Posts Tagged www.tiecon.org

Summit, IBM supercomputer is our recent hero in the fight against Covid-19


The looming threat of Covid-19 and the grim reality of the toll that novel coronavirus takes on humankind, makes it imperative that we find a way to prevent the spread faster and with less cost. Currently nine out of ten drug therapies fail mostly between phase 1 trials and regulatory approval. The estimated cost of developing a new treatment is around staggering US $2.6 billion.  While this article won’t address it, I want to mention that many bio/pharma companies are working with repurposed drugs to find a cure and at least 69 drugs have been identified as treatment possibilities. Drugs also have side effects and need to be tested for safety. Let us focus for a while on search for the vaccine.

Artificial intelligence icon AI, isometric cloud computing concept, data mining, isometric, neural network, machine programming, vector

Many companies including Moderna, CureVac and BioNTech are working on vaccines. With the help of  Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and other technologies the hunt for new pharmaceuticals and appropriate chemicals is expected to be quicker, cheaper and more effective. Novel coronavirus presents the most unprecedented challenge to date because of the speed with which it spreads. 

Who better than a supercomputer made by a company that has been on the cutting edge of innovation for over a century, to take on this speed challenge? IBM scientists instructed the world’s fastest computer to tackle this challenge at its Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. Summit can run 200 quadrillion computations per second. The scientists ran thousands of simulations to analyse which drug compounds could stop the coronavirus from infecting the host cells. 

Summit, an IBM supercomputer equipped with the “brain of AI” identified 77 compounds (from over 8000 compounds) that could be efficacious in preventing coronavirus from spreading in the host.  This is promising news in humanity’s quest for an effective vaccine against the virus. These findings are published in the journal ChemRxiv and give us hope although road is still long to get there.

With increasing computer processing power and advanced algorithms, AI has been employed to analyze large data sets with greater efficiency and will likely lead to many exciting innovations.  While AI and ML show promise to change every industry sector for the better, artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning have become the most widely discussed topics in the healthcare sector and the excitement keeps growing.  

I will be looking forward to hearing about new innovations AI/ML at #TiEcon2020. Stay tuned for new dates for the conference at http://www.tiecon.org and on this blog.

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Diversity & Inclusion helps Recruitment & Retention


People often ask, how does promoting D&I within an organization help in exceeding revenue goals, expand market share, beat competition, and help gain happy customers? Some people may be surprised to hear that the business case for D&I not only exists but is now overwhelming. There is a growing body of research that shows that organizations that effectively weave in D&I into its strategy, policies and practice, tend to benefit in ways that go beyond the optics.

 

Let us just discuss two primary benefits today. A professional journey for an employee begins with getting hired. Research shows that leveraging D&I becomes a valuable asset in attracting the best talent and in retaining good talent. Companies that are diverse and value diversity, get an advantage of getting referrals from diverse sources. 

 

Retention is a big challenge for many organizations, especially when unemployment rates are lower. Employee Benefit News (EBN) reports that the cost to an organization to hire a replacement and train and bring them up to speed, when an employee leaves, is about 33% of a worker’s annual salary. In dollar figures, for an employee earning a median salary of $100,000 a year, it is about $33,000.  Hiring costs may be multiplied several fold for higher level employees, with unique skill sets. In organizations that value and leverage diversity, candidates feel more welcome and comfortable and are therefore less desirous of leaving. In addition to reduced costs, an organization that is competitive in its ability to retain talent also experiences reduced turnover hassle, reduced training time and therefore more productive time, increased overall productivity, better customer experience, knowledgeable company experts, and better morale. 

One, Inclusiveness, Unity, United

As a Diversity and Inclusion trainer, I feel grateful that organizations are increasingly acknowledging this reality and make space for insightful conversations to take place on this issue. However, D&I training should never be about checking off the box and is also less effective when done in reaction to bad publicity or a law suit. D&I conversations are most impactful when engaged pro actively, and when diversity is leveraged as an asset rather than a liability to deal with. This year, the conference at @TiEsv @TiEcon #TiEcon2020 has a track dedicated to discussing diversity and inclusion in organizations. Registration is open at http://www.tie.org .  Also here is a link http://bit.ly/38EWWAU to my diary and more of my thoughts on D&I and some advice to entrepreneurs.

