Startup Chicken- 10 Ways Cooking Can Make You a Better Entrepreneur

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Credit: Pixabay (CC)

Wrote this as a fun read for the weekdays. I’ve definitely learned a lot by exploring fields outside of my own…

1. It lets you be creative. 

Just like in entrepreneurship, we all start out with similar tools and mediums (vegetables, meat, olive oil, oven, stove, grill etc). However, it’s what you do with these materials that will make you stand out. Having a special secret sauce also comes in handy.

2. It forces you to parse out what’s important. 

When you have a good ingredients, or a great team, you don’t really need to do much. You nurture what’s there and let it shine.

3. It requires executive-level decision-making. 

As the chef, you balance what your consumers wants and needs are (peanut allergy, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free) with your own creative license for making a great dish. This happens in entrepreneurship as well, you balance customer feedback with creating something they didn’t know they wanted but now love and crave.

4. It forces you to focus. 

There are some tasks (i.e. cutting things with a big knife, decorating a cake with a delicate hand) that require your undivided attention. In entrepreneurship being able to focus helps with execution.

5. Sometimes it requires multi-tasking. 

Thanksgiving or any other type of big dinner party comes to mind. It requires planning, timing, organization and being ambidextrous can be very advantageous. In the early stages of a startup, writing a business plan helps you gather your thoughts. It also is a time when you are the CEO, sales team, marketing, maintenance person etc.

6. It allows for pivoting, A/B testing and customer feedback. 

Sometimes mishaps happen in the kitchen. You accidentally put salt into your dish instead of sugar, so what do you do? You go with the flow and make savory sea salt brownies instead of the traditional kind. You also A/B test your food by putting out several kinds of dips or chicken wing flavors. At the end of the night, you figure out what your best sellers are, why they sold well, and use that information when you plan your next meal/party. Instead of voting with their dollars, people vote by the ratio of food on plate/to empty plate.

7. Sometimes it requires a little bit of marketing. 

Maybe you’re not known for being a great cook. Maybe people don’t know you can cook. How do you get people to come to your dinner party? (warm introduction, maybe a sample of your goods, social media etc). Maybe you made a beef bourguignon (beef stew) with beer, potatoes and onions, and it kinda sorta looks like a bowl of all brown. Several eyebrow raises are seen. Will people try it? You emphasize that the color is due to the beer you added, the roast on the beef, and the yummy brown bits that are often part of gravies that you know they already like.

8. Depending on your budget, it requires lean ($ vs. $$$$) methodology. 

Sometimes you have to make a mountain out of a molehill. Sometimes you have a limited pantry and are running low on fresh basics because a winter storm prevented you from making this week’s grocery run. So you McGyver up a meal by learning from others and looking up recipes. Or you sit down and let your creative juices roll. Puff pastry replaces homemade biscuit dough. Granny Smith Apples are gussied up with brown sugar, cinnamon, clove. The same puff pastry is filled with leftover ham, cheese, and some caramelized onions. All of your kitchen scraps go into your compost heap.

9. Team work can make the dream work. 

You have a friend who is a sauce maestro. You are great at soups. Another friend has Jacques Pepin level knife skills. You are really good at business development. Your friend has great design skills. Another friend is a code ninja warrior master. Everyone has something that they are really good at and working as a team makes the ultimate product/service that much stronger. As an added bonus, the food community, just like the startup community, has a really supportive learning culture.

10. There is a learning curve and it requires studying, motivation, diligence, keeping an open mind, learning from others, and learning from experience. 

Cooking is a craft, and arguably, so is entrepreneurship. It changes with the development of new materials, new tools, and new ways of looking at and doing thingsIt’s about being brave enough to take a risk, be vulnerable and share your work with the world. Failure can lead to lessons learned as well as new products.

BONUS: My recipe for Startup Chicken 

Startup Chicken is about taking something almost everyone has access to and transforming it in a cost-effective (aka don’t waste anything, stretch what you have) yet universally appealing (unless you don’t eat chicken) way. It’s about taking the time to make something, taking pride in your work, and sharing it with others.

