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Digital Health Revolution – Health 2.0 Meetup

Digital Health Revolution – Health 2.0 Meetup

Health 2.0 Dublin Meetup

stags head 2It is fitting that on a Wednesday night in the basement of a Dublin pub (stags head), doctors, caregivers, academics, optimists and entrepreneurs gathered together to plot the digital healthcare revolution, a Health 2.0 Dublin Meet-up. The pub was packed, the wifi signal was low, but the crowd was engaged. Digital Healthcare is about empowering patients and clinicians, transforming our healthcare the way the rest of our lives have been transformed through technology (IPhone, Facebook, Twitter and Apps).

Patient Experience

The key note talk by Dr John Dinsmore (Trinity College Dublin) talked us through data and insights from his projects, he focused in on the “patient experience”. His mantra “it’s not about cool technology; it’s about changing the patient experience”. He showed a photo of his grandparents standing together, then he described the back-story of the photo, how his grandma had been confined to a wheelchair for 60 years due to a disability. When he asked her what is what like to be confined to a wheelchair, her response was “I’ve never been confined”. When he asked another elderly patient to describe how they cope with the challenges of ageing they responded “in my mind I’m still 23”. His point was clear, we can’t confine or limit patients we work with to our perceptions and reality. He advised developers to ask the hard questions and put aside limiting assumptions when developing apps and new technologies.

old lady beatingWe moved on to a great panel discussion led by Liam Ryan (Get Health), where Dr Robert Grant (GetHealth) and Dr Ronan McDonnell (Quantified Self Dublin) stirred up lively discussion.

healthsnap 2Dr Johnny Walker and I walked the group through our new healthcare video messaging application “HealthSnap.It” that uses small video messages to build a stronger bond between clinicians and patients.

Many feel the digital health revolution will need to stay underground for a bit longer…too many entrenched interests, still too unproven. So for now we will keep it quiet and slowly infiltrate the public hospitals. We will not yet make any proclamations or take the battle into the open but rather organise in secret places (twitter). The digital health revolution should be won without a shot ever being fired.



Innovating Health: Thriving from No’s

Innovating Health: Thriving from No’s

Introducing healthcare innovation is full time work, and like many healthcare organisations we are always in the process of introducing new innovations. Here is the first part in a few blogs about introducing innovation:

Collecting, surviving and thriving from “NO”

Bring new healthcare ideas into life requires collecting rejection. No matter what heavily delusional cheerleading we throw at the subject of rejection, it just isn’t fun. It is much easier to hear how brilliant you are then to be rejected. Hearing that your proposal isn’t interesting, impactful, useful or is not worth someone’s resources, time or money is tough medicine.

..but yet collecting NO’s and thriving from them is everything, so how to cope. When introducing a new idea we suggest don’t run towards rejection, tip toe, and stage your rejection.

How to stage your “NO’s”

1. Google: Try and see if Google will reject you or convince you to reject yourself. Google (search) every version of your idea and concept let google try and reject it. Let google tell you what the public thinks of your idea, who is pursuing similiar ideas, and alternative solutions that are already out there. In healthcare Google knows quite a bit.

2. Confidants: Socialise to people that have a unique skill, the ability to reserve judgement. Build a network of people with unique insights that have the confidence to listen and absorb without jumping to a conclusion about your nascient idea. Ask them for angles, perspectives, similar experiences, a list of potential challenges or unexplored opportunities. This is so critical in healthcare, because of the share complexity of health systems. This network should have seen it all in healthcare, but somehow survived unjaded and serene.

3. Clinical Experts: Your idea has survived Google and your Confidants and you are as excited and energised as ever, now bring it to the technical experts, clinicians. These are people that are experts in the space that can tell you what is not on Google, how your idea might live and look in the real world of patients and hospitals. This group should be highly technical, aware of challenges and obstacles, but perhaps less concerned about the business models or viability of a new business. Let them tell you how to build it and steer you to a better version of your original idea.

4.Friendly Customers: If you have not done so already, you need to get your idea into the the hands of a friendly customer for a candid interaction. These friendly customers in the world of health are often called “Payors”. Expose the idea and just watch them, see where they focus, see what they compare it to, and see what they ignore.

5. Team: Every new idea needs a team and if you did everything above, you should have inspired a few people to join you in trying to breathe life into your idea. Take all the feedback and re-present your latest ideas and plans back to the people that want to help you build it, then listen and watch their reaction to the latest version. Do they look more eager to follow or less, why?

6. The Critic: Now you are ready for your first real NO, but your idea won’t be killed in one fell swoop of criticism. Everyone you have spoken to date was as interested in helping you, but you need a true critic or an evaluator. This critic could be a payor, hospital,customer, an investor, or a taste maker. They should have resources and influence at their disposal and the ability to say YES or NO. They are not passing judgement on your idea, only on whether your idea will get their time, resources, influence or business. They are evaluting your project versus all the other options that have been recently presented to them, they are not evaluating your project in isolation.

..and you get your NO, you did it, congratulations, they didn’t waiver of defer they just said NO! You’ve achieved more than most will ever achieve. Now you know how to get a real NO. Feel the pain of the NO don’t reject it. Remember, the NO defines the critic more then the cook. You were asking for their resources, and for a few brief moments they could have said YES, the taste of winning was right in front of you. Now, find your next big meeting you are almost ready for a YES.

by @jimbojoyce

“In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations, the new needs friends…” Anton the critic from Ratatouille 


Point of Care in Silicon Valley

Point of Care in Silicon Valley

On September 24th, Jim Joyce, Point of Care’s CEO, participated in the HealthXL Summit, a delegation of digital healthcare entrepreneurs and investors to Silicon Valley.  We spent three days looking at every aspect of digital healthcare activity and the future for innovation in health looks bright. Here is a quick synopsis of the event by IBM’s Venture Capital Partner, Martin Kelly. Enjoy!