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Healthcare and High-tech combining to combat Coronavirus Covid-19


As coronavirus is raging on, entrepreneurs and scientists are called upon to come up with innovative ways to deal with this deadly virus. For instance, after 11 Israelis were quarantined after disembarking from a cruise ship in Japan, Israel has become a “Living Lab” for technologies to treat the virus.  Israel, which has a large digital health sector, put out calls to entrepreneurs for proposals for new solutions to contain and combat the disease. Meanwhile, China is also taking a lead in exploring how futuristic technologies powered by artificial intelligence can help identify coronavirus symptoms, find new treatments, and track the spread of the disease.  Chinese scientists sequenced its genome and shared around the world within weeks.

 

Coronavirus, Corona Virus, Covid-19

Unlike MERS, but more like SARS, Coronavirus is very contagious and has a long incubation period when people feel fine as they unknowingly walk around, infecting others. After identifying infected people, it is challenging to care for them while trying to contain the disease. Some healthcare workers who cared for coronavirus patients have themselves died of infection. We also heard that even after learning of highly contagious and deadly CD-19 coronavirus, some healthcare workers from the USA were “improperly deployed” when sent to assist in bringing home the patients infected in China.

 

In caring for coronavirus patients, human touch needs to be avoided and assistance should be provided remotely. Robots and automated technologies are of great help here. Robots are being used to disinfect rooms, take laundry items, help check for symptoms and disease progression, deliver medications and communicate with family and healthcare providers.  Robots help disinfect surfaces and help in killing viruses and bacteria by emitting ultraviolet light.  Drones and self-driving vehicles can deliver medications and supplies, petrol public places, spray disinfectants and do general surveillance. 

 

Silicon Valley’s largest entrepreneurship conference, TiEcon 2020 has a dedicated track on health technologies. Amidst growing fears of coronavirus becoming a pandemic, emerging technologies like drones, robots, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning Digital Health and TeleHealth are likely to be game changers. Investors and entrepreneurs alike are focusing on the space with great interest. There will likely be exciting conversations as entrepreneurs from several countries (depending on travel restrictions), converge at TiEcon 2020, at Santa Clara Convention Center in CA, on May 8 and 9. If interested, you can register for the conference at www.TiEcon.org  

 

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Entrepreneurs set to converge at TiEcon 2020


PeterDrucker has famously said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” And that is the central core of the theme at TiEcon 2020.

Image result for tiecon 2020

If you are an entrepreneur then TiEcon 2020 is the place where you want to CONVERGE. There’s plenty here for entrepreneurs. You might find just find the right idea, timely advice, meet a mentor, pair up with a partner, or perhaps connect with an interested investor. Very likely an entrepreneur is likely to find something here that will be a catalyst for them to begin to CREATE the environment to bring that innovation to fruition. TiEcons have always offered an environment to ELEVATE innovation from earliest idea stage to its fullest potential.

TiEcon 2020 tracks are announced and they are extremely relevant to current environment and very exciting. In the coming weeks, you will hear a great deal about the tracks, speakers, and keynotes. There are tracks and events that may offer something for all attendees like entrepreneurship and startup bootcamp. And then there are tracks that we all hear about and are on the cutting edge of new developments like cloud, security, IOT and ML.  There are also tracks and events that feature the human side of an organization and soft mentoring side of this conference like diversity and inclusion and global and mentor connect, and young entrepreneurs.

With convergence of well over 4500 attendees, 220 speakers, 13+ tracks, 1300 industry leaders, from 22+ countries, there is something here for every entrepreneur to sow the seeds for creation of that innovative idea into something magnificent or elevate it to something amazing. If you are intrigued, remember it all starts with convergence at TiEcon 2020. Registration is open at early bird price at www.tiecon.org .

