Tag Archives: Health Moonshot

Achieving Sustainable Product-Market Fit: A Masterclass with Sami Inkinen of Virta Health

A Masterclass with the Founder of One of the Great Success Stories in Health Innovation



Virta Health is one of the greatest success stories in health tech today.

Join us for an insightful StartUp Health NOW episode featuring Sami Inkinen, the visionary CEO & Founder of Virta Health, a pioneering company focused on the reversal of Type 2 diabetes. In this Masterclass, originally recorded in front of a virtual audience of entrepreneurs in the StartUp Health community, Inkinen – also a member of the community – shares his journey and the innovative strategies behind Virta Health’s success.

Inkinen’s impressive background includes co-founding Trulia, leading it to a successful IPO and eventual sale to Zillow Group. At Virta Health, he’s raised $366M and achieved a $2B valuation, with the company recognized as a TIME100 Most Influential Company in 2023. Beyond his business acumen, Sami is a world-class athlete and health advocate, known for his rowing expedition to raise awareness about diabetes.

In this episode, Inkinen delves into:

  • The biggest surprises he faced as a health tech founder
  • Balancing his roles as CEO, father, and husband
  • The strategic planning rhythms that drive Virta’s mission
  • His personal journey, from existential crises to global health impact

As is typical of members of the StartUp Health community, Inkinen is generous in sharing his wisdom. Tune in to learn from his experience and gain valuable insights into leadership and achieving sustainable product-market fit in the digital health industry.


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Inside the Alzheimer’s Moonshot Impact Board: Fostering Collaboration for Alzheimer's Innovation

Gates Ventures’ Aishu Sukumar Is Fostering Collaboration on StartUp Health’s Alzheimer’s Moonshot Impact Board



Breaking Down Silos for Alzheimer’s Innovation: A Conversation with Aishu Sukumar of Gates Ventures

This episode of StartUp Health NOW welcomes Aishu Sukumar of Gates Ventures in another in our series of conversations with our Alzheimer’s Moonshot Impact Board.

  • A champion for collaboration: Explore Sukumar’s vision for leveraging data and fostering collaboration among Alzheimer’s innovators.
  • From research scientist to moonshot leader: Discover Sukumar’s unique career path that bridges science, business, and healthcare, taking her from Harvard Medical School and Berkeley to working at startups and then to Gates Ventures.
  • The power of a Health Moonshot Community: Learn how this initiative is uniting innovators to accelerate progress against Alzheimer’s.

This episode is for you if:

  • You’re passionate about finding a cure for Alzheimer’s.
  • You believe in the power of collaboration in tackling complex challenges.
  • You’re curious about the journeys of inspiring healthcare leaders.

Want even more about Alzheimer’s disease innovation?

Join us as we explore how Aishu Sukumar’s diverse background is shaping the future of Alzheimer’s research as a member of our Alzheimer’s Moonshot Impact Board.


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Inside the Alzheimer’s Moonshot Impact Board: This Health Moonshot Community Inspires Optimism

Why Dr. Craig Ritchie Brings Optimism to StartUp Health’s Alzheimer’s Moonshot Impact Board



This episode of StartUp Health NOW challenges your perception of Alzheimer’s in another in our series of conversations with our Alzheimer’s Moonshot Impact Board. This week’s guest is Craig Ritchie, MD, PhD, CEO & Founder of Scottish Brain Sciences and a Professor at University of St. Andrews.

  • A new view of Alzheimer’s: Discover the distinction between what Dr. Ritchie calls Alzheimer’s disease vs Alzheimer’s dementia.
  • The invisible threat: Learn how Alzheimer’s can exist without noticeable symptoms, impacting younger individuals.
  • Shifting the research focus: Explore the importance of studying pre-symptomatic Alzheimer’s for effective treatment.
  • Unleashing innovation: Gain insights into Dr. Ritchie’s optimism for StartUp Health’s Alzheimer’s Moonshot Community.

This episode is for you if:

  • You’re interested in the latest Alzheimer’s research.
  • You want to understand the different stages of Alzheimer’s.
  • You’re curious about the power of collaboration in tackling Alzheimer’s.

Want even more about Alzheimer’s disease innovation?

Join us as we redefine Alzheimer’s and ignite hope for a future free from dementia!


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Gates Ventures, Kristina Malzbender: Insider the Alzheimer's Moonshot Impact Board

Gates Ventures’ Kristina Malzbender Joins Alzheimer’s Moonshot Impact Board



Hope on the Horizon: A New Era of Alzheimer’s Innovation

This episode of StartUp Health NOW dives deep into the fight against Alzheimer’s disease in the second in our series of conversations with our Alzheimer’s Moonshot Impact Board. Join us as we chat with Kristina Malzbender, the Associate Director, Health & Life Sciences, at Gates Ventures. Hear from this key leader about the concrete realities behind the optimism in Alzheimer’s innovation.