Sunday- Buy your chicken. Whatever you can afford. Ideally, you will be able to buy a whole chicken (it roasts better that way) or you can buy pre-cut or have your friendly butcher cut it up. Rub your chicken under and over the skin and in the cavity with oil/butter, and herbs (smoked paprika or lemon pepper or cajun seasoning-basically whatever you have and like). Put vegetables like carrots, celery, onion, around it. Roast in the oven pre-heated at 450 degrees (adjust for your oven) for 1-1.5hrs until juices run clear in the thigh. You can make a pan sauce with the vegetables and the drippings by adding flour and a little stock. Cut the leftover chicken into bite-sized pieces and save the bones. Make a stock with the bones.

The rest of the week is about coming up with delicious ways to use what you have. These are just suggestions.

Monday- Chicken pot pie, chicken stew or chicken casserole. Carrots, celery, thyme, onion in roux with some cream. Pop the mixture into puff pastry or crust (ok if pre-made) and bake. If you don’t have cream or pastry, throw it vegetables and chicken into a slow cooker with a little stock and you’ll have lovely stew by the time you come home. Add pasta to either to turn the dish into a hearty casserole.

Tuesday-Chicken salad. Add your favorite greens. Asian chicken salad, chicken caesar salad, goat cheese-apples-beets-arugula-chicken salad -endless possibilities

Wednesday-Chicken noodle or rice soup. Stock + starch + vegetables.

Thursday- Chicken nachos or quesadillas. Lettuce, onions, tomatoes, cheese, beans, pickled jalapeno, roasted corn, guacamole, squeeze of lime, chipotle, tomatilla salsa, tomato salsa or pico de gallo. Put under the broiler until the cheese melts (about 10 minutes). Use whatever you have, whatever you like.

Friday- Probably chickened out by now (ba-dum-bum). Feel free to switch proteins or order/eat out 🙂

Note: These recipes work with almost any protein and with vegetables only. Startup beef works too. I picked chicken because it’s more affordable and “startup beef” can be interpreted as “startup discord” lol

I’m a foodie and a maker heart. Follow me @doctorcharlene on Twitter.

Dear Friend…I Believe in YOU…-C

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Credit: CC Pixabay

Dear Friend:

We have known each other for a while and I have come to know the type of person that you are.

-You are the kind of person who puts your heart into everything that you do.

-You are the kind of person who chooses your path rather than let others choose for you.

-You are the kind of person who is willing to run through walls to break down barriers that others have created, so future generations will have a clear path and a chance at opportunity.

-You are the kind of person who will light a flame that the world has yet to be dazzled by.

-You are the kind of person who people question. They will question your gender, your background, your education, if you have what it takes, your right to be so bold…

-You are the kind of person who will answer those questions with your achievements.

-You are the kind of person who will meet challenge after challenge. Sometimes you will succeed, and sometimes you will fail, but the knowledge you gain from both will make you stronger, smarter, better.

-You are the kind of person who was born to serve the world in the endeavors that you undertake and you will do it with honesty, integrity, care, intellect, insight, and the gusto of life that is apparent in every breath that you take.

-You are the kind of person who was born to serve the world in the endeavors that you undertake and you will do it with honesty, integrity, care, intellect, insight, and the gusto of life that is apparent in every breath that you take.

-You are the kind of person that is human and makes mistakes, but you don’t let those mistakes hold you down for long.

-You are the kind of person that I believe in. Betting on you isn’t a bet at all. It’s an investment in your future and mine as well because what you are doing and what you will create will change the world. Let the naysayers drink from their bitter cups and let us drink from the cup of life without regret.

I believe in YOU.

