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The Digital Health Update — Paul Sonnier

April 2, 2013

I sent the following announcement to 16,493 Digital Health group members on April 2, 2013:

Dear Digital Health group members,

In this update:

(1) Digital Health VC Funding — Continued Growth vs. Decline in Life Sciences
(2) The Stick Comes Out — Financial Penalties for Employees
(3) Digital Health on TV #1 — Dr. Eric Topol on The Colbert Report
(4) Digital Health on TV #2 — EHR Non-Interoperability on The Daily Show
(5) Member Profile — Syuzi Pakhchyan, Fashion Technologist

 
(1) VENTURE CAPITAL INVESTING IN DIGITAL HEALTH ACCELERATES WHILE BIOTECH AND MEDICAL DEVICES INVESTING DECLINE

Forbes contributor David Shaywitz’s recent piece “Life Science VCs: Definitively Indefinite About Digital Health” inspired comments in the group by myself, Qualcomm Life’s Rick Valencia, and David himself: http://bit.ly/LSVCsDiscussion (Direct link to article http://bit.ly/LSVCsDigitalHealth)

Rick made three points, including a sage response to one VC’s quoted comments about business models and hype: “Sounds exactly like the naysayers in the mid to late 90’s. Thank goodness we didn’t listen to them and throw away the Internet!”. I highlighted that the $1.4B invested in 2012 by mostly-non life science VCs represents a 46% surge in digital health investment year-over-year, while funding for Biotech and Medical Devices are down 15% and 13%, respectively. Rock Health—source of statistics—just released an update highlighting that Q1 digital health investing this year is 35% higher than Q1 of last year: http://bit.ly/RHDHUpdate2013

 
(2) THE STICK COMES OUT — FINANCIAL PENALTIES FOR CVS EMPLOYEES

There was heated discussion in the group on news that CVS, the largest pharmacy chain in the United States, will penalize its employees $600 a year if they don’t participate in a ‘voluntary’ wellness program: http://bit.ly/CVSDiscussion
Article: “For workers at CVS, body fat can be costly” http://bit.ly/CVSArticle

 
(3) DIGITAL HEALTH ON TV — DR. ERIC TOPOL

For those who missed it, Dr. Topol appeared on The Colbert Report and demonstrated several well known digital health devices for—and on—host Stephen Colbert: http://bit.ly/TopolOnColbert

 
(4) DIGITAL HEALTH ON TV — JON STEWART ON EHR NON-INTEROPERABILITY

Jon Stewart, host of “The Daily Show”, commented on the lack of interoperability between the EHR systems used by the US Department of Defense (DOD) and the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Stewart points out that while this might be expected (lamented, in this case) between competitors in the private sector, it’s “not the relationship you expect from the part of the government which takes care of our disabled veterans and the part of the government that creates them.” http://bit.ly/StewartInteroperability

 
(5) MEMBER PROFILE — SYUZI PAKHCHYAN

I was delighted when Syuzi Pakhchyan, “a fashion technologist with a fetish for beautiful code and conductive cloth” recently joined the group. Syuzi is the author of “Fashioning Technology,” the first DIY book on interactive fashion. I asked Syuzi how digital health relates to her work: “Wearable technology systems have the power to change the health trajectory of the next generation of connected families. By fusing the expressive power of clothing with technology, we see enormous potential in using wearable technology in positive (and fun) ways to shape human behavior, especially for the generation of digital natives.”

Syuzi also wrote an excellent blog post about SXSW. My favorite of her three points was that “Self-tracking is No Longer the Sole Domain of Hypochondriacs and Fitness Freaks” http://bit.ly/DHatSWSW

 
Best regards,
Paul Sonnier

Head of Digital Health Strategy, Popper and Company http://popperandco.com
Founder, 16,000+ member Digital Health group on LinkedIn http://linkd.in/DigitalHealthGroup
Mentor, Blueprint Health http://www.blueprinthealth.org
Twitter: @Paul_Sonnier http://twitter.com/Paul_Sonnier

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