About Lisa Suennen
Yes, it’s me
Most Popular Posts
- From Russia With Love
- The Secret to Lower Healthcare Costs: Dying Faster
- You Say You Want a Healthcare Revolution
- We Are the 51%!
- Singing a New Tune: Redefining Innovation in the Medical Device World
- Rap Genius: Healthcare to a Hip Hop Beat?
- When “Cloud-based” Means Technology, Not Heaven: Report from AARP Health Innovation@50+
- A Tale of Two Doctor Visits
- Your CEO May Be A Man, But Your Healthcare Customer is a Woman
- Healthcare IT BINGO!
- I’m On A Boat! The Rising Fleet of Incubators
- Employers and Health Innovation: Will They Go Long or Advance One Yard at a Time?
- Give ‘Em That Old Razzle Dazzle
- Never Let Anyone Make You a Carrot
- What’s Done Cannot Be Undone
- The Star Thrower, or How Healthcare Looks to Consumers
- Medical Technology and Kubler-Ross’ Five Stages of Grief
- There Is No “I” in Team, But There Is In “Win”
- A Soda A Day Keeps Your Lifespan Away
- Investor Comedy Relief: The Missed Investment Opportunity
- Psilos Releases Annual Healthcare Outlook Report: A Golden Age in Healthcare Investing
- Discounts on Two Upcoming Conferences for Venture Valkyrie Readers
- Digital Health: The Cat’s Meow
- School Daze
- Showcase Your Start-up at the AARP Health Innovation@50+ Event-Viva Las Vegas
- Biotech and Genetics
- Consumer Engagement
- Diagnostics and Screening
- Digital Health
- General Business Issues
- Girls Rule!
- Health and Wellness
- Healthcare Information Technology
- Healthcare Policy
- Healthcare private equity
- Healthcare Reform
- Healthcare Venture Capital
- Healthy Eating
- Medical Comedy Relief
- Medical Devices
- Medical Marketing and MediA
- Patient Safety
- Preventive Health
- Private Equity
- Random Thoughts of the Day
- Real Science
- Venture Capital
- Women in Venture Capital & Private Equity
- May 2013 (3)
- April 2013 (6)
- March 2013 (6)
- February 2013 (5)
- January 2013 (6)
- December 2012 (6)
- November 2012 (6)
- October 2012 (8)
- September 2012 (7)
- August 2012 (6)
- July 2012 (6)
- June 2012 (7)
- May 2012 (5)
- April 2012 (8)
- March 2012 (9)
- February 2012 (6)
- January 2012 (7)
- December 2011 (8)
- November 2011 (8)
- October 2011 (9)
- September 2011 (8)
- August 2011 (7)
- July 2011 (12)
- June 2011 (7)
- May 2011 (7)
- April 2011 (6)
- March 2011 (8)
- February 2011 (7)
- January 2011 (10)
- December 2010 (9)
- November 2010 (9)
- October 2010 (10)
- September 2010 (13)
- August 2010 (12)
- July 2010 (10)
- June 2010 (4)
Monthly Archives: August 2010
According to an article in the New York Times, “The venture capital business is anything but serene these days. Profits for venture capitalists have dropped sharply and a shakeout is now gathering momentum. And fundamental changes in the business raise questions about whether venture capital, the pilot light of America’s high-technology world, can continue to ignite innovation.”
Sounds grim. However, it makes me feel better to know that this quote came from an article reported 21 years ago when venture capital was declared dead for the first time. Thank goodness those 1980s venture capitalists had invested heavily in reincarnation technology, as the field enjoyed its most prosperous period ever in the 1990s.
Recently Cambridge Associates and the NVCA published statistics that demonstrate negative 10-year returns for the venture capital asset class. Many articles have been written about this phenomenon, prophesying again the imminent demise of the venture capital field. In one recent example in the San Jose Mercury News, an article entitled Grim Numbers Point to the End of the Venture Capital Era columnist Chris O’Brien says, “Venture capital investing, the lifeblood of the valley’s innovation economy, has become a … (read the rest)
According to an August 18th, 2010 Reuters article, a new study suggests that a patient’s odds of having an orthopedic operation may depend on whether or not the surgeon has a financial stake in the treatment center. Patients receiving care for their wrist, rotator cuff or knee from a provider with ownership in the facility were up to twice as likely to have surgery compared to those treated by non-owners according to a study performed by Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. and published in the Archives of Surgery.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but……duh. I hope they didn’t spend a lot of money on that study.
Your lovin’ give me such a thrill,
But your lovin’ don’t pay my bills;
Financial incentives, at least in America, appear to be one of the most powerful motivators of behavior one can find. There have been numerous studies demonstrating the somewhat insidious connection between physician financial ownership and over-utilization of services. The Stark Law was passed more than 20 years ago for this very reason–to break the connection and remove financial incentives to over-treat. … (read the rest)
I had the chance to see Aneesh Chopra speak at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco last Wednesday, August 18th. Chopra is the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer and officially works in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. You know all that healthcare information technology stuff you have been hearing about from Washington, DC? That’s his charge–the good, the bad and the ugly. Must be a daunting job in some ways since the healthcare system has, for a long time, rejected IT like a mismatched kidney.
Chopra is notable for his incredible optimism, deep knowledge of the field and smooth speaking skills. He talked about his view of the role of the federal government in fostering healthcare IT. His vision is that government should act as “convener”, not rule-maker. He wants to let a few thousand flowers bloom by setting up events that draw from public and private industry, big and small companies, and represent the interests of consumers, providers and carriers. So far a few of these events have actually come together. A few of them even threaten to produce something of value, which is great.… (read the rest)
Any day of the week you can walk into a pharmacy unsupervised and buy a test kit to find out if you’re ovulating so you can undertake family planning activities. You can buy home testing kits to screen for high cholesterol, illicit drug use, even presence of the HIV virus. You can also pony up $500 and buy yourself a genetic test kit from 23andMe to find out what might be in your genetic blueprint so you can make pre-emptive healthcare decisions if you wish. Not to mention the fact that you can drop by Haight Ashbury any Saturday afternoon and get your future told by someone named Sun Muffin and, as a result, decide to make changes in your life to help shape a better future.