Your friend,

-C

Why Love and Humor Matter in Business

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Credit: Pixabay

When I was little (still am, just older), my idea of a businessperson was someone who was intelligent, busy, wore a suit and shiny shoes, was stern and wore a contemplative look on his/her face all the time. In fact, in researching the root of the word from Etymology Online, in Old English the word business was bisignes (Northumbrian) and meant “care, anxiety, occupation,” and from bisig “careful, anxious, busy, occupied, diligent”. As I get older, that’s simply not the case because there is a difference between b-us-in-ess(ence) and just abrupt busy-ness.

If you do something you love, something that lights that fire within, it shows. You can’t hide it; it’s a part of you because it emanates from you. It’s like watching a master baker kneading her dough until it’s just right so it bakes up exactly as she wants it, soft and airy with a bit of crunch on the outside, or moist and dense and filling. Or a nail artist who creates fantastic, colorful, otherworldly designs with the paintbrush of his imagination. Or a doctor whose gentle hands and gentle manner soothe a patient in distress.

Business is about connection. It’s about bringing value to people. It’s a vehicle by which change and opportunity happen. It also can be done with a pocket full of humor. After all laughter is the best medicine. Think about experiences you’ve had in the past when it came to customer service or meeting a new business associate. Did something funny work to break the ice? Did the lack of a human connection kill the deal?

Number are important. Data is important. However, so are the things that make us human, because after all the interactions we have are really always person-to-person with other things (like tech) as the intermediary. Or well for now, until the machine overlords take over*.

*Jeopardy reference

We have a HIMSS, so why not a HERSSS? – A call for a different kind of healthcare conference

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Credit: Pixabay

I love conferences. It’s the opportunity to learn new things, meet new people, and catch up with old friends and colleagues. Healthcare has quite a few conferences and they tend to be segmented into specialties, like those for internists, cardiologists, radiologists or pediatricians, those related to pharmaceuticals, life sciences, investing or digital health. As of late, what I’ve noticed is that there is a lot of overlap when it comes to topics, speakers and startups that showcase. In some ways this works because audiences may differ based on location or topics presented but in other ways, I think it would be nice to shakes things up a bit. Something else I’ve also noticed is that there is a lack of gender parity at a lot of these conferences. I’ve met plenty of phenomenal, intelligent, dynamic women who can speak authoritatively about the salient topics of our day and would love to see more of them featured as panelists, especially in light of the fact that women make a majority of healthcare-related decisions in American households.

Third, I would like to see more interesting pairings. What if we asked a caregiver to interview a CEO or vice versa? What if we asked a sociologist to interview a futurist?

I also would like to see a lot more hospitals, universities, medical schools and nursing schools open their doors to conferences, meetups, and outside entities. It’s important that the people who are stakeholders and who are involved in healthcare every day be involved in creating and commenting on the policies and innovations that will change the way in which they do their jobs. I’d also like to see more conferences or mini-conferences on weekends or evenings, making things feasible for providers and patients who want to attend. Livestreaming as well as having an active social media channel and archive that people can refer to is also helpful so people can watch, share, and comment on their own time.

We have a HIMSS (which has done so much in the field of healthcare meets technology) but why not a HERSS? A conference that puts together people from all elements of healthcare -traditional, nontraditional, and social. Also one where there is no dress code (except being clothed) and people can feel free to come as they are. It’s not what you wear, it’s what you bring to the table: an open mind, domain expertise (or not) and a willingness to learn, that matters.

 

So what would HERSSS stand for?

HEALTHCARE

All aspects of traditional healthcare represented as well as newer entities. A mix of hospital systems, long-term care facilities, allied health, nutritionists, physical therapists, pharma, ACO’s, urgent care clinics, community organizations, government, global health organizations, mind body medicine, integrative medicine specialists

Besides those involved in traditional allopathic healthcare, it’s important to include people who our patients also go to.

EDUCATION, ENGINEERING, ECONOMICS, ENTREPRENEURSHIP, EMPOWERMENT (Patient)

Engineers, professors, entrepreneurs, designers, patient advocates, disease specific groups, global health, caregivers, students of all kinds.