  • A century of relentless pursuit: Learn how the tide is turning after decades of dedicated research.
  • Early detection, slowed progression, and even potential cures: Explore exciting advancements in Alzheimer’s treatment.
  • Gates Ventures and the Diagnostic Accelerator (DxA): Find out how Gates Ventures and the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) are supporting companies and academic researchers developing novel biomarkers and diagnostics for Alzheimer’s.
  • Introducing StartUp Health’s Alzheimer’s Moonshot: Discover a powerful collaboration aimed at accelerating progress

This episode is for you if:

  • You’re passionate about Alzheimer’s disease.
  • You’re curious about the latest advancements in dementia research.
  • You want to learn how you can contribute to the fight against Alzheimer’s.

Want even more about Alzheimer’s disease innovation?

Join us as we ignite hope for the future of Alzheimer’s innovation!


 

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AI in Healthcare: Separating Hype from Reality on the Front Lines



Tired of overblown claims about AI in healthcare?
This episode dives into the real, impactful ways AI is transforming patient care.

Join us as we chat with founders in the StartUp Health community who are using AI to improve healthcare for patients and providers:

  • Jerrod Ullah, HealthTalk A.I.: Hear how his experience as an ICU nurse fueled an AI platform that boosts engagement for both patients and providers.
  • Kavi Misri, Hibiscus Health: Discover how their end-to-end solution empowers people with metabolic conditions to take control of their health.

This episode is for you if:

  • You’re curious about the practical applications of AI in healthcare.
  • You want to hear inspiring stories from healthcare entrepreneurs.
  • You’re eager to learn how AI can improve patient outcomes.

Get ready for a refreshing take on AI in healthcare!


Innovating in Alzheimer’s disease? Learn how you can join our new Alzheimer’s Moonshot.

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Qura’s Tiny Implantables Could Revolutionize How We Treat Hypertension



When it comes to health technology, often the next big thing is really, really small.

Our guest on the show this week, Dr. Will Hendren, has seen personally that when it comes to implanting a medical device in the body, size matters.

Dr. Hendren spent decades as a surgeon working with rescue devices like pacemakers, which themselves have evolved from being the size of a pack of cigarettes to being smaller than a triple A battery. It doesn’t take a degree in biomechanical engineering to appreciate that you want a lower profile machine sitting next to your heart.

Now, with his company Qura – a member of the StartUp Health community since 2016 – Dr. Hendren is taking that concept to the next level. He and his team are the leading edge of miniaturizing medical devices to such an extreme degree that it opens up a whole new market for remote patient monitoring.

In our interview we’ll talk about how Dr. Hendren and his team have built an implantable the size of a vitamin that can take blood pressure readings passively and transmit that information to the patient and their caregiver wirelessly. We’ll talk about some of the tiny tech that it was necessary to invent in order to make this breakthrough possible, and we’ll talk about how remote monitoring at scale could be a gamechanger for hypertension and heart disease, which are two of the top causes of death globally.

Let’s get into it!


Innovating in Alzheimer’s disease? Learn how you can join our Alzheimer’s Moonshot.
Passionate about Type 1 diabetes? Learn how you can join our T1D Moonshot.

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Phyllis Ferrell Named Chief Impact Officer for StartUp Health’s Alzheimer’s Moonshot



In January, StartUp Health launched the Alzheimer’s Moonshot with support from the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) and Gates Ventures. The Alzheimer’s Moonshot is an invitation to Health Transformers, Alzheimer’s funders, foundations, advocates, and innovators, as well as leading startups and research teams, to unite in pioneering comprehensive, collaborative approaches to Alzheimer’s disease.

The Alzheimer’s Moonshot Community is powered by StartUp Health and our Health Transformer University, an entrepreneurial mastery program and lifelong learning community for ambitious founders and funders who are solving the biggest health challenges of our time.

That brings us to our podcast guest this week. Phyllis Ferrell, DrPH, will serve as the Chief Impact Officer of the Alzheimer’s Moonshot and lead its Impact Board. Ferrell has three decades of related experience, most recently serving as the Global Head of Alzheimer’s and Neurodegeneration at Eli Lilly and Strategic Advisor to the Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative. The Alzheimer’s Moonshot Impact Board will also include representatives from the ADDF, Gates Ventures, and a diverse group of stakeholders from industry, clinical medicine, academia, investment and patient and caregiver communities.

As we will discuss in the episode, shortly after Ferrell transferred from a marketing and sales role at Lilly to leading their Alzheimer’s division, her father was diagnosed with the devastating disease. She threw herself into the work and eventually became a leading voice in Alzheimer’s research and drug development. She’s served as a strategic advisor to multiple high-profile Alzheimer’s organizations, and now she’s marshaling her experience to lead StartUp Health’s Alzheimer’s Moonshot. We caught up with her to get a better understanding of where she sees this initiative going and why this is such a unique moment in time for Alzheimer’s innovation.

