About Lisa Suennen
Yes, it’s me
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- 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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Category Archives: Health and Wellness
It is always interesting how events find ways of connecting themselves together even when they seem so unrelated.
I was at my sister Alexis’ graduation from law school on Friday, where I had gone directly from leaving a several day event organized by Health Evolution Partners. At the event I had occasion to meet with Dr. Charlotte Yeh, Chief Medical Officer of AARP, who will shortly be participating in a very cool panel at the conference I am chairing, the Consumer Health & Wellness Innovation Summit, on June 11 in San Francisco (yes, that was a shameless plug; please attend and use code CHAIRVIP for a big discount).
Anyway, Charlotte and I had been talking about the substance of the panel we will be doing together and I was telling her that what I want most from it is the true voice of the consumer. I told her that I go to too many conferences where we all talk about consumers but no one actually speaks from that point of view. That is why I wanted her, John Santa from Consumer Reports and consumer advocate and Director of … (read the rest)
Last week an article was published in the clinical journal Diabetologia that described a significant study performed in Europe. The study demonstrated that people who drink even one can of sugary soda per day raise their risk of Type II diabetes by 18%. The results echoed those of a previously performed U.S. study that suggested a 25% increase in Type II diabetes among those who drank one 12-ounce can of soda per day, on average. There was a huge amount of press about this study, including stories from CBS News, Huffington Post and other major media outlets. Unfortunately there was no immediate call for people to have to submit to background checks before purchasing a six-pack of Coca Cola.
By saying that I am not trying to belittle national gun control efforts, which I fully support. To the contrary, both issues need far greater efforts in the interests of public health in my opinion. There are about 30,000 gun-related deaths per year in the U.S., two thirds of which are suicides and all of which we should work to avoid, in my personal opinion. There are also about 230,000 Type … (read the rest)
No one argues about whether smoking is bad for you anymore; even the cigarette companies have kind of thrown in that towel. And yet, despite this rare unanimity on this one particular healthcare issue, smoking continues to be controversial at all levels of state and federal government healthcare policy. No where is this more obvious than in my own fair state of California, considered to be the 2nd lowest smoking state in the nation, but still spending over $17.7 billion/year on direct medical costs and lost productivity due to smoking.
Back in 1998 California passed Proposition 10, which led to the establishment of the First 5 California Program administered by the California Children and Families Commission. According to its website, First 5 “supports programs for children from prenatal to age 5 by creating a comprehensive and integrated system of information and services to promote early childhood development and school readiness.” The funding for this program came from a share of a $.50 per pack tax on cigarettes and similar tobacco products levied in 1998. When the tax was first passed, there were nearly 50 million smokers in California and … (read the rest)
On Tuesday I flew on a business trip from Germany to Boston. As with all these long flights you can never have enough to do to keep yourself occupied when sleep eludes, so on the way into the plane I grabbed the International Herald Tribune (which announced this week it will be henceforth be known as the International New York Times), it being the only paper plane side where every word didn’t start and end with “furter”.
I was captivated right away by the top front page story called “Diet Brings Clear Benefits for the Heart, Study Finds,” which details a recently completed scientifically validated study that demonstrates that the so-called Mediterranean diet is not only delicious, but may reduce heart attacks, strokes and deaths from heart disease by as much as 30%. Viva Italia! is what I have to say to that. (here is a link to the companion story at the NY Times site).
The Mediterranean diet is basically what they eat–wait for it–in the areas around the Mediterranean Sea, and includes such staples as olive oil (4 tablespoons per day believe it or not), certain … (read the rest)
People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.–Dale Carnegie
Exercise. To some people the word is an inspiration–it is what they want to go out and do and it turns them on. But for most people the word “exercise” strikes fear in their hearts and makes them try to rationalize how opening and closing the refrigerator door can count as a form of bicep curl.
One of the main reasons people hate to exercise is they perceive it as NOT FUN AT ALL. They view standing inside a glass enclosed building space walking on a treadmill or stairmaster as something best left to hamsters in habitrails. In fact, if you look at a hamster habitrail cage, the exercise features in it actually look fun, whereas the stairmaster looks like something you might sentence someone to when capital punishment isn’t enough.
Judge: You are guilty of the crime and I am sentencing you to one hour per day on the stairmaster.
Criminal: No, anything but that! Please just kill me now.
Or that’s how I imagine the dialogue goes.
I saw a clip on CNN about how … (read the rest)
Last week I covered the Grammys, now I’m giving you my Oscar pick for healthcare-related film of the year. But first, a preface:
One of the most pervasive healthcare business trends I have seen in the last year or two is the formation of companies seeking to help people “age in place,” aka live out their golden years comfortably at home rather than in a facility. Nearly 15 years ago, when I first started in the health investment area, this was also a rich target for entrepreneurs, whose business models mainly focused on service innovations involving actual people visiting seniors at home. Psilos also made one such investment, in Caregiver Services, Inc., which has grown to a business of considerable size.
The challenges in these human-based businesses were and remain how to scale cost-effectively and maintain quality as the business grows. In other words, how do you ensure availability of an appropriate supply of appropriate people to care for seniors at home in a reliable and effective way? Despite a burst of initiatives, start-ups in this area trailed off and the various companies across the country have consolidated significantly.… (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)
At the end of each year the Internet magazine Xconomy asks its self-selected “Xconomist” panel to respond to one of a series of prompts that represent “big questions” for the coming year. As one of their panel members, I was asked to respond to the question, “What makes you optimistic?”
My first reaction, as this was asked of me as we were still heading for the fiscal cliff, was that I was optimistic that, since I am really short, it would take me slightly longer than others to hit the rocks at the bottom of the cliff. Beyond that I was thinking that my primary source of optimism for the coming year derived from the SF Giants setting themselves up for a World Series three-peat by re-signing Marco Scutaro and Angel Pagan.
But as I was driving to work one day pondering on this question of what, at least professionally, makes me optimistic, the answer became clear to me as I cruised past McDonalds, and here it is below, as reprinted with permission from Xconomy:
As a person who has worked in the healthcare field for over 25 years, … (read the rest)
(reposted due to technical glitch….)
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… (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)