Tag Archives: eeva kiuru

Tuliaisia Loskasta – Greetings from the Slush !

Tuliaisia Loskasta - Greetings from the Slush !

Teksti ja kuvat: Eeva Kiuru, Oulu Wellness Institute.

Demoja, keksintöjä, innostusta, satunnaisia kohtaamisia, rahoituskierroksia, veikkauksia seuraavista isoista jutuista. Viime viikon ylivoimaisesti kiivain syke löytyi Helsingin kaapelitehtaalta. Euroopan suurin startup-tapahtuma Slush, suomeksi Loska, kokosi yhteen kaikkien aikojen ennätysyleisön. Yli 5000 kansainvälistä ja Pohjois-Euroopan innovatiivista startup-yrittäjää, rahoittajaa ja muita innovaatioiden kaupallistamisesta kiinnostunutta henkilöä kokoontui marraskuun viimaa uhmaten kannustamaan eteenpäin uutta yritystoimintaa.

Kuhinan keskeltä toin tuliaisina kolme isoa juttua:

Terveys- ja hyvinvointiteknologia on seuraava iso juttu. Oli hienoa omin silmin nähdä miten alan saama huomio kasvaa Slush-tapahtumassakin vuosi vuodelta suuremmaksi. Suuriin globaaleihin terveysongelmiin löydetään jatkuvasti täysin uusia innovatiivisia ratkaisuja. Parhaat keksinnöt yhdistävät luovalla ja ennakkoluulottomalla tavalla elementtejä useilta eri aloilta. Kaiken ei tarvitse olla uutta, vaan joskus voi olla oivaltavampaa yhdistellä itsestään selviä elementtejä uudelle alalle tai yhteen uuteen teknologiseen elementtiin. Vain mielikuvitus ja kekseliäisyys on rajana.

Terveys- ja hyvinvointialalla asiakas ja asiakkaan käyttäytyminen on seuraava iso juttu. Teknologian kehittyminen on mahdollistamassa entistä enemmän työkaluja meille tavallisille ihmisille oman terveytemme vaalimiseen ja itsestä huolehtimiseen. Parhaat yritykset ymmärtävät, että ollaan tekemisissä ihmisten käyttäytymisen muutoksen kanssa. Maslown
tarvehierarkiat ja käyttäytymistieteen perusasiat tulee jokaisen terveysteknologiayrittäjän osata ulkoa, jotta voi kuvitellakaan pystyvänsä muuttamaan ihmisten käyttäytymistä uudella tuotteella.

Terveys- ja hyvinvointialan startup-yritykset imevät nyt kiivaasti oppia asiakasymmärryksestä. Kenellä asiakasymmärrystä sitten on eniten ? Vaikkapa niillä, jotka ovat jo tehneet tuotteita ja palveluita suoraan kuluttajille super-kilpailluilla aloilla. Tällaista osaamista on mm. pelintekijöillä, operaattoreilla, perinteisillä palvelualoilla. Heistä parhaat ovat oppineet miellyttämään, koukuttamaan, pitämään asiakkaan tyytyväisenä ja uskollisena omalle palvelulle. Humanistit, kulttuuriantropologit, käytettävyysasiantuntijat. Myös teitä tarvitaan juuri nyt. Tulkaa mukaan luomaan uutta ihmisläheistä teknologiaa, joka saa meidät elämään terveellisemmin.

Teksti on julkaistu Oululehdessä 16.11.2013

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Top 10 Messages from Silicon Valley Health Tech Investors

Top 10 Messages from Silicon Valley Health Tech Investors

Text and photo: Eeva Kiuru, Oulu Wellness Institute

Today was the third and last day at the 7th Annual Health 2.0 Fall Conference in Santa Clara. The day was full of demos and developer challenge announcements. Also, the winners of the Nokia X Prize Innovation Challenge were announced and rewarded.

We are truly witnessing amazing progress in the field of combining life science with mobile technology.

My focus today was on investors and their advise to health tech entrepreneurs in the crowded health tech space.

Here is top 10 take home messages straight from Silicon Valley Health Tech investors:

1. Focus on big enough health challenges and address them with new technologies.

2. Help get doctors in proper use – don’t try to replace them.

3. Choose carefully what space you are in. The healthcare market is very segmented and the smaller startup you are the better you must choose your niche.

