Technology is changing Healthcare

ImagesMy guess is many investors are asking themselves is a healthcare type deal something that is actually in my wheelhouse.  Is this a healthcare investment or is it a technology investment.  Technology is helping make the healthcare system better at every turn.  There is no question that the system we have now is far from optimal.  How can technology help reduce costs, share data easily and make it easier for people to some of the work from home.  These are three companies that I invested in that I believe are making a difference in healthcare.  

I saw Captureproof over the summer and was immediately drawn into what Meghan had built.  All you need is a handheld device with a camera to safely share patient to doctor and if need by doctor to doctor.  If you ever have had to follow-up with a doctor for just a look/see wouldn't life be better if you could just take a picture what was needed to look/see and get the thumbs up from your doctor?  What if your infant was having seizures and you needed to capture that for your doctor and then made sure that it is in their medical files…Captureproof.  For the doctors that get it, and there are plenty including hospitals is that you can be more efficient and begin to create data to share with your peers.  This is purely a technology business to help doctors and patients through real time capture of photos of anything medically related.  And yes it is HIPAA compliant.

My daughter showed me the app, Hello Clue.  She had turned all her friends on to it.  So why in the vast app world of these was she drawn to this one?  The simplicity of the product.  After Ida showed it to me I was shown the Clue deck from about three separate investors who decided it was too early and the company was based in Berlin.  I get the Berln part but we do get to Berlin once a year, skype works, she is a smart woman and is building a technology that nobody else has so I went with it. I also liked that one of the angel investors was one of the first in Sound Cloud, a Berlin success story.  The traction she is getting is impressive and I also like that 50% of the users are outside the US.

I spoke with the woman entrepreneur behind Ubiome.  Jessica has built a kit that analyzes your micorbiome.  Doctors do not always look at the microrganisms that live inside us today although in Eastern medicine I do believe this is a more common practice.  You can learn a lot from what microrgamisms that live inside your body.  I recently went to see a doctor who looks at this kind of stuff.  The issue I had with it is I am not so sure I believed in her treatment and if in fact it was necessary.  If there was data around this in the area of the world that I lived in that the majority of people that live in NYC have that in their body then I'd feel more comfortable.  There isn't any data…yet.  I am very intrigued by this but again a technolgy investment.  A simple kit you get at home and then they give you your results but no advice with what to do with that knowledge although how this business moves forward will be interesting.  Now it makes sense that they are working with businesses that work within the medical community but consumers can buy it too.   

Another vertical that is starting to hit investors desks.  Interesting to watch and participate.  

Comments (Archived):

  1. William Mougayar

    Definitely. Lots of exciting products that are becoming useful now. Trick is to get doctors to participate somehow. Check this one:

    1. Gotham Gal

      Hard goods are tough. Interesting.Most of the doctors are open to change. At least the forward thinking ones.

      1. William Mougayar

        I thought that one connected to smartphones too. We need to think about older or sick people too that aren’t necessarily smartphone savvy, but can send their status to others. That one also will test for levels of glucose, protein, leukocytes, nitrates, blood, bilirubin, urobilinogen, specific gravity, and pH in urine.I like your selections. Fred mentioned Ubiome at LeWeb and Ubiome Sunday on his blog.I will email you on something related to this 🙂

  2. awaldstein

    Small things will make a big difference.Even record sharing in a useful way will be a huge step.And I agree–the best doctors are open to this now.

  3. Bob Labarre

    HI Joanne–I wrote a couple of comments on A VC on Sunday on this topic, as I sense that you and Fred and others are getting very serious about this. I have to say that I don’t see the niche– while it might seem very productive to a lay person that his/her Doctor have unfettered access to every BP reading, Heart Rate change, saliva amylase DNA base pair sequence, and sweat electrolyte composition, the reality is that this is floridly unimportant data to have continuously live-streamed. It is not that Doctors are ‘Luddites’, or that they are not talented to be visionary, or that they are not monetarily incentivized to ‘change and get with the times’…. it is that all the data that will be flooding in is generally worthless. For COMPLICATED blood pressure patients or arrhythmia patients (the vast minority of the ‘market’), ambulatory telemetry devices, good blood pressure machines, and even Garmen devices have been ubiquitous for years.Ironically, your idea about fecal and colon bacterial characterization may be the most interesting. It is true that the total cells in our body, surpassing a quadrillion, is mostly made up of bacteria that live in our large colon and in on our skin, not our own human body cells. So it is logical to wonder if these mostly foreign and uncharacterized cells can make a difference in our individual health. This is a mostly new field, and may have some legs in the future. There is some research that ‘fecal’ transplants– yes– putting healthy fecal matter from one healthy person into another patient’s colon who has Inflammatory Bowel disease (Crohn’s), might help the sick patient. (Sounds weird, but I can send you the research link)But, if you’re going to compete in a competitive bike ride out West, strap on a Garmen device and down-load all the data at the end. You will get a picture of your cardiac performance as a lay person that is as clinically meaningful as I can derive as an invasive cardiologist performing an invasive coronary angiogram on you. There will be a day in the (disappointingly far) future when computation biology, using quantum computing, can predict outcomes with precision from genetic databases. But for the foreseeable future, live, macro HR and BP and sweat electrolyte data streaming in from your daily, ambulatory life is akin to having fun with Foursquare with your friends. Such social media inventions– now re-directed to a medical purpose– but originally derived for purposes of mostly fun and little functionality, will not translate to the Medical world where functionality is 100% the goal. (It is not persuasive to use terms like measuring ‘urobilinogen and leukocytes’, as one commenter does above–these measures sound cool and very ‘chemical’, but are fully meaningless on a day-to-day or month to month, or year-to-year basis in an ambulatory gal or guy on the street).

    1. Gotham Gal

      interesting to hear your take.captureproof proved it self the other day at an event. a doctor, whose child has migraines, took a picture of his kids face just before the migraine came on. what they saw in his pupils was something that no one had ever seen before as they began to dilate.clue is helping women track their own bodies data.ubiome is fascinating and how that evolves will be interesting. you have touched upon a boy from MIT i would think you would be diving into to see if there is some validity to how the incorporation of technology helps doctors with their patients and hopefully creates less stress on the medical profession ( and of course cost ).

  4. ellen

    Technology has certainly made me feel safer as my husband came home after over 4 months at the hospital. I feel somewhat secure with his digital weight scale, blood pressure cuff and o2 monitor beaming to the mgh telemonitoring nurses.I feel a bit safer because my husband is also wearing an external zoll lifevest that if his heart should stop, he will get a shock that could save his life and it also monitors his heart rhythm.I like to see the immediate results of his tests online so I can change dosage of pills accordingly.What i don’t care for is the way electronic records can just leave out whole scenarios of hospital mistakes. It is amazing how a doctor’s mistake or a wrong procedure or pill that is given is just left out of the electronic records. If I wasn’t there 24/7 no one would ever know what had happened, because it is just left out of the record. It is done so the hospital has no liability but even if you have no intention of suing there is important info left out that is very important like allergies to dye after given ct iodine dye and going into respiratory failure. EMR make it so much easier to just ignore important data.

  5. pointsnfigures

    Captureproof is cool. She is a great person to back as well, which at their stage is more important than anything else. There is a cutting edge simulation lab in Peoria, IL,, that is trying to test these things out in a simulator-then get them into a real hospital theatre more quickly.