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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.

www.tiecon.org – 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 http://tinyurl.com/kr2hkcw  as my guest & enter promo code tievalue to get $100 discount.

Healthtechnology Forum conference http://www.healthtechnologyforum.com, 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 http://bit.ly/1o85CTM

 

 

 

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Rakeysh Mehra, famed Bollywood Filmmaker will speak at TiEcon 2014


Rakeysh Mehra, highly acclaimed Bollywood Filmmaker & Screenwriter, will speak at TiEcon 2014.  Have you registered?  You can register as my guest through the link http://tinyurl.com/kr2hkcw and enter code “TiEvalue” to get $100 off.

The process of filmmaking begins with a great story and then the filmmaker or the producer needs to work with the screenwriter to develop the story or screenplay they have just purchased.  Rakeysh Mehra is an Indian filmmaker and screenwriter, known for writing and directing such films as Rang De Basanti (he won Best Director Filmfare Award for it in 2006) and directing blockbuster “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag”, starring Farhan Akhtar as Milkha Singh, India’s legendary runner (here’s link to my review  http://bit.ly/1cUwG4o).  “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag” acquired international fame and was nominated for 10 awards. Obtaining the right script and developing it into a good screenplay and then directing it into a successful film, is a highly challenging process, in the cut throat film world.  One needs to understand and develop the characters, ensure the dialogues are not lame, understand the story structure, identify the genre or the blend of genres and Mehra is brilliant, with each of the steps of filmmaking.

Delhi 6 Premiere

Delhi 6 Premiere (Photo credit: muckster)

Currently, India, the largest democracy in the world, is busy with the process of deciding its new leader.  Voting is in full swing, in India.  Mehra has been a critic of the vote bank politics and currently he is campaigning to introduce e-voting to facilitate voting by travelers.  Mehra is also deeply committed to children and the education system in India.  Regarding “Bhaag Milkha Baag”, Mehra said that to see the movie connect with children as young as six and eight, was the biggest part of his success with the movie that he is proud of.  He has criticized marks-driven, education system in India saying that it emphasizes test scores over actual learning and achievement.  Perhaps his next movie will address this issue?  The filmmaker was location hunting recently in Jodhpur, for his upcoming film.  Will there be announcements?  Mehra will give keynote address on the morning of day 2 of the conference.

See discount codes to register for TiEcon 2014, www.tiecon.org and for Health Technology Forum

www.tiecon.org – If you are a professional  in #healthIT, #digital health,  #internetofthings, #cloud, #bigdata or related, then 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.  Register for #TiEcon (May 16 & 17 at Santa ClaraConvention Center) as my guest, at link http://tinyurl.com/kr2hkcw  & enter promo code tievalue to get $100 discount.

Healthtechnology Forum conference http://www.healthtechnologyforum.com, 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 http://bit.ly/1o85CTM

 

 

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Healthcare Innovation & Entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley, CA


Life Science Industry gearing up for Innovation:  Code-a-thon (Health Technology Forum), TiEcon, EPPIC event

Code-a-thons are fun and also highly productive live events that bring together developers, designers, innovators and entrepreneurs, brimming with new and exciting ideas on applications and tools for any given problem.  Health Technology Forum in San Francisco was formed with a mission to improve healthcare through technology.  In 2013, HTF organized a very successful code-a-thon that focused on serving the needs of the underserved populations. This year again, HTF has organized a code-a-thon to precede (by about a week to 10 days) its annual conference focused around the theme of Pathways to Sustainable Health, on May 20, at Parc 55, Wyndham Hotel, SF.  Additionally, HTF has proposed a series of events to follow the weekend code-a-thon challenge, including a unique second phase to enable the winning team to be placed on-site at one or more safety-net hospitals.  