4. Revenue is the best format of funding. Customer is the best possible investor.

5. Bootstrapping forces your business to discipline.

6. Healthcare convenience is a strong selling point.

7. Consumers will drive medical community to transform.

8. Get proof of concept and evidence with a couple of customers. Without that your idea is not valuable.

9. Accelerators provide great environment, but you should vet them carefully to make sure they offer what you really need (relevant client contacts in your segment, space, mentors, funding).

10. Make sure you help customers to save money or make money. Preferably both. In the US,
improving quality alone does not rank high on the value proposition list.

Cream of the Launch Crop at Health 2.0

Cream of the Launch Crop at Health 2.0

Text: Eeva Kiuru, Oulu Wellness Institute

The health tech scene is heating and every year there are hundreds of candidate startups running to become the next big health innovation and the best of the Health 2.0 show.

One selection was made today by the Health 2.0 audience. Here are the startups that made it to the Annual Health 2.0 Fall Conference shortlist and Launch main stage:

1. Smart Patient – patient experience and satisfaction service

2. Intellictyx – Intelligent referral service

3. Genetrainer – Gene-based exercise guidance

4. Medlio – Virtual health insurance card focusing on cost transparency

5. Involvecare – Service to get involved with caregiving

6. Wimty – End of life care decision platform (health advocate, life-sustaingin treatments, pain management, wellbeing, final breath) with help of digital process and power of video

7. Recovery record – eating disorder management tool

8. Liviam – Support team platform for hospitalized loved ones

9. Mevoked – Mental health and wellness tracking tool

10. OMSignal – Lifestyle tracker shirt focused on ABC of wellness (Activity, Breathing and Cardiac)

The winner of the Launch competition was voted online by the live audience:  OM Signal Lifestyle tracker shirt.

Introducing New York eHealth Collaborative and Digital Health Accelerator

Introducing New York eHealth Collaborative and Digital Health Accelerator

Text: Eeva Kiuru, Oulu Wellness Institute

OWI’s US Gateway program is on a mission to find Finnish startups different gateways to the US healthcare market. Part of this mission is to recognize important connection points in the US and make sure our developers in Finland are aware of these possibilities. In this miniseries we interview some interesting people we have met during this fall.

September 26, 2013 I had the possibility to visit New York eHealth Collaborative and their Digital Health Accelerator. I met there VP Anuj Desai and Senior Program Manager Yossi Saadon.

Here’s what we discussed:

Eeva: I’m interviewing Yossi Saadon, Senior Program Manager of the Digital Health Accelerator in New York. Hello Yossi.

Yossi: Hi Eeva, how are you ?

Eeva: Great. Please tell me, what exactly is NY eHealth Collaborative and the Digital Health Accelerator ?

Yossi: NY eHealth Collaborative is a non-profit organization with a mission to bring healthcare to all New York through health IT. We break it out into different initiatives. The main thing is to drive the adoption of health IT and electronic health records across New York state.

We also created a state-wide health IT network to allow large hospitals to exchange clinical data with each other. This is the largest clinical network in the USA. We created an API on top of that network to bring innovation and startups to develop and stimulate this ecosystem.

On top of that we developed a New York Digital Health Accelerator program together with our partners, the partnership fund for New York City. This is a 9 month program for health IT startups, usually at the later stage. We require them have a beta and potentially some customers. The companies receive 300.000 usd investment from a group of investors. They have to have a presence in New York during the program.

Our unique differentiator in the program is that we match each of the companies selected to the program with 2-4 provider mentors, so they work with large hospitals in New York State, such as New York Presbyterian Hospital, North Shore LIJ and Mount Sinai. They work with them and receive their mentorship with the goal to get a pilot launched. We had our first class graduated in May 2013. We got 17 pilots launched with the providers and the companies created over 100 jobs in New York City.

Eeva: Sounds great. Can anyone from anywhere in the world apply to your accelerator ?

Yossi: Yes of course. Actually for the first program we received over 250 applications from different states in the US and also from across the world, from England and Israel for example. There is no problem of being part of the program.

Our only condition is to have a presence during the program in New York state. So we just try to attract companies with a hope that eventually they will have enough customers so that they will stay, because we also have an economic mission to create jobs.

Eeva: Do you give funding for the companies and do you take equity of them?

Yossi: Every company accepted into the program receives up to 300.000 usd from a group of investors in a form of a convertible note. First they receive in the beginning of the program 100.000 usd. We have a mid-program check in. All the companies that meet all the requirements receive the additional 200.000 usd.