Summary of HealthXL Summit by Martin Kelly

We hosted our first HealthXL Summit in Stanford, Palo Alto last week. Where better to celebrate the anniversary than in California. The Summit was our first trip to Silicon Valley; It was designed as an exclusive invite only event for founders, investors and thought leaders from around the globe with a passion to solve some of the biggest issues in healthcare.

Thanks to the support of our partner Silicon Valley Bank we managed to recruit 50 thought leaders including many of the most active investors in digital health.

Sept 24th – Rock Health Demo Day.

We started the trip a day early on the 24th Sept in Genentech Hall on the UCSF Campus for Rock Health’s 5th Demo Day. The room was full (approx. 200 attendees) and the 10 teams delivered very polished presentations.  These companies had raised a collective $5.5m before Demo Day. It is great endorsement of the growing sector and clear indication that there is nowhere quite like Silicon Valley / San Francisco for fueling disruptive innovation. My personal favorites on the day where Amplify Health , CancerIQ , Lift Labs, and Smart Patients.  Overall a great introduction to what is happening in digital health.

Check out their press coverage in TechCrunchXconomy, VentureBeatGigaOm, and MedCity News. Also photos of the event over on their Facebook page.

Sept 25th – Napa Valley

As a special treat SVB hosted a tour of Napa Valley on the 25th.  Along with the entrepreneurs and local investors the bus was full with 40 folks from all over the world: Brazil, Israel, Canada, Finland, Ireland, Russia and beyond. Unfortunately I’m bound by non-disclosure rules here so cannot name individuals or give any details!

Sept 26th – Stanford

Day 2, Stanford.  We were delighted to be hosted by Stanford’s D-School courtesy of Stuart Coulson. Stuart kicked off with a special workshop on design that has been used to help student entrepreneurs to develop innovative and sustainable real world projects with scalable social impact including numerous innovations in healthcare for emerging markets. Stuart is co-founder, along with Erica Estrada-Liou, of the Social Entrepreneurship Lab and would urge you to explore how this group is working in the most interesting locations to ignite entrepreneurship.  p.s. D-School has got to be one of the cool places (and locations) on the planet.

The main event kicked off with JC Simbana presenting investment trends.  JC is one of the most connected folks in the valley in this sector and his passion for working with entrepreneurs is infectious. His presentation was a great overview of how the funds are flowing into and across the sector. The most interesting slide of the day for me was the following which gives you a sense of how the sector is developing and evolving.

JC's Presentation

Following JC’s presentation Jim Joyce hosted an expert panel including Esther DysonBill TarantoMissy Krassner and Ulrich Muelhner.

Panel 1

It was a great 30 minute panel.  The session started with Bill Taranto – ‘We are here because Digital Heath is the future of healthcare’!  Followed by Esther: ‘We believe that Startups need much more than money; they need connections and meet people like Bill Taranto and Ulrich Muelhner that have access to distribution channels, that have consumers, that have a lot of experience because they have been in this situation before.  This theme of how large companies can work with start-ups is a keen focus for HealthXL. Esther again ‘Larger companies are not only well connected, they also have a surfeit of people that really understand business processes but at the same time they need people like you with crazy and innovative ideas willing to change the healthcare industry’.

Those crazy and innovative people are:

ClinicastMedeskMediSafe ProjectNurseBuddyNutriticsSense of SkinSocial CodeGoActEvinanceClaimSync and Punctil.

These 11 teams were picked from a pool of over 300 many of whom had been recommended by the investors in the audience.  Each CEO had a 5 minute slot to present and showcase how their innovation was going to change healthcare and ultimately the world.


After lunch we restarted with Dan Cerutti (IBM) and Gary Fingerhut (Cleveland Clinic) hosted a session on innovation and how Watson is transforming Healthcare with natural language processing and big data.  Gary also shared Cleveland’s ‘what’s hot list’.  Each of these topics needs it’s own post which we’ll cover in the coming weeks.

Next up was Geoff Clapp. Geoff is a serial entrepreneur. He started his presentation breaking the ice: ‘We are in the most famous campus on the world, so I won’t be offended if you get up and walk out don’t just sit on your ass, it’s the health care conference after all’. This set the tone of one of the most entertaining and interesting presentations I have heard all year. Geoff shared his experience of what is needed to scale a business internationally. ‘Unless you have boots (or heels) on the ground you are not really in that market’!

To close out the day Lisa Suennen (Psilos Group) shared her insights on how to leverage silicon valley or more specifically how to engage professional investors. Like Geoff’s presentation this was a real, practical, entertaining and engaging presentation on how to play the ‘investment game’.  The following slide sums it up well:


Last but not least the announcement of the world cup of digital heath.  The voting closed with 852 votes with a clear winner, in the form of MediSafe Project a medication management system from Israel. Omri’s passion for solving the problem alongside his skills at building online communities secured the prize.  We wish Omri and all the teams every success.

Omri 1

The day finished with a reception outside of the D-School in the warm sunshine.  There are too many people to thank but none of this would have been possible without the sponsors of HealthXL and specifically Stuart Coulson (Stanford) and Barry O’Brien and the SVB team.  Also a big thank you to all the teams and mentors who travelled thousands of miles to make this a very special event

 Finally, aside from HealthXL having our first birthday – also delighted to wish Eoghan Jennings a very happy birthday.  We won’t ask or disclose this age!  Till next year.