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The Digital Health Update — Paul Sonnier

April 10, 2013

I sent the following announcement to 16,678 Digital Health group members on April 10, 2013:

The Digital Health Update — Paul Sonnier

Dear Digital Health group members,

In this update:

(1) Startup Accelerators Delivering Holistic Value to the Digital Health Ecosystem
(2) Self-Tracking by Diabetics: Group Members Respond to Thomas Goetz’s Atlantic Article
(3) Digital Health: A “Real Biz Model 2 Win” or “Merely a Bubble”? — My Popper Blog Post
(4) Comprehensive Global Event List —



A recent piece by Stephanie Baum in MedCityNews generated a lot of discussion in the group. The key question being discussed is how to measure the value provided to startups and entrepreneurs in exchange for forgoing a percentage of equity, typically around 7%. My feeling—and what I tell entrepreneurs—is that getting into an accelerator like Blueprint Health (where I’m one of 100+ other mentors), Rock Health, Healthbox, or StartUp Health seems to be well worth the price, as it opens up a world of opportunities and resources that are typically not otherwise available—or simply not in an accelerated time frame. Moreover, as Geoffrey Clapp, a Rock Health advisor points out, “Performance in an vertical, mission driven incubator is a very tough thing to measure, and I’d argue it’s not as simple as money.”

Indeed, there is an overarching purpose of these accelerators to improve healthcare delivery and patient/consumer health. This is what drives me and many others to catalyze digital health innovation and adoption concomitant with fostering the success of entrepreneurs, startups and established companies and other stakeholders.

Here’s a great related video from Entrepreneur magazine: “Health-Tech Startups Ride Digital Wave”. “With more than $1 billion in venture capital investment in 2012, health tech is one of the hottest industries today. From consumer-facing websites, to devices that help doctors prevent hospital infections, startups are changing the way the healthcare system works.”

Lastly, I maintain a list of startup resources and funding opportunities on my personal website:


Group member Thomas Goetz’s recent article, “The Diabetic’s Paradox: Health self-tracking is in vogue. But is it more of a boon or a burden?” sparked heated discussion in the group. Noteworthy were comments pointing out that diabetes is not a monolithic disease nor are the experiences and motivations of sub-populations.

Noteworthy among contributors to the discussion is Dr. Stephanie Kreml, my new colleague at Popper and Company. Great to be working with you, Stephanie!


This is my expanded commentary on the digital health funding environment, which was inspired by David Shaywitz’s Forbes article and comments by group members Rick Valencia and Marc Newman.


Health Data Consortium’s Health Datapalooza IV — June 3-4 in Washington D.C., USA
Born from government efforts to liberate health data, this conference is a forum that features the newest and most innovative and effective uses of health data by companies, startups, academics, government agencies and individuals. 2,000+ attendees are expected with speakers including Todd Park and Atul Gawande.

Comprehensive Global Event List —

Best regards,
Paul Sonnier

Head of Digital Health Strategy, Popper and Company
Founder, 16,000+ member Digital Health group on LinkedIn
Mentor, Blueprint Health
Twitter: @Paul_Sonnier


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