Category: Data

FTR4H India fireside chat in 2018.

FTR4H will be back in Delhi after its inaugural launch in April 2017

After its official inauguration in India in 2017 and a successful global roadshow in 2018 including a stop in Mumbai, FTR4H – the global digital health society – will be back in Delhi 21 to 23 February 2019 for Medical Fair India at Pragati Maidan exhibition center.

The FTR4H team organizes a 120 sqm lounge and stage performance in hall 10 around the latest trends in digital health. Meet and mingle with digital health aficionados from India and abroad, with three FTR4H Global Ambassadors present at the show: Aline Noizet, Muthu Singaram, and Mark Wächter.

FTR4H lounge.
FTR4H lounge.

Presentations, insights, keynotes

Next to global partners like Data Natives, GINSEP and Startupbootcamp, FTR4H is also cooperating with India’s largest co-working operator 91springboard. The lounge will showcase the latest in digital health solutions from exhibitors like i-Team and Winglobe, and will also be the host for startups from all over India like CardioTrack, Janitri, Onco-Connect, and Yostra Labs. A three days conference with expert talks, fireside chats, panel discussions, and startup demos will be held on site.

Entry is free, just register online here to redeem your ticket. If you are interested to speak on stage in the context of how Mobile, IOT, Data, AI, Blockchain or Robotics transform healthcare or if you want to do a demo pitch of your startup free of charge, please contact ftr4h@md-india.com and give a bit of background.

Exhibit!

There is also a chance to exhibit as a startup. For INR 30,000 you’ll get a 1 sqm booth incl. logo placement in the lounge incl. WiFi, power supply, locker, access to lounge facilities and VIP guest club to meet with clients.

If you are driving digital health in India, the FTR4H lounge in Delhi is a must-attend event.

Opportunities in India from the VC perspective

“Just creating an app does not mean you have a company. The key key question is: are you solving a problem?” These were the opening words  of Pradeep K. Jaisingh, Founder of HealthStart India, at the VC Panel at #FTR4H program at MEDICAL FAIR India in New Delhi. Panel was organised by HealthStart. The main aim was to highlight VC perspective on the digital health startups scene in India.

As said by Mr. Jaisingh, the basic background of technology needs to be that it improves the outcome. A solution needs to solve a problem and be sustainable. From the macro perspective, potential for disruptive innovation in India is big, said Mr. Jaisingh. Especially in terms of diagnostics, treatment and management of chronic diseases.

The doctor’s expectations in the near future are high. Artificial intelligence can be utilized to effectively synthesize patient information before his visit in the hospital or a doctor’s office.

What do the doctors need?

Private Equity Professional Mayur Sirdesai, Director at Somerset Indus Capital Partners, warned, the key issue in digital health technology and innovation is probability of adoption. “When a doctor has a line of patients in the waiting room, he can’t be bothered by entering data in the computer,” he mentioned. The second challenge is  payment for digital solutions. Revenue model of a startup is crucial to implementation of a solution in practice. In India, most payments are still out of pocket which might change with the development of the insurance market.

From the perspective of Shuchin Bajaj, Founder Director at Cygnus Medicare, a big potential in India is in putting more effort into medical education of other specialists and healthcare providers, apart from doctors. “We are to doctor-centric. I am a big fan of personalized medicine and “ayurveda” in that sense. These sciences look at the patient as an individual while medicine takes the patient as a dataset. Ayurveda does not treat the disease,” he said.

Needs and payments

Partha Dey, Healthcare Leader and SME at IBM India mentioned the need for more collaboration: “It is clear and we agree we need to walk together and collaborate. Technology can work as a platform and our idea is to use it to solve real life problems. We are working on longterm solutions. The first issue is always the business case. What do users need? What are they prepared to pay for? A lot of startups have ideas, but struggle with translation and implementation in practice.”

Vikram Gupta, Founder and Managing Partner at IvyCap Ventures Advisors described India as a unique market because of the payment system. “In the developed world insurance takes care of healthcare. Our environment drives behaviour. Hence healthcare consumption is different compared to the rest of the world. The opportunities here are of different nature than in other countries. One thing to look at is infrastructure. Ratio of hospitals does not match population needs.”  Huge opportunities lay in financial assistance for healthcare, concluded Vikram Gupta.

3 reasons why wearables are dead

Wearables and measurements. Which Point of Care devices are just gadgets and which ones bring actual better outcomes for patients? Here’s what’s wrong with wearables.

 

1. Questionable data gathering

When used for prevention, it has become clear by now, that a person gets tired of using a wearable or a health app in only a few months. It is important to note that this holds true mostly for relatively healthy people, not patients with serious illnesses.

