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The age of the smartwatch is approaching, and it represents a significant potential shift in the consumer mobile health space.  These wearable, multi-functional devices have the potential to supplant mobile phones and existing wearable health devices as the central platform for mobile health.  There are already a few smartwatches on the market today, notably Pebble, Martian and MetaWatch Strata, and the market is getting increasing attention as several major technology players currently have devices in development.  Samsung and LG recently confirmed that they are developing smartwatches, and both Apple and Google are reported to be developing them as well.

These wearable devices have several characteristics that make them ideal for use in health management: Read the rest of this entry »

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I’m reading the Steve Jobs biography and remembering the digital music revolution.  It’ s been about 9 years since the launch of the  iTunes store, so there’s been time for digital music to mature some, and for a new generation to grow up with a new model for acquiring and listening to music.  I was interested to see how people get their music today.  Nielsen just released its first ever report on how people, both kids(13-17) and adults (18+),  listen to music.  The results…YouTube, Radio, and CDs are the most popular ways.  CDs!  I found the results really surprising and had to share.  Most of my peers use spotify or pandora.  I’m an iTunes guy.  The smart playlist function is amazing, and I like to own my music.  See the chart below for a full breakdown of listening preferences, or read more in this WSJ article.

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The healthcare information age is upon us.  With federal incentives to adopt Electronic Medical Records (EMR), more and more medical practices are going paperless. An important benefit of EMR is ease of data collection and analysis.  As patient treatments and outcomes are stored electronically, rich data sets become available to medical practices.  Responses to treatments can be measured and used to guide future treatment decisions.  For example, analysis can identify variations in treatment responses by sub-populations, with the promise of more personalized medicine.

In the past, this kind of patient outcomes data analysis was something primarily done by insurance companies, because of their access to lots of patient information.  EMR systems now bring this power to the healthcare providers.  Now that they have the infrastructure to collect data, they can begin to better understand their own patients.  But because this is a newly acquired capability, it may take time before providers fully understand the potential of data analysis.

As an illustration of an organization that does know the power of data, we can turn to the dating website OkCupid.  In the same way that EMR digitizes patient record keeping, dating websites have taken the acts of courting (answering personal questions, winking, being rejected, lining up dates and hopefully finding love) digital.  And just like EMR, records of these transactions provide rich data sets for analysis.  OkCupid does a great job of analyzing user interactions through the site and sharing interesting trends that they identify via a blog they call OkTrends. Read the rest of this entry »

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ACOs are like the weather.  Everyone is talking about them, no one knows what they will really bring. 

ACO Overview

While the term Accountable Care Organization originated in 2006, ACOs were brought into the spotlight through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) legislation passed in March 2010.  An ACO is a healthcare provider entity/network that includes the full spectrum of care including PCPs, specialists, hospitals, long term care, etc.  The main principle of ACOs is to unify providers and improve coordination of patient care with the goal of improving patient outcomes and decreasing cost of care.  Read the rest of this entry »

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You may have heard the legend that Van Halen used to demand a supply of M&Ms backstage at their concerts, with all the brown M&Ms removed.  Well, it turns out the legend is true.  As was recently found by The Smoking Gun, the demand was written into the band’s performance contract, and promoters were actually contractually obligated to remove the brown M&Ms.  The request could easily be written off as bratty behavior of diva rock-stars, but there is more to it.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Being a great negotiator takes discipline. Below is a list of guidelines for success created from experience negotiating technology licensing agreements, and interacting with business development professionals.

Never fall in love with a deal
Whether we admit it or not, almost all decision making is done at an emotional level, with facts and data used to rationalize the decision. That may not be so bad when buying a car, but business deals need to be as emotionlessly calculated as humanly possible. You must be prepared to walk away. Falling in love with a deal can lead to what is known as the “winner’s curse.” Bidding high to win a deal leads to the winner overpaying. Let judgment win over emotion.

Don’t believe the numbers
They’re wrong. No matter how scientifically derived the financial projections are…they’re wrong. You need to know the potential of what you’re buying, but don’t give the numbers too much credit. Read the rest of this entry »

I have a friend who is staring her own business. It’s a for-profit social impact enterprise. As a result, the financial returns she aspires to achieve are lower than a typical startup’s, and she’s struggling to attract investors. Creating an enterprise that aims to generate social benefit as well as financial benefit requires a specific type of investor that is rare. That is to say, there are few entities willing to make a large investment in a company without the potential of a large return on investment. But there are lots of people interested in making social change, and in backing it financially. Most people make some sort of charitable donation each year. Perhaps these people and their social change-seeking dollars could be channeled towards people like my friend. Read the rest of this entry »

I’m heading to Duke’s Fuqua school of business to get my MBA. I’ve put most of my Innovance work on hold while I’m at school, so there will probably be few updates. I’m enrolled in the school’s Health Sector Management program, where I hope to learn more about commercializing early stage medical technologies. For more information on the Health Sector Management program, click the image below.

Click for more info on Fuqua’s HSM program

Partnering with Russ Bown of ipXpress, I have been working with international technology management organizations, helping them move beyond a regional or national focus, and establish collaborations with international commercial development partners.

I have helped Russ expand ipXpress’ business to South America, and will be working with two new clients there: NEOS in Santiago, Chile, and Inova Unicamp in Campinas, Brazil

NEOS – Pioneering Tech Transfer in Chile
Technology transfer is extremely new in Chile, and NEOS is the country’s leading tech transfer organization. It is rare for Chilean universities to have their own office of technology licensing (OTL), and NEOS generally acts as a national OTL, working directly with inventors at several different research institutions. Read the rest of this entry »

Innovance client, StrataGent Life Sciences has just closed a $16M round of funding. I’ve been involved with this company since my Stanford days, and am really thrilled to be able to help them develop and find success.

Congratulations StrataGent!