Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Bootup World and the Cuckoo's Nest

Great being invited to visit Boot Up World in Menlo Park by Riccardo Pisano, MS. CEO & Co-Founder along with Jason Drury Thanks also to Cameron Nazeri, Director of Strategic Partnerships for showing us around the accelerator space and also showing us Tim Draper & Mark Cuban's "Cuckoo’s nest club" for founders, CEOs & investors & artists right in the middle of the accelerator - very novel way for disruptive founders and CEOs, risk-taking venture capitalists to network and to stay in touch with a range of early stage star-ups outside their portfolio - something that I think is very important (and I'll explain why later).

The location of the Cuckoo’s Nest turns out to be on the same road as the Menlo Park Veterans Hospital where and about which the influential Ken Kesey wrote One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. The quote that is used to link the two is that "The patients were not insane, they just did not fit the conventional idea of how people are supposed to act." and is extended by a quote from another local, Steve Jobs, took this observation a step further, “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”

The Beam telepresence robots that are found around the campus will seem strangely familiar to anyone who has seen this though - but I can't complain - I'm waiting to get my hands on one myself (although I guess I could do this by drone these days).

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Digital Transformation of Healthcare: Chatting to Vinod Khosla on HealMet

Vinod Khosla is a man with a vision. In his own words it's "Healthcare today is good, but far from the best it can be. It’s the result of approaching medicine according to practice and tradition, rather than real science primed by statistically validated data and conclusions."

So when I got a chance to talk to him face to face for a few of his legendary 15 minute slots on Tuesday about one of the projects that I've been involved with, the HealMet, my thoughts were whether we could apply a Pareto principle to medicine and how the HealMet device that I've been working on would fit with his vision of the  20%  percent-doctor .

I think I'd have prefered a more of a dialog rather than a flat "pitch" - I'm always happier probing in depth and discoursing the more tricky aspects rather than trying to deliver part of a one size fits all talk.

So what's the deal? Basically the thinking that Vinod reached out on was that by targeting the number one and two killers worldwide, Cardiovascular disease and stroke and targeting the most cost effect way to reduce their impact, i.e. screening, and creating an automated, deskilled package that could be used not by the most technological hundred thousand, but by the next hundred million (in the US - more worldwide) HealMet could be one of the most effective life savers and one of the greatest improvements to quality of life improvers being designed anywhere.

So the real value is moving from just delivering raw data - like an ECG trace or even information, but instead delivering actionable insights - what we might call wisdom - to the point where it can be applied.

What's more, an open platform for multi sensor input and big data analysis can be combined with concepts like auto prescribing and 3D printing of medicines (a fine trojan horse concept) to act as the doorway to the concept of the AutoDoc - the desktop 80% doctor replacement. Can start to open up this closed door at this stage? The challenges are high especially at the stages of a UX to ECG, EDA and PPG that anyone can use and will use and an automated analysis which de-skills the analysis -  those are the things that make HealMet different from the hundreds of monitoring devices out their - but transforming the world in this way could be the biggest thing that Vinod starts.

The 20% doctor in a snapshot