DC Health Week Code-a-Thon 13109

DC Health Week Code-a-Thon 13109 (Photo credit: tedeytan)

2014 HTF Innovation Conference: Pathways to Sustainable...So how do code-a-thons help spur innovation?  These short and focused events often result in the rapid development of breakthrough concepts and working prototype applications.  Code-a-thons highlight a problem in need of a solution.  This spotlighting of the problem, with clarity around its challenges and opportunities, helps the problem to remain the primary focus of innovation, and not the technology.  This is a good mental discipline for enthusiastic bright innovators who tend to fall in love with their own idea, and often fail to pay heed to the needs of the market.  The ideas and technologies that come out of code-a-thons often lead to creation of actual products that can be deployed in the marketplace.  Further, if these innovators would receive coaching from stakeholders within the hospital centers then it is inevitable that the positive impact will be enormous and immediate, in creating new innovative solutions, for sustainable healthcare. Few can argue that our healthcare system needs an overhaul, and something that will greatly impact the transformation in the healthcare system is the impact that Big Data will have.  For instance, Big Data can help empower patients to be in charge of their own health.  From providing access to their medical records, to enabling continuous health monitoring, it will help inform and empower patients to be proactive managers of their own health.  Similarly, mounds of clinical and epidemiological data can lead to greater insights in diagnosis and therapeutics of various diseases.  The requirements of this particular code-a-thon will be centered around developing and designing the prototype of an app that supports the collection and communication of health care data about key diseases and behaviors. Please stay tuned for more information, and sign up for the code-a-thon and for the annual conference at www.healthtechnologyforum.com and follow them on twitter @healthtechforum.  You can follow me on twitter @DarshanaN.

Additionally, mark your calendar for 2 other interesting life science events.
May 16, 17 is #TiEcon 2014, the largest entrepreneurship conference, at Santa Clara Convention Center, CA.  The Healthcare Track on Day 2 will feature panels on exciting topics like “Harnessing Healthcare Data”, “Engaging Patients of the Future”, “Where the VCs are Investing in Healthcare” and more.  Register by May 1, for  www.tiecon.org through the link http://tinyurl.com/kr2hkcw as my guest and enter promo code tievalue to get $100 off.
May, 6 EPPIC event – EPPIC frequently spotlights success stories of local entrepreneurs and on My 6 at Cubberley in Palo Alto, will host Dr. Sarvajna Dwivedi, Founder of Pearl Therapeutics which was acquired last year, by Astra Zeneca for $1.15 B.  Register at www.eppicglobal.org.
http://www.bio2devicegroup.org is a group that meets every Tuesday, in Sunnyvale and hosts speakers on a wide range of healthcare topics.  Pre-registration required for “Second Tuesday of the month meetings” and all other meetings are free and open for walk-ins.  For information on any of these events, feel free to send me an email at wd_darshana at hotmail dot com.

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OncoProtein based Program for Early Detection of HPV induced Cervical Cancers  


Dr Johannes Schweizer, VP of R&D at Arbor Vita Corporation talked about Arbor Vita’s proprietary OncoE6™ Cervical Test that Predicts Development of Cervical Cancer at www.bio2devicegroup.org event.  Information on 3 great upcoming conferences EPPIC, TiEcon, and HealthTechForum with great speakers on healthcare tracks, is posted at the end of the article.

Arbor Vita was found by Dr. Peter Lu, in 1998 with an aim to apply discoveries of the role of PDZ proteins to the development of novel therapeutics and diagnostics.  Numerous pathogens have been found to cause diseases by binding to a PDZ protein and thereby disrupting normal cell signaling.  The ability to regulate PDZ/PL interactions represents new opportunities in controlling multiple signaling cascades in complex diseases and have recently been a focus for human drug targets.  Arbor Vita has identified nearly all of the PDZ domains in the human proteome and has decoded most of them.  Arbor Vita’s platform technology is targeted towards several diseases.  Its stroke treatment asset was recently sold to NoNO, Inc.  Avian flu Dx is the first FDA cleared rapid Dx test.  At this event, Dr Schweizer discussed Arbor Vita’s diagnostic and treatment technology for HPV induced cancers.