Our partners, the Partnership fund for New York City, which is a VC with an economic mission to develop the New York, is responsible to a group of investors and they created the fund and can take the equity of the companies.

Eeva: There is a huge development potential in healthcare. Are there any specific domain areas you are looking for when choosing the startups for your accelerator program ? What kind of healthcare problems are you actually trying to fix ?

Yossi: Together with the healthcare providers who are part of our program we have identified four focus areas where there is a need for improvement in healthcare system. The four focus areas are: care coordination, analytics, patient engagement and message alerts. We are looking for companies in each of those specific focus areas to help improve healthcare delivery and reduce costs in those areas.

Eeva: Those are not any small problems you are solving. What are the biggest challenges for health IT startups ? What are they mostly struggling with ?

Yossi: Startups struggle with a lot of different things. It’s admirable to see entrepreneurs come with ideas and driving them forward. I would say the biggest challenge is all about selling. It’s trying to sell what you have. It’s selling to get investors, selling to get customers.

Also the access to customers is very, very challenging if you are a company developing product for healthcare providers because those hospitals have a very slow procurement process. It takes some time to review and get their approval and push it forward. Sometimes it just gets stuck. And just because it gets stuck doesn’t mean that they don’ t need it. Access to providers is very very challenging for startups.

Eeva: Sounds great that you help exactly in those difficult areas. What about investors, are they now active in health IT ?

Yossi: We have eight different investors as part of the program. Some are classic VC’s and some more strategic. There is a lot of excitement in this field, because it’s a changing industry with the Affordable Care Act.

When industry is changing, there is always opportunities for new innovation to come in. When new innovations are about to grow investors want to be part of it and help companies grow and be part of the business development and push it forward. It’s very exciting. This whole market is being stimulated. It’s a great place to be in.

Eeva: Sounds good. Finally, Yossi, we have a very active health IT developer community in Finland. What would you like to say to our developers ?

Yossi: First of all, I admire your drive to become entrepreneurs and developers in any field. I know it’s very very challenging. Keep up. I know sometimes it looks hard. Just do your things right, push forward and things get in the right place.

I invite all of you to come check our program. We offer a lot of tools and needed resources for developers and access to providers. New York State has a lot of large hospitals and health care providers that are eager also to accept those innovations and open-minded to mentoring. That access I want to provide to you guys.

Eeva: Thank you very much, Yossi.

Show your delta

Show your delta

Text and photo: Eeva Kiuru, Oulu Wellness Institute

A team of Finnish Health Tech Startups and support organisations are gathering this week in Santa Clara Silicon Valley for the 7th Annual Health 2.0 Fall Conference.

Special Team Finland program arranged by Tekes and Sitra, kicked off yesterday evening with a team gathering where an experienced group of Silicon Valley Finns (Michel Wendell, Hartti Suomela, Ari Tulla and Nelli Lähteenmäki) shared their insights and secrets to our group.

One thing that grabbed my attention was discussion about delta.

When meeting investors in different matchmaking and pitching sessions, it is important to make a good impression. Who are you ? What are you working on ? What is so special about your new product ? What is your value proposition ? These normal things.

If you are lucky – and if you have done your homework – you may get a chance to continue the talk deeper in your business case.

But according to the Valley Experts, what happens when you meet next time with that same person,  is far more important. What have you done since you last met ? Have you got new clients ? Have you been featured in media ? Have you made improvements to your product ? Have you got funding?

This is delta. This is progress. By showing investors evidence of what you have done since last time you are building trust and far more likely to end up having serious funding discussions.

Terveysteknologian myrskyvaroitus

Terveysteknologian myrskyvaroitus

Teksti ja kuva: Eeva Kiuru

Kirjoittaja on Oulu Wellness Instituuttisäätiön toiminnanjohtaja. Twitter @eevakiuru

Amerikkalainen huippututkija, sähköisen terveydenhuollon pioneerilääkäri Eric Topol
vieraili viime viikolla Helsingissä. Sitran järjestämässä Tulevaisuuden terveys 2020 -seminaarissa yli 600 suomalaista terveydenhuollon asiantuntijaa kuunteli hämmentyneenä, kun Topol vyörytti esityksessään hengästyttävän määrän terveyden innovaatioita, joka tulevat muuttamaan maailmaa.