I would like to see more educators, students and patients (regular people) at events. It’s important that the people who represent the future of the industry voice their thoughts and also learn from others.

RESEARCH

Epidemiologists, data scientists, students, interested parties who conduct research out of passion and purpose

Data and evidence-based medicine will represent the core of how we practice medicine and it’s important to see what’s out there, what’s been done, and what the data says so we can shape practice based on solid information.

SCIENCE

People in life science, biologists, geneticists, cognitive neuroscientists, physicists, food researchers, materials scientists etc

What comes out of bench science often turns into new techniques, technologies, medications. What we eat and do every day, what our genetic makeup is, matters.

SOCIAL

Social workers, social media, sociology, social determinants, social innovation, social policy.

We as human beings are social creatures, we live in a network of people. No discussion on health is complete without the social aspects that are at the core of how we live and work.

SINGULARITY

Futurists, now-ists, artists, roboticists, nanomedicine, sensor and diagnostic tech

What does the future look like in the eyes of people who dare to dream and create from those dreams?

Healthcare is made up of many entities and some people see that as a weakness or barrier, but that heterogeneity can also be seen as a strength because we can draw on unique points of view and come up with creative solutions that don’t leave people behind. Instead of asking why, ask why not? That’s what we really need in a time when the system is in flux and what we create today determines what happens tomorrow.

Top 10 List of Books for Budding Entrepreneurs

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it’s meant to give budding entrepreneurs of any age a starting point when it comes to thinking about beginning their first entrepreneurial adventure. These books were chosen based on their readibility (easy to understand, key points highlighted, non-technical language), the information they provide, and their scope (social media, leadership, strategy, navigating the landscape, finances etc). Enjoy!

1. Start-up of You by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha

Great tips like “learn by doing”, “take intelligent risks”, and have a “Plan A, B and Z”.

2. Likeable Social Media by Dave Kerpen

Probably the best book on social media out there.

3. The Startup Playbook: Secrets of the Fastest Growing Startups from Their Founding Entrepreneurs by David Kidder and Reid Hoffman

Learn from well-known entrepreneurs what it took to start and run their companies.

4. How Successful People Think by John C. Maxwell

Lessons on learning on leading.

5. Escape From Cubicle Nation, From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur by Pamela Slim

Practical comprehensive action plan on how to make the jump.

6. Competitive Strategies for Dummies by Richard Pettinger

Learn about business planning and strategy.

7. Power, Why Some People Have It and Others Don’t by Jeffrey Pfeffer

A provocative read on understanding people and relationships.

8. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Think differently. Change the rules of the game.

9. World Changers, 25 Entrepreneurs Who Changed Business as We Knew It by John Byrne

Inspiring read featuring entrepreneurial rock stars from a diverse set of industries.

10. Venture Deals, Be Smarter than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist by Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson

Learn about the structure of venture deals, term sheets, and other financials.

Full list of books on my reading list can be found here: https://charlenengamwajasat.wordpress.com/2013/10/26/reading-list/

Feel free to add other faves that you might have in the comments below.

 

