Tag Archives: alternative medicine

Your Returns Are Lifting Me Higher…

I have often joked with friends that I have gone into the wrong area of investing as the perks are lame.  As a healthcare investor, I can get a free hearing aid or diabetes test whenever I want one, but who the hell wants something that just proves you’re old?  It’s the guys who invest in entertainment, media, even technology that get all the good stuff:  free iPads, concert tickets, meetings with celebrities.  But lo and behold, there is a brave new world of venture investing out there where the perk possibilities are really unique.

In an article entitled Medical Marijuana Companies Chase Investors, Eye IPOs, Dow Jones’ reporters write one of the best opening sentences I have seen in recent financial services reportage, “In what was once a pipe dream, medical-marijuana companies are courting private investors and even planning public stock sales.”  I will confess, I am listening to Van Morrison’s “And it Stoned Me” while I write this piece, which my daughter suggests cannot be coincidence.

The Pot is right next to the Twinkies for efficiency

The article describes a rapidly growing (pun intended) trend for investors

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Posted in Healthcare, Healthcare Venture Capital, Private Equity, Uncategorized, Venture Capital, Women in Venture Capital & Private Equity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Here's to Good Health in 2011

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:

An Apple a Day Is Damn Near the State of the Art

“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

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Posted in Health and Wellness, Healthcare, Healthcare Reform, Preventive Health, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Reply Hazy, Try Again

Back in September 2010  I wrote about the controversies associated with home-based genetic testing companies and their products.  This topic remains much in the news, as the FDA has declared their intent to regulate these products and several companies have withdrawn from the direct-to-consumer market.  Reuters reported this week that in a survey of over a 1000 people who used direct-to consumer genetic testing, the majority found the tests easy to interpret, but some do not fully understand their results.  For ¾ of the users of these highly controversial tests, their motivation to use them was to find out something new about their genetic makeup to help them make health improvements.

According to the article, “Testing companies say the tests are useful for modifying bad habits that could contribute to future health risks, especially if someone is predisposed to disease” and that,  “more than a third of people [surveyed] said they were being more careful about their diet as a result of getting the tests, 15 percent had changed their medications or diet supplements and 14 percent were exercising more.”

The question for me is whether these tests and

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Posted in Health and Wellness, Healthcare, Random Thoughts of the Day | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

You’re Not Hallucinating–There is a Snake in Your Bed

Stuffed and Unstable

As a healthcare venture capitalist, I see a lot of, shall we say, interesting ideas for how to treat patients. But today I really hit the jackpot in the “you’ve got to be kidding me” department. Unfortunately I didn’t see this in person, but on-line in a story that ran in the “Bad Ideas” (who knew?) portion of the Time Magazine Internet newsfeed entitled, “New Line of German Stuffed Animals with Mental Issues“.  So many things wrong with that sentence I hardly know where to begin.  It’s a short article so I am going to include it in its entirety below:

For your gift giving consideration: Dub the severely depressed turtle? German toymaker Paraplush has designed a controversial new line of toys with an assortment of psychiatric disorders. The company advertises stuffed animals who suffer from a range of mental illnesses (bipolar disorder, depression, multiple personality disorder) and even come packaged with a personalized medical history and treatment plan. “‘Patients’ from the Paraplush toy company include Dub the turtle with severe depression, Sly the snake who suffers from terrifying hallucinations, Dolly the sheep with a

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Posted in Healthcare, Healthcare Venture Capital, Medical Devices, Random Thoughts of the Day, Venture Capital | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Shaman will see you now….

Each day I receive a compilation email from the NY Times that lists all the articles about healthcare and medicine that are included in that day’s edition. I know, pretty lazy, but at least it enables me to stay up-to-date on the latest and greatest medical topics deemed worthy of coverage by the Times without having to go through the laborious task of unfolding it myself.

Today’s email had seven healthcare articles listed, a pretty typical number. But what struck me about today’s list was that 3 of the 7 articles dealt with issues that are clearly outside of what would be considered mainstream medicine. The first article, entitled Weekdays, the Adman Worked. Sundays, the Shaman Healed, is about a guy who is an advertising executive by day and who, in his free time, practices shamanistic healing for all manner of chronic illnesses and other serious conditions. For those of you unfamiliar with the practice, Shamanism encompasses the belief that Shamans are intermediaries or messengers between the human world and the spirit worlds; they treat ailments/illness by mending the soul.

My favorite part of the article:


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Posted in Healthcare Reform, Healthcare Venture Capital, Venture Capital, Women in Venture Capital & Private Equity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment