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
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Category Archives: Diagnostics and Screening
In the March 2013 issue of Consumer Reports, sandwiched between an article called “Best TVs” (just in time for Super Bowl) and one called “Microwave Mystery: When do wayward ovens warrant a recall?” is an article entitled “Save Your Life.”
This article, ensconced as it is in the most widely respected national consumer advice magazine, is about what cancer screening tests are out there and which you, as a patient, should and shouldn’t bother seeking out. Wow. I guess this whole consumer engagement in healthcare thing is for real. You can’t get more “consumerish” than Consumer Reports.
In this particular article, which starts with the premise that “cancer screening remains stuck in a 1960s view of the disease,” there is a rating scale that helps the reader determine whether a variety of commonly prescribed cancer screening tests have benefits that outweigh the harms of having such tests. Just like they do with TVs, microwaves and interior paints (all reviewed in the same issue), Consumer Reports uses a 5-point scale illustrated with red or black dots to help consumers navigate through the tests most commonly prescribed. It is … (read the rest)
One of my particular side interests is American Presidential history. I am fascinated by what makes these leaders tick and how their personal make-up drives their decision-making, and thus history. A good Presidential biography chock full of detailed psychological analysis and put into the context of the history of the times can be better than the best fiction.
I just finished reading a book called Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard. What was particularly fascinating about it, aside from the manner in which Presidential elections were conducted in the 1800s and the partisan melodrama that would give today’s party leaders a run for their money, was the intersection of Garfield’s fate with the changing face of medicine at the time. This was particularly notable because the same medical mistakes that led to the death of President Garfield are very much in the news today.
President Garfield was elected in 1881; just 4 months later an assassin shot Garfield, who was on his way to catch a train. The assassin, who was clearly delusional and, were the citizenry … (read the rest)
This article also ran in Healthcare IT News.
OMG and gag me with a spoon. I just read a Fortune article called, “Teaching IBM’s Watson the meaning of OMG” and I had a pretty good chuckle. The article discusses how the “final frontier” in machine intelligence is teaching computers not just words, but the subtle differences in meaning that make language rich, powerful and specific. I have often written about the intersection of language and healthcare (one of my most popular posts ever was about the application of Rap Genius’ Internet annotation concept to healthcare communication), but this Fortune article really made clear to me how far we have NOT come.
Our entrepreneurial society worships science and technology but puts so little value on the soft sciences, the communication arts. And yet, Watson has proven for us all once again that technology without humanity is incapable of solving the world’s problems, trapped as it is in its own syntax without context. Yes, man may be replaced by machine in many instances—already has in some cases—but in the end someone has to teach that machine to understand … (read the rest)
This piece also ran today in Healthcare IT News.
We all like to think we are one-of-a-kind, but the truth is, not so much. In the past month I have found myself among the (estimated) <5% of women who attended the JP Morgan conference, the <10% of women who are partners in private equity firms, and, apparently, one of the 100% of working people who play Scrabble-related games during working hours, but today I find myself one of the 35%. According to a new a Pew Research Center survey of about 3,000 people, released today, about 35% of Americans are “online diagnosers,” meaning people who consult the Internet to self-diagnose a medical condition. See related article HERE.
Not looking for sympathy, seriously, I am feeling sorry enough for myself to cover all of us; but I found myself, after weeks of media hysteria and the most congested head on earth, reading this article entitled How to Tell If You Have the Flu. I read this as I helped the Kimberly Clark Corporation have a record quarter due to extreme Kleenex consumption. Here is a tip: go out … (read the rest)
This post also ran January 2, 2013 in Healthcare IT News.
Hello and Happy New Year everyone! I am finally putting pen to paper (finger pads to computer keys? whatever) to write about the previously promised second half of my Russian visit.
As luck would have it, I happened to see my freshman year college roommate yesterday (Josie Everett), with whom I took one semester of Russian language classes when she and I were at Berkeley. For me one semester was hard enough; I decided to stick with English, as it was a much faster track to getting your order delivered correctly at Starbucks. Josie ended up getting a Masters in Russian and now is Executive Director of an extremely cool foundation, the Heart to Heart International Children’s Medical Alliance, which helps bring modern pediatric cardiac surgery programs to Russia. It was fun to share stories (and vodka shots) and talk about the trip with Josie yesterday as she spends a great deal of time in and around the Russian healthcare system about which I am just learning. Plus, now that there are Starbucks in Moscow … (read the rest)
It is not everyday that a person gets to see something entirely foreign and new and have their eyes opened to things that delight and surprise them, but I have just returned from a week of that feeling and it was downright revelatory.