Zahn Center NYC Brings Innovation and Entrepreneurship to Harlem

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     The Zahn Innovation Center (http://www.zahncenternyc.com/), a startup incubator located at City College in Harlem, is contributing to the growing entrepreneurial community in Silicon Harlem, both on and off-campus. The center is named for Irwin Zahn (Class of 1948), an entrepreneur and founder of Autosplice, a global manufacturer of interconnecting products and electro-assemblies which services multiple industries, and recently, the Moxie Foundation, a philanthropic organization that supports social innovation and entrepreneurship. It is located in the Grove School of Engineering, named for another City College alumnus, Andrew Grove (Class of 1960), a co-founder and former CEO and chairman of tech juggernaut Intel.
     Zahn features mentorship opportunities, rapid prototyping capabilities, pro-bono legal and accounting services, a physical co-working space with 3DP printers and laser cutting tools, participation in a Lean Startup bootcamp and a social entrepreneurship speakers series that features a diverse group of speakers reflective of the melting pot that exists on campus and in Harlem. It also runs 4 startup competitions:  (1) The Kaylie Hardware Prize (named after Harvey Kaylie, also Class of 1960, who is the founder of Mini Circuits, a global leader of microwave and signal processing units), a $50,000 Grand Prize for hardware startups that develop physical products, (2) The Zahn Entrepreneurship Competition for software and other categories, which features a $30,000 grand prize (3) The Zahn Social Innovation Prize, a $30,000 prize for social and environmental impact startups, and the new (4) Standard Chartered Women’s Entrepreneurship Prize, a $30,000 prize for women-lead ventures using technology for economic impact.
     The center features a diverse array of social impact, hardware and software startups, as well as companies that co-work in the space (http://www.zahncenternyc.com/startups/). A snapshot of portfolio companies include:
Soterix Medical (http://soterixmedical.com/) -which focuses on neuromodulation technology
yaHeard (http://www.yaheard.co/) -an online marketing tool for musicians
eKick (http://www.ekicktech.com/) -skateboard technology for a safer ride
Homer Delivery (http://www.zahncenternyc.com/meet-homer-delivery/) -food delivery service with a focus on delivery logistics
laddine (http://www.laddine.com/) -curation site for toys that inspire kids to learn and create
Nexhealth (http://www.zahncenternyc.com/startups/nexhealth/) -doctor-patient communication tool designed to simplify and improve interaction
Next Q (http://www.zahncenternyc.com/startups/nextq/) -virtual queuing line management and analytics tool (already used by City College’s bursar and registration offices)
Van der Waals Technologies (http://www.zahncenternyc.com/startups/van-der-waals/) -graphene and Van der Waals nanotechnology fabricators
Vista Wearables (http://www1.cuny.edu/mu/forum/2012/05/18/ccny-announces-winner-of-50000-kaylie-prize-for-entrepreneurship/) -discrete wearables that aid the visually impaired/individuals in low-vision environments (military, search and rescue, firemen)
2×3 (http://www.zahncenternyc.com/startups/2×3/) -aids small cities in Latin America with financially sustainable recycling solutions

Recap of the 2014 NYeC Digital Health Conference: A Road Map for Digital Health in 2015

