and enhances security with data changing hands while ensuring availability of data at the right time to the right people.  This solution aims to unite all key stakeholders on a single platform with primary objective for positive patient impact, said Krishna.  VirtuMed product is poised to offer support to companies of any size and its tech solutions can be applied at each stage in medical device life cycle, from early innovation to clinical stakeholder engagement, to customer engagement to CRM platform to enable growth in emerging markets; literally from ideation to discovery to clinical to commercialization, said Krishna.

The talk with followed with Q&A.

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2015 EPPIC Annual Conference Keynote by Vivek Wadhwa

English: A photo of a robotic surgery facility...

English: A photo of a robotic surgery facility taken by Tewari’s lab members in Weill Cornell Medical College. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Technology will eat medicine”.  EPPICon 2015 Annual Conference began with this prophetic reminder of what is to come, from the opening keynote, Vivek Wadhwa, Fellow at Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University.  Wadhwa shared the history of technology and stressed the mind boggling exponential growth that has happened in computing.  Now medicine will be transformed dramatically, said Wadhwa.  Also wide access has empowered innovation.  For instance, robots are built today by google and also by kids and with advance in microfluidics, we now have humans on a chip and Tesla ( will be driving itself, as robots become our companions (Review of play “Build” with robot companion  Perhaps the greatest challenge we will face in the years to come is what do we do with our time on this planet!

English: IBM's Watson computer, Yorktown Heigh...

English: IBM’s Watson computer, Yorktown Heights, NY (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Not only IBM’s Watson (,, will deliver flawless diagnosis, in the years to come, but patients themselves now buy glucose meter, heart monitor, otoscope and more devices to diagnose themselves to find what ails them, as their phones now have become the most powerful medical research tools. Robotic surgeries are more precise and cost of genomic sequencing has dropped dramatically.  Medical innovation has globalized as access to technology is no more a privilage of the few.  In fact, said Wadhwa, “this is the most innovative period in history; today entrepreneurs can do what only governments could do earlier; solving humanity’s grand challenges”.

Here are some additional blog links for your convenience
“EPPICon 2015 Digital Health Panel Preview”
“EPPICon 2015 Preview of Keynote by Kim Bush on “Tackling Global Health at Gates Foundation”
Feel free to browse my blog for past EPPIC conferences and other articles.

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Angel View on Investing

Ms. Lee Rauch, founding member of HealthTech Capital, an angel investment group formed to mentor and fund early stage companies talked about Angel View on Investing, at event. HealthTech Capital focuses on companies that apply innovative information technologies that can reduce healthcare costs and improve quality.


There are roughly 225K active angel investors in the US, about 12k participate in angel groups. Compared to VC firms, angels tend to make smaller investments.  Angel groups are geographically diverse, whereas many VCs are often clustered in specific geographical areas, primarily the West coast and the East coast.  Angel groups are also more flexible, consider early stage investments, and are also likely to be motivated to build communities and mentor young entrepreneurs.  Angels typically invest their own money.


HealthTech Capital looks at investing in companies standing at the intersection of healthcare, IT  & consumer products. It’s membership covers a broad range of expertise.  HealthTech Capital is somewhat newer Angel group on the block having started in mid 2010.  They stress high value added technologies that are end user product driven, look at solving problems, and require minimal or no FDA approval.  They also prefer companies that are not trying to go for new reimbursement codes from Medicare and Medicaid.  Some of the examples of companies funded by HealthTech Capital include, Cadence (has a device that can help in walking for people with severe mobility impairment), Pharma Science (provides code imprints on prescription drug packages that patient can look up to verify they are getting the right stuff), Care in Sync (has software product that physicians, case managers and nurses can use to coordinate care transition plans for hospital patients,  Wellness FX (provides tools for patients to help them collect, manage and interpret their own health data), and My Health Teams (social networking company for patients and caregivers to connect with others like them in order to share experiences and identify resources.


So what would make a company a good candidate?  To be funded by HealthTech, a company must be focused on solving a problem, with new, innovative, and high growth technology.  Ideally, it should be generating $20-50M in revenues and must have a significant earnings potential in the next 3-7 years, with potential for 10X-20X return for the investors.  It is preferred that they have completed some development, with a developed or at near completion prototype, with existing customers or potentially committed customers who may be willing advocates, and have a road map for likely liquidity within 3 to  7 years from the time of investment.  It is also desired that the founders and owners have their own cash and sweat equity investment, are flexible and willing to give up some amount of ownership and control in exchange for financing, and are open to advice from the investors.


Rauch explained the breakdown with specific numbers in various scenarios and then proceeded to explain the presentation process.  She recommended that companies do their homework, follow tips and guidelines posted on the website, and approach the Angels through their network.  They need to have clarity regarding their needs, milestones, and how the money will be used, and must acknowledge the gaps.  Typical process at HealthTech Capital begins with the partners commenting upon and rating candidate companies on their online rating system.  During their monthly pre-screening meetings, they select 4-5 companies, each month, which are invited to come and make a presentation.  About a total of 25 companies are selected annually to make more detailed presentation at the dinner meetings, followed by blind voting by the partners. Companies with high votes advance to due diligence.  About 80% of the companies advanced to due diligence are likely to get funded.  Their due diligence includes thorough and detailed information about the value proposition, the business model, the problem the company is seeking to solve, information regarding total and target markets, information on who the decision makers are, cost to establish the market presence, estimated sales cycles, technology, barriers to competitors, company’s secret sauce and what would keep the competitors from replicating it, potential acquirers, and a plan to address any regulation and reimbursement issues.


The presentation was followed by Q&A.

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