Cervical cancer is a leading cause of mortality, worldwide.  HPV induced cancers are transmitted through sexual contact and kill over 275,000 women, every year.  These do not receive as much attention because the mortality rates are lower in the US and other developed countries.  But mortality from slow progressive cervical cancers peak in developing countries.  In India for instance, every 7 minutes, a woman dies from this disease.  The current mode of detection is through pap smears, which have poor sensitivity and poor specificity.  In the US, out of 100,000 women tested, 23,000 are likely to be hr-HPV positive.  But from these, only 6 women are likely to have cancer.  This indicates that the current screening methods are sensitive but are not sufficiently specific to detect pre-cancerous and cancerous activity and low specificity leads to over treatment.  Pap tests give about 20% false positive and false negative results.  The only reason it still work is because of the frequency of testing in the case of this very slow moving cancer, said Schweizer.  Also pap tests require lot of infrastructure and set up that is often not easily available in developing regions.

Arbor Vita’s OncoE6TM Test is the only test that specifically identifies the viral E6 oncoprotein that causes cervical cancer.  And it is simple to administer with specimen captured with a polyester tipped cervical swab, which can also be captured by the woman on her own as well.  Elevated E6 oncoprotein correlates to cancerous activity and development of high-affinity anti E6 mAb is a key to feasibility.  There are 15 HPV types that cause cancer.  Among these, HPV 16 and HPV 18 are leading causes of cervical cancers, worldwide.  This test is specific to these two viruses.  Further this test is robust and lends to easy storage at ambient temperature.  The entire process from sample collection to getting the results can be completed in 2.5 hours.

Schweizer shared some of the data from its clinical trials.  The data indicates that in a head to head comparison with OncoE6TM, the DNA test results in nine fold over treatment including colposcopies and biopsies.   OncoE6 Cervical Test on the other hand, has high specificity for women with high grade disease cancers.  OncoE6 Cervical Test efficiently identifies women in need of clinical follow-up, among the many more with clinically irrelevant HPV infections.  In a one year follow up, E6TM promised to be a solid predictive marker as high specificity and high PPV are keys to lower referral rates and clinical follow-up.  This was very interesting talk and was followed by Q&A.

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Please see below information on some excellent conferences and events coming up in the Bay Area, in next couple of months.

March 29, 2014 (day after tomorrow) EPPIC (www.eppicglobal.org) is hosting annual conference at SF, Westin.  Panels include Neglected & Rare Diseases – http://bit.ly/1c1vvTR, Innovations in clinical Development of Novel Agents, Point of Care gold rush and there will be speed pitch and SIG networking opportunities.  Promises to be a great conference.

May 16, 17, 2014 TiE SV (www.tiesv.org) will host TiEcon (www.tiecon.org) , the largest entrepreneurship conference.  This year it will feature #healthcare track with focus on Disruptive Technologies in Healthcare.

May 20, 2014 HealthTech Forum (www.healthtechnologyforum.com) will host annual conference around the theme “Pathways to Sustainable Health” at Parc 55 Wyndham, SF and will feature excellent panels and speakers on Medical Research in the Cloud, Patient Engagement in Behavioral Health, Improving Health in Global Underserved Communities and more.

www.bio2devicegroup.org meets every Tuesday and next Tuesday Dr. Russell Pachynski, co-founder, CombImmune, will talk about “Novel approaches to Immune Therapy and Monitoring”.

Check out new job opportunities 1) Embedded Software Engineer – Mountain View, CA 2) Quality manager – Mt Laurel, NJ – http://bit.ly/P1H0QK

 

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Enabling Physician Adoption of new Medical Technologies


Dr. Akhil Saklecha, General Partner at Artiman Ventures talked about understanding the challenges of physician adoption of new technologies and discussed ways of overcoming resistance and enable adoption of new medical and heatlhcare technologies by physicians, at www.bio2devicegroup.org event. (See below, at the end of the article, more info on bio2devicegroup, EPPICon, TiEcon, & HTF conf.)