Digitalisaatio muuttaa rajusti terveydenhuollon toimintamalleja. Yhä enemmän ihmiset itse keräävät mittaustietoja. Tämä on hyvä asia, sillä tunnetusti mitä enemmän ihmiset itse aktiivisesti osallistuvat sairauden hoitoon, sitä parempia ovat myös hoitotulokset. Mittausten
paikkasidonnaisuus häviää. Ketterät etäyhteydet korvaavat valtaosan läsnävastaanotoista.

Lääkäri ei ole enää ainoa tiedon lähde. Hänestä tulee potilaiden kumppani ja valmentaja. Moni lääkäri on varmasti jo nyt ymmällään aktiivisen, mittaustuloksia ja omadiagnooseja mukanaan tuovan potilaan edessä.

Terveysteknologian kehittäjäyhteisöt ovat ennennäkemättömällä vauhdilla alkaneet luoda uusia tuotteita markkinoille. On kiehtovaa, kuinka nopeasti yhteisö on tarttunut erityisesti älypuhelinalustan mahdollisuuksiin. Tärkeimmät elintoiminnot – verenpaineen, verensokerin,
veren happipitoisuuden ja EKG:n – voi jo nyt mitata omatoimisesti älypuhelimen lisälaitteilla.

Kuluttajilla on entistä enemmän mistä valita 50-vuotislahjoja: unimittari, aktiivisuusranneke tai korvavalo. BestBuy-kuluttajaelektroniikkakaupassa on kokonainen osasto mitä erilaisempia
terveyden mittareita. Kuluneen kesän aikana on lanseerattu kymmenittäin uusia terveysteknologiatuotteita vauvojen aktiivisuusmittareista muodikkaisiin kosketusnäyttöisiin terveyskelloihin.

Sokerina pohjalla on IBM:n projekti Watson. Tohtori Supertietokone, joka diagnoosia tehdessään prosessoi 2 miljoonaa sivua potilaskertomuksia alle 3 sekunnissa. Watsonin diagnosointikapasiteetti yhdistettynä kuluttajan älypuhelimiin on aikamoinen tulevaisuuden palvelumalli.

Terveysteknologian kehittäjiltä on tullut myrskyvaroitus. Jos sinulla on terveyteen liittyvä kehittämisidea, sen toteuttamisen aika on juuri nyt.

Kirjoitus on julkaistu 18.9.2013 painetussa ja sähköisessä Oululehdessä.

Health tech accelerators – powerhouses of health innovations

Health tech accelerators – powerhouses of health innovations

Text and photo: Eeva Kiuru, Oulu Wellness Institute

This blogpost concludes our miniseries of funding advise to health tech innovators. In our previous posts we have collected list  of all active investors in the category of health, wellness and life science in Finland, Scandinavia, Europe and the US. In this final post we wrap up a
collection of interesting accelerator programs within health technology domain.

Who knew 5 years ago what kind of accelerator boom would take place in the startup scene in just a few years time? According to National Business Incubation Association (NBIA) there are now over 1,250 incubators in the United States and about 7,000 business incubators worldwide.

The whole idea of accelerators is to get startup founders exposure to networks with domain expertise and funding in order to get the business faster on the right track. Most of the accelerators are generic with a broad (mobile, web) domain focus.

Life science is a great example of a challenging industry where it makes sense to build industry-specific accelerators to speed up the development. Life science accelerators often have strong connection to medical faculties or medical centers as well as other key stakeholders in the life science industry, such as regulation and reimbursement experts, mentors, investors and networks. Most importantly accelerators have access and connections to early adopting customer prospects.

Accelerator services often include affordable office space, access to laboratory facilities, access to peers, support services, coaching and even seed funding. Other services include for example expert lectures, advisor and faculty office hours, workshops, networking events, and brokered customer meetings.

Many accelerators are non-profits funded by grants from government or they are funded by corporations and vc’s. As a return, accelerators’ funding partners get an early access to pre-screened dealflow, access to bubbling innovations and talent pool. By connecting with the vibrant health startup scene, they also get positive visibility for their corporate brand. Some accelerators take equity in the chosen accelerator startups. In the current accelerator boom
it is important for a startup to screen the track records of the accelerator they plan to apply for.