It started in November with an invitation I received from the Skolkovo Foundation, an Innovation-focused foundation established by the Russian government (yes, that Russia) to foster innovation across a variety of Russian industries. The invitation was to participate as a speaker and moderator at a conference on digital health which would occur the week of December 9th in Moscow and, while there, to help judge a business plan competition in the same area, all expenses paid. My first thought was that it was one of those scams where you end up having to buy a time share at the end, except that the invitation was co-signed by people who I know to be entirely legit and super smart: Dr. Milena Adamian, who runs the Life Science Angels Network Fund in New York, and well-known tech and health angel investor Esther Dyson. Ok, I figured, I’ll … (read the rest)
This article was featured in Xconomy on December 10, 2012
Patient monitoring outside the hospital has been a hot topic (and also a not so hot topic) for the past 15 years. Starting back in the late 1990s with companies like Health Hero Network, a company whose products for patient home monitoring are still in use today, company after company has sought to bring a successful product to market. The holy grail: finding an easy, non-intrusive, and continuously reliable way to predict patients’ potentially serious medical problems when it is early enough to do something about them and prevent an acute and expensive episode of illness. Some of the newer companies are focused more on the wellness and tracking side of the equation, such as helping individuals see progress from an exercise or other preventive/health-inducing regimen.
So far this whole area has been a very tough nut for businesses to crack in the US in particular. While some studies have shown great positive effect, others have not. Insurance payment for these programs has been spotty at best and non-existent at worst; most of the current vendors are stuck in pilot hell … (read the rest)
“A yawn may not be polite, but at least it is an honest opinion”–Voltaire
I read the following lede sentence today in an article about 4-dimensional (4D) imaging and fetuses (don’t worry, this isn’t headed into a political rant on transvaginal ultrasound): “Growing into a fully formed human being is a long process, and scientists have found that unborn babies not only hiccup, swallow and stretch in the womb, they yawn too. “
Having read it, all I could think was: Sounds like what everyone was doing after Thanksgiving dinner, not just the fetuses. Think back to the table on Thursday night and who wasn’t stretching, hiccupping and yawning, having downed enough food and suffered enough drama to fuel the space shuttle to Mars and back? What’s just funny is that even unborn babies are overwhelmed by the food coma, family dynamics and predictable jokes, or at least that’s my interpretation.
OK, it’s probable that the 4D scans of the babies weren’t done on Thanksgiving, but it would have made the story even more incredible, right? As if it has to be. It is unbelievable to imagine that medical imaging … (read the rest)
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the U.S. and if you are a human being with breasts or a fan of same, be aware. About 226,000 new cases are diagnosed each year and nearly 40,000 women die of breast cancer annually. Just as a point of reference, about 32,000 Americans die in car accidents every year.
And by the way, while men generally think of breast cancer as something their wives and mothers get, that is not always the case—men can get breast cancer too. The number of new cases is small (1% of breast cancers occur in men), but male breast cancer gets diagnosed about 2000 times per year and 400 men die each year from breast cancer. A close friend of my family, young and healthy (albeit with an unhealthy fascination with Bucky Badger), found out he had breast cancer earlier this year and had to go through the same miserable experience that so many women endure—surgery, chemo, the whole nine yards. Since he was one of the few men over 50 who hadn’t already lost his hair, he got stuck with that too. … (read the rest)
“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery.
None but ourselves can free our minds.”
– Bob Marley, Redemption Song
In the July 16, 2012 issue of Newsweek there was an article called “Is the Onslaught Making Us Crazy?” The article is about mounting evidence that the connected world—the world that drives us to obsession in the pursuit of constant Internet, mobile phone, Facebook-obsessesd Twitterosity—is slowly driving us insane. To quote the article:
“The current incarnation of the Internet–portable, social, accelerated, and all-persuasive–may be making us not just dumber or lonelier but more depressed and anxious, prone to obsessive-compulsive and attention-deficit disorders, even outright psychotic. Our digitized minds can scan like those of drug addicts, and normal people are breaking down in sad and seemingly new ways.”
Yes, I appreciate the irony you are reading this in an online blog. You should probably take my decision to even write this thing as evidence that I have already gone off the deep end and am paddling far from shore.
As I read this article, which described large amounts of recent academic research demonstrating the potentially serious negative impacts of excessive technology addiction … (read the rest)