Entrepreneurs in the health technology sector, must first understand physicians, the environment they work in, and the nature of the work flow.  Physicians have to be patient advocates, they often control the purse strings and make decisions on allocation of scare resources, and there is a potential to impact their adoption of new technologies by exercising influence upon them.  Physicians generally have competitive, type A personalities and they do not want to lag behind in adoption of useful technologies, said Saklecha.

So what are drivers for adoption of new technologies?  Technologies that solve problems that drive doctors crazy, get their attention.  Entrepreneurs with “must have” technology, will find it easier to get it adopted.  Entrepreneurs must focus on solving their problems, said Saklecha.  In addition to understanding physician’s work challenges, it is also important to understand every single stakeholder, in the healthcare setting.  For instance, Saklecha said he has seen some GI tools that solve a smaller problem but take up additional time of the scrub technician, general nurse, and GI nurse.  All this would add to the expenses and if the technology does not offset the cost, it will be rejected.  In fact, there is an early shift towards disposable colonoscopy devices because it saves set up and clean up time.

When it comes to money, “ignore it at your own peril”, said Saklecha.  His advice was that entrepreneurs must map out the flow of money, very early on.  They should get an understanding of where the revenue is generated and who makes the money and who loses the money.  Given the tremendous pressure to save costs, it is extremely important that new technology does not add costs to the system, unless it is a huge value add in terms of quality of health.  Entrepreneurs must know the flow of the money, direct and indirect costs and savings and they should understand CPT codes and reimbursement rules.  Obtaining CPT code does not necessarily translate into reimbursement, warned Saklecha.

Entrepreneurs must focus on enhancing quality and patient safety, said Saklecha.  Quality drives revenues and safety keeps patients alive and providers’ revenues are increasingly tied to performance.  A thorough understanding of work flow and how it impacts all various service providers including nurses, physicians, clerks etc. is very important.

One of the valuable advice Saklecha gave was with regard to timing and specific point of insertion of new technology.  Find a point of least friction for insertion of new techology, said Saklecha.  With regards to timing, it is important to keep in mind that no benefits will be seen during the first month, and instead there may be adverse effects.  Most inefficiencies will dissipate in the following 3-6 months and only then will the benefits begin to appear.  So this may be a time to keenly observe and understand the impact and every little nuance of the new technology on the work flow.  In the past decade, electronic medical records or EMR has been all the rage.  However, data entry and management takes physicians’ time away from patient care.  This is a challenge that is not yet effectively tackled, said Saklecha.   Voice recognition and scribes are used but the both have challenges of cost and errors.

Saklecha gave examples of several medical technologies and how they overcame physician adoption challenge by solving their key pressure point.  For instance, iRhythm cardiac monitoring device allows for remote monitoring of minimally “at risk” patients and it enables ER doctors to read the data and generate revenues.  Insurance companies also like it because instead of sending the patients over for hospital stays, they can be sent home and patients enjoy the convenience.  Minimally invasive blood test offered by Cardio Dx replaces cardiac stress test and it was a great improvement in saving costs.  The company directly marketed it to primary care physicians.  However, they misjudged and found that these doctors were slow to adopt because they were looking for validation from the cardiologists.  That was an important lesson in physician adoption of new technologies.  Now the company has pivoted and changed their marketing strategy and they are finding traction.