While some might look askance at how you get the information you use to make choices about your life, it is rare that someone steps in and tries to stop you from doing so. In general, the American way is to say, “hey, you’re an adult and it’s your life…if you want to engage in self-actualization, whether or not it has a scientific … (read the rest)
This post first appeared yesterday as a guest article in Xconomy.
Almost everyone knows someone who has had cancer. It is the disease that seems to strike the most fear in people’s hearts, in part because it seems to affect people so randomly. We all know that if we eat right, exercise and keep our cholesterol low we are less susceptible to heart disease, but cancer often doesn’t seem to care about such things as otherwise good health, which makes it especially worrisome.
In fact, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, about 562,340 Americans are expected to die of cancer this year, a number that equates to more than 1,500 people a day. Cancer is also among the costliest disease affecting our healthcare system. In 2009, the National Institutes of Health estimated the 2008 overall annual costs of cancer were as follows:
Total cost: $228.1 billion, comprised of:
- Direct medical costs (total of all health expenditures): $93.2 billion
- Indirect morbidity costs (cost of lost productivity due to illness): $18.8 billion
- Indirect mortality costs (cost of lost
Recently a new study on medical errors was published by the Society of Actuaries, Health Division (bet they’re fun at a party). For those of you who don’t know what an actuary is, it is basically the person at an insurance company who applies mathematical and statistical methods to assess and forecast risk in the insurance field and then uses those statistical models in order to set premium rates based on age, sex, likelihood of getting sick, etc. We’re talking serious green eye-shade kind of work.
For those insurance geeks out there, here’ s my favorite actuary joke: Two actuaries are duck hunting. They see a duck in the air and they both shoot. The first actuary’s shot is 20 feet wide to the left. The second actuary’s shot is 20 feet wide to the right. The actuaries give each other high fives, because on average they shot it.
In any event, the purpose of the actuaries’ study was to identify the cost of medical errors within our health care system. This topic has received more and more attention lately, as well it should. Oprah even had an entire … (read the rest)
Quick: what do these things have in common:
- Number of legs on an octopus
- The number of “maids-a-milking” in the 12 days of Christmas
- Number of vegetables in a V8
- The % of venture capital dollars that female founders raised in the first half of 2010
If you said “the number 8,” you are right on the money. And I do mean money. 8% of venture capital dollars in the first half of 2010 went to women entrepreneurs? Thank god it’s not called a V3.
Lizette Chapman recently wrote an article about this sad phenomenon in Fast Company, citing a recent study done by CB Insights. The good news, she says, is that this number is up nearly 5% from what was reported in the year 2000. Yay! The bad news, of course, is that women make up about 51% of the population and are getting a tad less than their proportionate share of the venture capital pie. Boo!
Maybe women entrepreneurs are just smart enough to stay away from venture capitalists, many of who are not known for their abundant charm and helpful disposition. However, I am … (read the rest)
Last night I had the good fortune to go to a closing dinner to celebrate the sale of one of my portfolio companies to a strategic buyer, an event that happened earlier this year. In a time in venture capital when exits are few, and causes to celebrate even fewer it seems, it was great to be at an occasion where everyone was happy to be there, particularly since this exit was a very positive one.
For those of you who haven’t been to one, a closing dinner after a positive exit is the effective equivalent of a Bat Mitzvah in the venture capital world. We, the proud investors and senior management team (parents), are there to celebrate the coming of age (exit) of our spawn (the portfolio company to which we gave our cash). All the usual characters from a Bat Mitzvah are well represented: the proud parents, the happy relatives, the friends, the advisors. Similar to a bat mitzvah, everyone is slapping each other on the back, saying congratulations and liberally partaking of the ceremonial wine. The only thing missing is the Board carrying the CEO around on … (read the rest)
In my last post I mentioned the concept of correlation vs. causation. Of course you know that causation refers to two things where one has the specific effect of causing the other. A good example of causation is what happens in my house when I open the refrigerator…it causes an immediate stampede of cat and Chihuahua to see who can be the first to intercept any cheese bits that fall to the ground.
In contrast, correlation is what happens when two things occur together, but one is not the cause of the other—in other words, things may relate to each other but could well be anything from connected to near coincidence. For instance, when said cheese appears, the Chihuahua might growl at the cat, but frankly, the dog could growl at the cat anytime anyplace, not just in the presence of falling cheese.
It is not uncommon for people to confuse correlation with causation. Hey, Fox News has built an entire network out of this. But I recently (August 4th) read a great venture capital story by Joanna Glasner on PE Hub that highlighted this concept in a … (read the rest)
Just happened to see an article this morning that I would have included in yesterday’s post if I’d seen it then! The article notes a study by Sarah Sahib, a researcher at McMaster University (Canada again…who knew they had so many people?) in which she found that people who ate one serving of chocolate per week were 22% less likely to have a stroke; in another study she found that people who ate 1.75 ounces of chocolate/week were 46% less likely to die following a stroke than people who ate no chocolate. Why? you ask. She hypothesizes that chocolate is rich in antioxidants which protect against stroke.
Based on my happiness research, I’m going to call that correlation, not causation.
Clearly if one were to dig to the underlying scientific truth, one would find that chocolate leads to happiness and, as we have already established, happiness leads to healthiness. Chocolate is clearly the answer to our healthcare system’s woes–Willy Wonka for President.