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     Each November, the New York E-health Collaborative (http://nyehealth.org), a nonprofit organization that serves as a public resource for health information technology in New York State, holds the annual Digital Health Conference that brings together hundreds of leaders from healthcare, entrepreneurship, venture capital, business, government and academia to discuss the trends, trials, and triumphs occurring in the field of healthcare meets technology. This year’s conference was held at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan.
     This year’s keynote speakers included Dr. Eric Topol, practicing and renowned cardiologist, author of “The Creative Destruction of Medicine”, Director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute, and Chief Medical Advisor at AT&T, and Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, Vice Provost for Global Initiatives and Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania and Wharton, founding chair of the Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health, and author of “Reinventing American Health”. Dr. Topol’s keynote highlighted several ideas and trends in the field of digital health including the democratization of medicine with the patient at its center (the shift from “the doctor will see you now to the PATIENT will see you now” and who holds information,”nothing about me without me”), its conduction as a digitized data science, our entry into an age of personalized medicine, genomics and digital tools (smartphone EMR’s and diagnostic plugins, mobile solutions for mental health and wellness, nanomedicine, embedded sensors, virtual visits) designed to provide value to users. Dr. Topol spoke about the patient’s room as the new hospital room in an age of de-centralized and distributed digital technology and the more central role that genomics needs to play in regards to diagnostics (“Cancer is a genomic disease, but we don’t diagnose it that way”, using genomics to unlock previously labeled “idiopathic disease” and the potential for molecular-level autopsy) and use in treatment, (some reactions to drugs are based on a person’s genetic makeup, i.e. the metabolism of the blood-thinner warfarin, and the value there is in knowing who will and won’t benefit from the drug before prescribing it). He also talked about the ballooning cost of healthcare, citing INC’s article, “The Trillion Dollar Cure”, and Elisabeth Rosenthal’s New York Time article “Paying til It Hurts”, and how technology can help save time and money (as an example, molecular sequencing of pathogen drug susceptibility vs. traditional culture methods means knowing if an antibiotic will work for a patient, in minutes vs. a few days -the time it usually takes cultures to grow).
     Dr. Emanuel’s keynote focused on the impact that health information technology will have on re-inventing the healthcare system and its effects on the economy. He cited that in 2014, the United States will spend $3 trillion on healthcare, making it the world’s fifth largest economy. Chronic conditions account for 80% of that cost and much of it is spent in hospitals. “The American Health Care system has more than enough money, it’s a matter of how we use that money”. Dr. Emanuel outlined 6 megatrends in healthcare (1) The diffusion of VIP care for the chronically and mentally ill (providing tertiary team-based preventative care and telemedicine to decrease ER visits, re-admissions, falls, health-related costs) (2) The expansion of digital health medicine and the closure of hospitals (with a move towards digitally-enhanced LEAN-model outpatient facilities) (3) The end of insurance companies as we know them (replaced by accountable care organizations consisting of doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers with value-based reimbursement replacing do-more-charge-more fee-for-service) (4) The end of employer-sponsored insurance (with a move towards people buying insurance from health exchanges) (5) The end of healthcare inflation and (6) The evolution of academic health centers (leading to a change in health education and delivery).
     Day 1 of the general discussion sessions began with the presentation of the PATH (Promoting Enhancement of Technology in Healthcare) awards to Dr. Patricia A. Bomba, the Vice President and Medical Director of Geriatrics, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield for her work in developing a readily available MOLST (medical order for life-sustaining treatment) form which documents a patient’s preference for life-sustaining treatment and creating the eMOLST directory for New York, and Larry McReynold’s, President of Lutheran Family Health Centers, for his dedication to improving healthcare for the medically underserved in Brooklyn.
     Next came, New York E-health Collaborative, Executive Director David Whitlinger’s presentation on the state of Health IT in New York, and what lies ahead in its digital road map. The SHIN-NY (Statewide Information Network of New York) is up and running in all 9 RHIO’s (Regional Health Information Organizations) in the state. 83% of hospitals, 56% of public health organizations, 35% of home care agencies and 14% of clinical practice sites (a complex web of connections given the number of providers in the state and in New York City alone) are connected. There are over 5 million MD to MD direct messaging transmissions a month and 6 million (about 1/3 of the state) New Yorkers have already granted their personal health care providers permission to share records via opt-in consent. Other 2014 accomplishments include the allocation of $55 million in state funding and $30 million in federal (CMS) funding for the SHIN-NY, New York State Department of Health licenses for Electronic Hospital Records, and RHIO’s poised for health information technology certification and provision of Dial-Tone service requirements (services that will provided free of charge, including: statewide patient record lookup inclusive of lab results and radiology reports, notify/alert/subscribe notifications, and public health reporting integration). The road map into 2015 includes the interconnection of the RHIO’s, the public and official launch of the statewide Patient Portal for New Yorkers (disclosure: I was involved in the design), and the use of federal and state allocated funds for projects that help the medically underserved.