2. We are measuring what we can, not what we should

British researcher Prof. Dr. Anthony Turner, Head of The Biosensors and Bioelectronics Centre at Linköping University Sweden: “we haven’t yet made the sensors we really need, we are using the sensors that we happen to have.” That is why in recent years investors have been more interested in other sensors: ingestibles, implantables, etc..
We are entering an era of sensors for complex chemical reactions and molecular recognition in the body. “This requires more regulation and caution in testing and development,” says Prof. Dr. Turner. However, we can expect more significant improvements and outcomes.

3. Questionable measurements

Apart from data being questionable due to inconsistent data gathering by the user, another issue is data reliability. If you wear your phone with a tracker and two tracking wearables for activity measurements, you are bound to get different results. Similar is true for home Point of Care devices. Are they then useful or harmful?
If you will ask laboratory technicians, they will tell you that Point of Care devices are far from laboratory accurate. But in which cases is that relevant? As Prof. Dr. Turner says, “from a laboratory perspective and for research purposes you always look for the best. However, Point of Care devices for patients just need to be good enough for managing conditions and early warnings. Personal devices for diabetes are not as accurate as clinical laboratory, but it doesn’t matter – they are good enough for management decision.”

You can listen the whole conversation with prof. dr. Anthony Turner here.

 

So what can we conclude out of all this? Wearables are simply a step in the evolution of health technology. Sensors are still promising us all a bright future. They bring:

1. Automation

More and more of them are embedded in the environment. Measuring is becoming seamless, taking away the issue of consistency with gathering data.

2. Savings

Biosensors have had a very long and successful history of miniaturization. “It took 20 years for that to happen for wearable blood glucose monitors, while glucose meters evolved from a huge instrument of 40,000 dollars to a device which today costs 7-17 dollars,” illustrates Prof. Dr Turner. For inventors, the biggest issue is, what kind of business model will work. But the final judgement from a financial perspective is clear: massive savings could be achieved.

 

Want to know more? Tune into the sixth episode of Medicine Today on Digital Health podcast. You can find, listen, subscribe, rate, follow, share the podcast in Soundcloud or in iTunes.

SXSW17: Welcome iRewardHealth, Seremedi & Skycart

We are excited to kick-off our Think Tank FTR4H (Future4Health) at SXSW in Austin. On March 13th, we will welcome digital health enthusiasts at our reception at the German Pavilion — WUNDERBAR. In one intense hour we will give an overview what FTR4H is all about, what is planned in the future, who is part of the FTR4H network that is reaching from Germany to Israel, from Israel to India, from India to China — all the way to SXSW in Austin. As a special treat three international digital health startups will pitch:

iRewardHealth

All the way from Berlin: iRewardHealth, an international startup from the first batch of Startupbootcamp Digital Health Berlin, clears the last hurdle in user engagement by turning healthy actions into cash. Their wellness program tackles the massive problem of preventable diseases using behavioral economics to effectively motivate healthy behavior change. Founded by a team of experts, and fueled by their proprietary reward algorithm, iRewardHeath is gaining traction in US and German markets, showing the world that Health pays!

Sykcart

Imagine you are sick and your medicine is just 30 min by Drone away… German startup Skycart revolutionizes the way physical goods are shipped today. A network of autonomously flying drones carries your medicine to you – if you can’t leave your house. For that Skycart builds a UAV network for seamless peer-to-peer delivery by air.

Seremedi

Houston calling! CareScriptions by Seremedi from Houston, Texas, is a SaaS patient engagement platform. CareScriptions enables providers to equip patients with prescribed guided treatment plans using their mobile devices, enhance their visibility into outpatient care and optimize treatment plan implementation, execution and effectiveness reducing costly medical crises.

If you want to join us please register via eventbrite.

FTR4H at SWSX - © ADDON / SXSW

Save-the-Date for our Meet & Greet at SXSW 2017!

As a global network of Movers & Shakers in Digital Health #FTR4H is connecting digital healthcare experts worldwide.

On March 13th we will invite startups, healthcare experts and investors to a special Meet & Greet at South by Southwest, short SXSW. The festival in the heart of the USA brings together the who-is-who in the film, interactive media and music scene. Since 2007, “SXSW Interactive” a special conference on emerging technology, draws startup founders and creatives to Texas. The festival includes a trade show, speakers, parties, a startup accelerator — and in 2017 for the first time: The FTR4H Meet & Greet!