Enjoy the episode and then learn more about StartUp Health’s Alzheimer’s Moonshot at startuphealth.com/alzheimers.


Innovating in Alzheimer’s disease? Learn how you can join our Alzheimer’s Moonshot.
Passionate about Type 1 diabetes? Learn how you can join our T1D Moonshot.

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Gamification in Healthcare: How Two Founders Are Using Games to Heal



This week, we’re talking about gamification in healthcare. Gamification has been a popular buzzword in tech and in health, but it just means using elements we associate with games in non-game contexts. It means capitalizing on the motivations we find in games through things like progress updates and level-up badges to change behaviors and get us to do things that are going to be good for our health.

Today on the show, we’re talking to two founders who are gamifying the healthcare experience in two unique ways.

The first conversation is with Raj Amin, CEO & Co-founder of Arcade Therapeutics, a company that has been in the StartUp Health community since TK. They are a science-first game studio developing games that act like medicine, focusing on mental health. We’ll hear exactly what they’re building and why clinical research is key to their approach.

Then we’ll hear from Farhaneh Ahmadi, PhD, CEO & Co-founder of eddii, a company that is part of our T1D Moonshot. She and her team are using mobile gaming elements to help young people with their Type 1 diabetes management. Her company uses a character named eddii that talks to the user, tells them stories, and plays games with them – making it more relatable and more enjoyable to manage diabetes.

Listen in to learn more about these innovative approaches to improving health.

 


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Innovating in Alzheimer’s disease? Contact us to learn how you can join our Alzheimer’s Moonshot.
Passionate about Type 1 diabetes? Contact us to learn how you can join our T1D Moonshot.
Looking to break down health barriers? Contact us to learn how you can join our Health Equity Moonshot
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Why the CEO of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Joined StartUp Health’s Health Moonshot Impact Board



Since 2020, Charles “Chuck” Henderson has led the American Diabetes Association (ADA) as CEO. In 2023, he joined StartUp Health’s Health Moonshot Impact Board, a unique, multi-disciplinary group of stakeholders passionate about advancing health innovation. On the Health Moonshot Impact Board, Henderson joins top thought leaders like Dr. Toby Cosgrove (former CEO, Cleveland Clinic) and Sue Siegel (former CEO, GE Ventures).

In this StartUp Health NOW episode, StartUp Health’s Logan Plaster sat down with Henderson to learn about his priorities in leading the ADA and why it was important to him to join StartUp Health’s moonshot community.


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Want more content like this? You can subscribe to the podcast as well as other health innovation updates at startuphealth.com/content.
Sign up for StartUp Health Insider™ to get funding insights, news, and special updates delivered to your inbox.

Looking to break down health barriers? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our Health Equity Moonshot.
Passionate about Type 1 diabetes? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our T1D Moonshot.


No More Suffering in Silence: Meet Two Founders Tackling Gut Health



On this week’s StartUp Health NOW episode, we’re talking about the future of gut health with Jeff Glueck, CEO & Co-founder of Salvo Health, and Swathi Arulguppe, CEO & Founder at BetterMeal AI.

There’s no doubt gut health is having a moment.

For a long time, health issues in the gut, like irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease, were met with outdated pamphlets about diets. The result was millions of people suffering in silence with painful, life-limiting conditions.

It’s not that GI doctors didn’t want to help. There just didn’t seem to be a lot that they could do.

Thankfully our understanding of the importance of gut health – and its connection to mental health and whole health – has resulted in a wave of innovation. And on this podcast episode, we’ll talk to some amazing entrepreneurs working to break this cycle and bring relief to patients.

Our first guest, Jeff Glueck was the CEO of Foursquare before he co-founded Salvo Health. He’s taking on gut health from two innovative angles.

The first is through the establishment of a digital clinic which makes specialty GI care available to patients at scale and on demand. Second, Glueck and his team are capitalizing on the latest research connecting gut health to mental health and other conditions. This connection between the gut microbiome and whole health is just exploding and Salvo is helping patients stay on the cutting edge.

Then we’ll check in with Swathi Arulguppe, CEO & Founder of BetterMeal AI.

You’ll hear how Arulguppe has taken her own journey with a debilitating GI condition, combined it with her passion for data, and built a platform for helping deliver AI-driven personalized meal recommendations to patients. By understanding the biological connections between human gut and food at the deepest level, she has built an app that helps guide its users on how to best manage their gut health through their nutrition.

Let’s jump in and find out where we are in gut health innovation.

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Want more content like this? You can subscribe to the podcast as well as other health innovation updates at startuphealth.com/content.
Sign up for StartUp Health Insider™ to get funding insights, news, and special updates delivered to your inbox.

Looking to break down health barriers? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our Health Equity Moonshot.
Passionate about Type 1 diabetes? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our T1D Moonshot.