     Mr. Whitlinger also announced a new program that is a joint venture between HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society), IHE USA (Integrating Healthcare Enterprise, a nonprofit that drives adoption of standards-based interoperability), ICSA labs (an independent division of Verizon that tests platform security capabilities) and the EHR/HIE Interoperability workgroup (NYeC-led coalition of 19 states which represents about 50% of the U.S. population, 20 EHR vendors and 22 HIE vendors) designed to make data sharing between organizations, states and health IT systems easier, thus helping to lower healthcare costs and improve outcomes.
     Day 2 of the general sessions featured sessions on sensors, the use of data in athletics and a demo of brain-sensing technology. Dr. Alan Greene, Chief Medical Officer of Scanadu (a consumer medical device company in the running for creating an XPRIZE tricorder) spoke about science, sensors and superpowers. Having medical technology can be likened to having a super power (i.e. X-rays to see through the body, a power held by Superman) and today’s innovative technology make it even more possible to be superheroes. However, Dr. Greene cautioned, in quoting Spider Man lore, ” with great power comes great responsibility”.
     In his talk, “Data Not Doping, How the Women’s Cycling Team Beat All the Odds at the 2012 London Olympics”, Sky Christopherson, Olympic athlete and co-founder of OAthlete, talked about  using the power of data in helping the underdog women’s  U.S. track cycling team win their first gold medal in 20 years, in a year that the men’s cycling team withdrew due to the Lance Armstrong doping scandal . The underfunded team relied on friends and family, as well as health hacking, using blood work, quantified self measures, combined with coaching to take the gold -a story that will be captured in the upcoming film, “Personal Gold”.
     In “Out of the Lab and Into the World”, Ariel Garten, co-founder and CEO of InteraXon spoke about brain-sensing device Muse (designed to improve cognition and reduce stress), and its use in mental health. She also spoke of her experiences working with consumer brain tech, using the mind to create concerts or even levitate a chair.
     This year’s breakout sessions included discussions on wearable technology, interoperability and coordinated care in a connected future, ethical policy on the use of consumer health data, the hype and hope of Big Data on the road to personalized medicine, data sharing on health information exchanges, and connected health around the world, as well as a Patient Shark Tank that featured patient panelists who assessed digital health companies, featuring Board Rounds (a service that enables post-discharge care after an ER visit), Canopy (language assistance tools to benefit patients and providers), SMAART (Show Me Again, All Recommended Treatments-which utilizes Google Glass technology to automatically record significant healthcare interactions), and the winners, a tie between Nutrify (a web and mobile-based application that changes how patient education on diet is done post-discharge) and Clear Health Costs (a cost transparency tool that people can search to look up prices for medical procedures and items).
     The DSRIP (Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Program) panel discussed the goal of reducing avoidable hospital admissions by up to 25% over 5 years and strengthening the safety net using $6 billion out of $8 billion in federal savings generated by the Medicaid Reform team. The program requires networks of PPS (Performing Provider Systems) to work together to deliver population-based care in projects that use data analytics, improved communication and patient care to New York’s Medicaid beneficiaries and the uninsured. More information on the program can be found here: https://www.health.ny.gov/health_care/medicaid/redesign/dsrip/
     A panel featuring Brian O’connor, Chair of the European Connected Health Alliance (http://www.echalliance.com/), Millard Chang, China Connected Health Alliance (along with ECHA, represents a market of over 2 billion people across 2 continents) and Chair of Pegasus Holdings Group, Julien Venne, Strategic Advisor and European Project Team Leader, European Health Alliance, and Dave Whitlinger, the Director of the New York E-health Collaborative, discussed the different political, tax, policy and care infrastructures of China, Europe and the United States. Despite these differences, they face similar challenges including aging populations and decreasing a labor force, the need for Big Data, analytics and better care coordination, and growing healthcare costs. They also discussed the opportunity there is in connecting networks, learning from each other and sharing markets.
     This year’s exhibitors at the conference featured an innovation showcase by the California Healthcare Foundation on digital health companies across the globe, UK Technology Trade Investment, Invest North Ireland (http://www.investni.com/index.html), asthma-focused tech company Propeller Health, and the Muse wearable as well as other companies that span the field of digital health.
     2014 has been a blockbuster year for digital health, with notable IPO’s, the rise of investment in HIT companies, changes in government policy, innovative initiatives at healthcare institutions and healthcare-focused corporations, and 2015 looks like it will build upon that and continue this upward and progressive trend.