About Lisa Suennen
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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
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Monthly Archives: December 2010
It’s nearly New Year’s Eve and if you are typical you will hear someone wish you a new year that brings good health. The promise of good health generally supposes that one will not get sick; in other words, that one will be able to prevent the onset of illness that might cramp ones style or worse.
Prevention of bad health constitutes a huge industry in the United States. For instance, approximately $11 billion was spent on products and services directed towards preventing chronic diseases in 2009 and that number is growing by about 8% per year. Preventive health is comprised of everything from diagnostic and screening products to smoking cessation to immunizations and beyond. According to a study by BCC Health on the topic:
“Prevention must become a cornerstone of the healthcare system rather than an afterthought. This shift requires a fundamental change in the way individuals perceive and access the system as well as the way care is delivered. The system must support clinical preventive services and community-based wellness approaches at the federal, state, and local levels. With a national culture of wellness, chronic disease and obesity will … (read the rest)
A few weeks ago I wrote a post about the unbelievable cost associated with Alzheimer’s disease and how large a population it is likely to affect. According to an op-ed piece written by Sandra Day O’Connor, among others, it is estimated that by 2050 approximately 13.5 million Americans will be stricken with Alzheimer’s, up from five million today, and that the cumulative price tag for treating Alzheimer’s, in current dollars, will be $20 trillion. In contrast, remember that the cost of our ENTIRE healthcare system today is around $2.4 trillion.
This week there was a follow-up piece in the NY Times entitled, “Tests Detect Alzheimer’s Risks, but Should Patients Be Told?” The article described how new diagnostic tests have become available that make it possible to detect early Alzheimer’s and, more interestingly, to predict more accurately one’s likelihood of getting Alzheimer’s in the future. The focus of the article was the moral and ethical dilemma presented by the availability of this knowledge.
Since there is no known treatment for Alzheimer’s and none on the short term horizon, physicians with knowledge of a patient’s Alzheimer’s risk are put in … (read the rest)
The field of behavioral genetics is focused on determining whether or not human behavior derives from one’s genes versus one’s environment. Behavioral geneticists seek to determine if the things that we do are the result of how we are wired or, alternatively how we choose or are conditioned to live our lives. A myriad of research over the last 20 years has found a genetic basis, at least in part, for everything from left-handedness to tongue curling to the ability to wiggle one’s ears. There have also been genetic bases identified for alcohol and tobacco addiction and some hypothesize that homosexuality has a genetic component. There is even an online searchable database called the Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) that is maintained by Johns Hopkins University and which lists over 2000 observable traits believed to have a basis in genetics. Lots of serious scientists are out there doing serious research in the behavioral genetics field.
And thank goodness for that, because if serious scientists in white lab coats weren’t bent over test tubes, we would not now know that they have discovered the gene believed to be responsible for … (read the rest)
Today in a Virginia federal courthouse, Judge Henry Hudson shot a hole through the heart of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. Since the ACA has not gone into full effect, it was unable to afford a cardiologist to close the hole and thus it is currently causing those who support it some serious cardiac arrest. Or so it might seem since the impact of Judge Hudson’s ruling may well result in the lingering death of the ACA as we have come to know and love and hate it.
As you may recall, one of the key provisions of the ACA was a requirement that all Americans purchase health insurance, essentially seeking to spread the risk around when it comes to paying for insurance. By ensuring that both the sick and the well buy insurance, the theory goes, the system’s costs can be stabilized because the overall high cost of providing care to sick people will be averaged out by the typically low costs of caring for the well. It’s pretty fundamental math and is central to the way the cost-increasing provisions of the ACA were to … (read the rest)
Right around Thanksgiving, the King of Saudi Arabia flew to New York City for medical treatment. He had a herniated disk and needed back surgery, which he chose to receive at NY Presbyterian Hospital.
This is not so surprising, as there has been a history of world leaders seeking major medical care in the U.S. when they have faced serious medical conditions. In fact earlier this year, Danny Williams, premier of Newfoundland and Labrador (the Canadian Province not the dog), traveled to Florida to undergo fairly routine heart surgery, creating a serious uproar in Canada where they are quite fond of their own national health system. Williams was reported to have said, “This was my heart, my choice and my health,” he told the Canadian Press from his condominium in Sarasota, Fla., where he was recovering from surgery. “I did not sign away my right to get the best possible health care for myself when I entered politics.”
“Only one man in a thousand is a leader of men — the other 999 follow women.”–Groucho Marx
The following is a reprint of a November 20, 2010 press release from Astia, which is an organization dedicated to fostering women’s entrepreneurship in many forms. They recently gave awards to several venture capital firms for their own efforts to sponsor female-led corporations and innovations, which I thought was worth passing on.
I wish I saw more female-led companies in my daily travels. In theory there are definitely more women executives in the healthcare field than there are in many others, but in practice it is rare to see them at the helm. Hopefully this will continue to change with the work of Astia and others like them, as well as the actions of the venture capital community, at least the enlightened few.
I know that when many of my colleagues interview a potential CEO candidate, a very common interview question is “what did your dad do for a living?” Next time, guys, remember to ask what their mom did for a living as well. No doubt they were pivotal in
There is still no cure for the common birthday.–John Glenn
My birthday is coming up this month and this whole getting older thing is vastly over-rated. I know I’m not the first person to think that gravity has gotten stronger as I have gotten older–as Mark Twain famously once said, “life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen.”
Clearly, financing a solution to this particular market need would be the ne plus ultra of healthcare venture capital investments. Dave Barry, one of my favorite writers, once referred to this most supreme of healthcare opportunities by saying, “Thanks to modern medical advances such as antibiotics, nasal spray, and Diet Coke, it has become routine for people in the civilized world to pass the age of 40, sometimes more than once.”
In fact, there are many medical enterprises focused on reducing the effects of aging, particularly the external manifestations. In my 12 years in venture capital I have seen deals that lift faces, restore hair, whiten teeth and return boobs to their original out-of-the-box condition. These products are all … (read the rest)
You may think of it as the first week of Christmas, but there are some out there that think of this first week of December as National Handwashing Awareness Week. Pay attention Hallmark–another greeting card opportunity is upon you. I’m sure the one you sent me, blog reader, is in the mail.
Christmas has Santa Claus and National Handwashing Awareness Week also has its own mascot, Henry the Hand. Henry (we’re going to be on a first name basis for this post) is the representative of one Dr. Will Sawyer, who founded the Henry the Hand Foundation in 1999 after years being completely grossed out, it seems, by his fellow medical colleagues, who despite having had mothers, some of them even Jewish, simply cannot remember to wash their hands before touching a patient in the hospital.
Dr. Will has been out there waving his Hamburger Helper logo lookalike in an effort to promote a culture of patient safety through his Champion Handwasher Hospital Campaign, a program that helps hospitals improve hand hygiene through a multi-faceted program that includes healthcare worker education, patient feedback, friendly competition and the use … (read the rest)