Looking back at MEDICA 2015: Congrats to Voicett

Startup of the Month: In 2015 the MEDICA App COMPETITION was scouting for successful mobile health startups for the fourth time. Ten early-stage startups presented their digital health apps on stage at the worlds biggest medical trade fair in Dusseldorf. At the end 2016 the winner — Israeli startup VoiceItt — announced another big milestone in their young company history: The international BIRD Foundation granted $900,000 to the development of VoiceItts mobile voice- and voice-pattern recognition software for people with disabilities. VoiceItt co-founder Danny Weissberg shared his view on their achievements after winning MEDICA App COMPETITION in 2015:

Danny, for the ones that do not know: Can you describe in a few sentences what the VoiceItt team is working on?

Danny: Voiceitt is developing an innovative speech recognition technology called Talkitt. In future, it translates non-standard speech patterns into clear speech in real time, enabling people with speech impairments to communicate spontaneously and naturally using their own voices. The solution is language-independent and can be easily integrated into existing operating systems and devices allowing speech recognition truly accessible to everyone.

You started in 2012, what happened since then?

Danny: A lot! Currently we are conducting Beta testing on dozens of potential users that show very promising results, planning to do pilot testing with Hospitals, e.g. UHealth and BCH. We will release the first product in the mid-2017. It was not an easy journey. But we were also extremely lucky to get tremendous positive feedback and could secure the necessary funding to develop such a demanding technology. To date we have raised more than $2.5M — most recently we won a grant from the Bird Foundation and a grant of 50,000 Euro from H2020 SME Instrument, Phase 1.

You have won more than $2.5; in grants and competitions without giving up much equity — much more than many other startups get from investors after years of hard work. What is your magic recipe?

Danny: We won $2M in grants but also gave up equity for $500K of Angel investments. This is no magic; it is a deliberate strategy. Developing a solution for people with disabilities is the most amazing and rewarding challenge — being able to dramatically improve and impact the lives of millions while building a very profitable business while developing cutting edge technologies. However, many investors don’t want to invest in what they see as a “Niche market”. Because of that from Day #1 on I knew we had to be creative in fundraising and put the effort more on grants\competitions were we have an advantage telling a powerful and emotional story versus private investors where we have a disadvantage of a niche market.

“We won $2M in grants but also gave up equity for $500K of Angel investments. This is no magic; it is a deliberate strategy.”

Just a few tips for fellow entrepreneurs that consider applying for grants: How long does it usually take to apply for grants?

Danny: It varies. Some are just simple web forms that takes an hour and some are long applications and processes that take’s week of work and the process make take up to a year! This is why you need to choose the “lowest hanging fruits”, where you effort is most likely to be fruitful and remember that with grants the processes are very long so make sure you have enough run rate.

Is there a complete list of competitions and grants other founders could check out?

Danny: Unfortunately, there isn’t! It also all depends on the area you are active in.

Israel is said to be the Startup Nation and many interesting digital health startups emerge from your small country. At VoiceItt, many of your investors have Israeli roots too. It looks like there is a special glue that hold together Israeli founders?

Danny: The Startup Nation has very good reputation of success and it helps getting funding from investors overseas. In our case, some investors are personally connected to the mission because they or one of their family members have speech disabilities.

You also launched your business for personal reasons?

Danny: Yes, when my grandmother had a stroke and lost her voice, it made me realize how hard it is for a person to lose this basic ability to communicate. Our app Talkitt will connect people, who have speech disabilities to the ever more voice-enabled world.
I am sure, speech recognition is going to be dominant in our life. This is how we are going to communicate not only among ourselves but with machines, computers, cars, smart homes and this is why all major companies invest in it — be it Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, IBM or Google. However, none of those companies develop a solution for people with speech disabilities.

2017 just started, what are you up to?

Danny: In 2016 we finally started Beta Testing which helps our R&D to focus on improving the technology in real-life conditions and getting the application closer to release. In 2017, we will continue pilot tests with leading hospitals to launch Talkitt worldwide — and at a very high success rate. In the last years we worked really hard to develop a product that is suitable for any kind of speech impairment. Nothing is more frustrating for people with speech issues than crushing their hopes of finally being able to communicate using their own voice by delivering a mobile app that is not tested enough. Pilot testing in Barcelona, the UK, The USA and of course your tech development in Israel. In 2016, you also attended Mobile World Congress as prize from MEDICA App COMPETITION and at Mobile World Congress you won tickets for TechCrunch Disrupt New York. Sounds like you travel a lot.

How do you cope with “living on the fast lane” all the time?

Danny: I don’t even have time to look back on how many miles I and the team travelled in 2016 — but it has been A LOT! The tough thing is not so much the traveling but the Jet-leg when traveling over the ocean.

It is said that 9 out of 10 startups struggle and die. You fought this cycle successfully so far. What advice can you give other founders that are active globally like you?

“Focus on the product development, be creative in fund sources.”

Danny, thanks for the interview and good luck in 2017!