Another example is GI Dynamics which has a medical device that targets obesity.  Bariatric surgery is complex and there is high morbidity population.  The company has a fairly simple procedure that was found to simultaneously solve issues around hypertension and diabetes, while treating obesity.  GI physicians loved the technology since it offered them a whole new class of patients.  Just like GI physicians, cardiologists are also a competitive and procedure driven specialty, and they are quickly adopting new technologies in cardiac stents and percutaneous valves.  The talk was highly interactive and generated lot of discussion.
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Please mark 3 great conferences focused on life science, medtech, & healthcare, in the next two months, in San Francisco Bay Area, on your calendar, & see info on life science networking group that meets every week.

www.eppicglobal.org EPPICon annual conference is on March, 29, at Westin, SF and it features a panel on “Neglected & Rare Diseases” http://bit.ly/1c1vvTR, on “Point of Care”, on “Innovations in Clinical Development of Novel Agents” and more. Excellent event to network with VCs, panelists, speakers & other professionals.

www.tiecon.org is on May 16 & 17 at Santa Clara Convention Center.  On day 2, May 17th, it will feature a Life Science track with keynote and a distinguished panel on “Disruptions in Healthcare”. Great to network with entrepreneurs working inside and on the boundaries of various disciplines.

www.healthtechnologyforum.com  annual conference is on May, 20 at Parc 55, Wyndham, SF and it has excellent lineup of speakers and panels with a broad focus on “pathways to sustainable health”. More specific panels will focus on patient engagement, medical ethics, IoT, health apps, building resilient communities and more. Excellent to network with physicians, non profits & other entrepreneurs.

www.bio2devicegroup.org meets every Tuesday & covers a broad range of topics pertaining to biotech, medical device and pharmaceutical industries. On Tuesday, March 22, at 8:30am Johannes Schweizer, Arbor Vita will talk on OncoE6™ Cervical Test that Predicts Development of Cervical Cancer www.bio2devicegroup.org – Free event, all are welcome. Become a member and network with diverse range of life science industry professionals.
Bio2Device Group          Home 2014 HTF Innovation Conference: Pathways to Sustainable...

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Wearable Technology (Focus in Healthcare track #TiEcon 2014)


Google and Apple have both fueled an ecosystem of apps for smartphones and tablets. Now Google has unveiled new software tools to help developers make apps for wearable devices.  So how big is the market potential for wearable devices?  According to Business Intelligence Research, wearables will transform the way we interact with our devices and they will become indispensable for monitoring body’s vital signs.  According to their conservative forecast, this may be a $12 Billion market.  Other estimates forecast the market for wearable computers to reach $20 billion in sales by 2016.

The vision of wearable sector is to interweave technology into everyday aspects of life.  Besides sports, athletics, and chronic disease monitoring, of particular interest is also the aging market.  Consider the US population demographics.  An American turns 50, every 7 seconds.  More people were 65+ in 2010 than in any previous censors.  As people age, there is greater likelihood of chronic diseases, falling, forgetting, medical adherence challenges and so on.  Also people prefer to live independently.  Wearable devices however, may not be panacea, if not designed and developed appropriately.  There are many challenges to developing these products.  Here is a link to my earlier post on “Challenges & Opportunities in Developing Products for Older Adults” – http://bit.ly/MqiC9E .

Healthcare system is undergoing a massive transformation.  Engaged consumers and better informed healthcare personnel will be an integral part of the new healthcare system.  Wearable computing devices will become absolutely necessary aspect of the changing healthcare landscape.  At Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, wearables was one of the hottest sector.  While Fitbit, Basis, Jawbone, Pebble smart watches and Google Glass have been in the news, there are many werable devices in various stages of commercialization.  Innovators are working on putting sensors in socks, on wrists, in jewelry, even in a bra.  A new bra from a Japanese company Ravijour unhooks when you are in love (the embedded sensor analyzes the heart rate and springs open at the right moment).  But more importantly, a healthtech company, First Warning Systems, is getting ready to go into clinical trials with its wearable bra, designed to spot early signs of breast cancer.   

Indeed the future of wearable technology is a wide open landscape right now and much will be painted on it.  Healthcare track at TiEcon 2014 on May, 17 will focus on the future of wearable devices.  Register at www.tiecon.org.  Early bird price is available till midnight of March 10.

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