Here is our selection of interesting incubators, accelerators and co-working spaces for a seed-stage health and life science startup founder:

Alchemist Accelerator (Menlo Park, Calif.) is a venture-backed initiative focused on accelerating technical seed-stage enterprise startups, whose revenue comes from enterprises, not consumers. They select twice a year 10 teams for their 6 month program and $ 28 k funding. Selected startups must locate at the Bay Area but are not required to move in the Alchemist premises. They can locate where they choose in order to create their own company culture. Alchemist is not a pure life science accelerator but an interesting alternative also for a technical health startup with b-to-b focus.

BioCurious (Sunnyvale, Calif.) is a hackerspace for biotech with a mission to make innovations in biology accessible, affordable, and open to everyone. It is a co-working, training and meeting
place for citizen scientists, hobbyists, activists, and students. It is a complete working laboratory and technical library for entrepreneurs to cheaply access equipment and materials.

Blueprint Health (New York City, New York) offers twice a year an intensive three-month accelerator program to help healthcare entrepreneurs find customers and capital. The foundation of the program is a community of over 150 healthcare entrepreneurs, investors and industry executives. Accepted startups receive for example $20,000 in cash and an office space at Blueprint Health SoHo office. In exchange for the funding, support and mentorship, Blueprint Health receives a 6% equity stake in the accelerated company. Blueprint Health has a broad healthcare focus but does not include med tech or drug development.

Digital Health New York’s (New York City, New York) focus areas are care coordination, analytics, message alerts and patient engagement. Selected startups get access to clinical and technology provider organizations including hospitals, long-term care providers, community health centers, and primary care providers. They also get access to interoperability work group and a network of healthcare leaders, successful entrepreneurs, and investors. Each selected company will receive up to $300,000 of capital (convertible note).

Fogarty Institute for Innovation (Mountain View, Calif.) aims to create an environment where one can cost effectively develop technology that directly benefits patients. It is an educational
nonprofit offering three programs for different aspects of medical technology innovation (Innovation/Cultivation, Clinical Research/Validation and Outreach/Education).  Located on the campus of El Camino Hospital, the Fogarty Institute for Innovation includes laboratory and engineering space where physicians and engineers collaborate. Since 2007 four hand-picked applicants have received direct, sustained support in the form of facilities, ongoing mentoring and/or technology development costs.

Healthbox (Boston, Chicago, and London) brings together entrepreneurs, strategic partners, industry experts and investors to tackle real healthcare challenges. They look for healthcare
technology and technology-enabled service startup founders who address a specific and pressing challenge in the healthcare industry. They are interested in for example, improving patient engagement, provider effectiveness or preventative health and wellness. Entrepreneurs selected to participate in the 16-week program receive $ 50.000 seed money and support designed to address the challenges unique to starting a business in healthcare. In exchange for the program benefits, startups provide Healthbox with 7% equity.

Health XL  (Dublin and London) program begins in February of each year and focuses on
startups within digital health technology. The program has over 150 mentors and also works closely with healthcare industry, who sponsors the program. Health XL’s focus is in the following domains: direct medical solutions, personalization, patient compliance, prevention and participatory health solutions, health economics and integrated solutions.

More Disruption Please (MDP) is Athena Health’s innovation and partnership program aimed at entrepreneurs, health care IT companies, investors and thought leaders—anyone who shares their vision of changing the status quo in health care through openness and connectivity of disruptive solutions. With the program, AthenaHealth connects new innovators with their 35.000 health service providers. The company will ask neither for a fee nor equity, only for a discount for its clients. Also, MDP wants to give their partners a “go-to-market in a box” via their cloud-based network and integration into medical providers’ workflow.

RockHealth (San Fransisco, Calif.) was the first seed accelerator exclusively targeted for health startups. RockHealth takes in two classes a year. They provide capital ($100K convertible note), office space, mentorship, and operational support to high-potential, early stage, pre-vc entrepreneurs working on ideas in health. They focus on the disruptive edge of healthcare and look for themes like quantified self, EMR interoperability, provider-patient relationship, home
health, home aging, big data, modern analytics, enhanced care delivery, cost transparency, clinical trial modernization and smart health sensors and gadgets. Ideas should be addressing large problems in the healthcare system, with a business model that is sustainable and scalable.

We hope you found this resource useful. New programs and accelerators are born almost on a weekly basis all over the world so this is not trying to be a comprehensive list. Rather it is a quick look at what kind of alternatives there are available for the early stage health startup wanting to speed up their business.