Tag Archives: Logan Plaster

Why Wingwomen Took the Leap from Virtual Support to Real-World Care for Reproductive Health



When Adonica Shaw founded Wingwomen, it was to address a very specific, personal need. Shaw had experienced a difficult pregnancy – preeclampsia turned an otherwise healthy pregnancy into a medical emergency. Afterward she looked around and there was no one to talk to about what she’d been through and nowhere she felt she could go for advice.

So she built a safe space to talk about issues around women’s health and maternal health. It was all virtual at first and provided curated communities of support.

But one day Shaw realized that there were services she wanted to provide to her customers that just couldn’t be handled on an app. There were also services she wanted to provide that couldn’t get reimbursed without a physical component. So she made a leap that very few health tech founders make: she decided to open up a physical clinic. She found suitable space in South Boston, fitted it out to her specifications, and put out her proverbial shingle.

As we discuss, in this StartUp Health NOW podcast episode, this has come with serious challenges. There’s a reason why many founders prefer SaaS business models over bricks and mortar. Dealing with local zoning, difficult neighbors, staffing… it’s a lot. But designing a physical space also allows Shaw to lay the foundation for a new way for women to get care and to support one another along the way.

Let’s get into the conversation.


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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.
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Neolth Teams Up with NBA Star Kenny Thomas to Bring Mental Health Tools to Kids



According to some estimates, out of the HHS, nearly 50% of kids have experienced some kind of mental health challenge. And not just anxiety about an upcoming test or depression over a breakup, but persistent feelings that interfere with daily activities.

Health innovation companies have been on the case for years, including many from the StartUp Health community. They’re tackling the science – like what’s the best way to treat mental health challenges in teens – and they’re also tackling engagement. You can have the best tools in the world after all, but if a young person doesn’t want to get help, it’ll never go anywhere.

Enter Katherine Grill, PhD, CEO & Co-founder of Neolth, one of our guests on this podcast episode. She’s taken her doctorate in behavioral neuroscience and her experience as a clinician, combined with hundreds of interviews with young people, in order to build a platform that meets kids where they’re at – offering self-guided mental health support in a variety of forms and flavors.

Joining the podcast with us is former pro basketball player, Kenny Thomas. After spending 11 seasons in the NBA, Thomas became an entrepreneur and community advocate, with a focus on youth experiencing financial hardship via his own foundation. And now he’s throwing his influence behind Neolth in order to help young people, particularly those involved in sports, gain access to mental health services.

On this StartUp Health NOW episode, we’ll cover the ins and outs of the Neolth platform as well as some of Dr. Grill’s strategy behind working with a brand ambassador, which is somewhat unique in the world of early-stage health startups.

Let’s get into it.


FundersBecome a Health Moonshot Champion
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.


These Founders Are Pairing AI + SDoH to Re-humanize Healthcare



Our episode this week was recorded during our StartUp Health Studio interviews at the recent HLTH conference in Las Vegas. At the event, a hot topic was how artificial intelligence, specifically generative AI, is going to fundamentally shift healthcare delivery. AI can help us comb through mountains of information and take action on data points that were previously hidden from view. But many people have a serious concern – even a fear – that AI will degrade the doctor-patient relationship and effectively dehumanize healthcare.

Our two guests today both joined the StartUp Health community earlier in 2023. They are pushing back against that narrative and suggesting with their companies that AI and big data can be leveraged to re-humanize healthcare delivery.

First we’ll talk with Nicole Cook, the CEO & Founder of Alvee, who is on a health moonshot mission to use AI-driven solutions to promote health equity and improve health outcomes for all. Cook reminds us that doctors are spending an inordinate amount of their time with a patient tapping away at a screen. The status quo is not working, so can new patient data tools help? Can they bring the right information to the surface at the right time and the right way, so healthcare providers can get back to making eye contact with patients?

What’s Cook is building at Alvee is resonating, as she went on to win the HLTH Startup Pitch Competition.

Next, we hear from Chris Turner, CEO & Co-founder at HealthBook+, who is attempting to create a fuller, more human picture of each patient using all available data including data from some nontraditional sources. HealthBook+ provides a simple-to-use, digital-first care platform which consolidates health data and keeps it private, as well as predicts conditions and recommends the next best health actions.

If the top line story for this episode is how data and AI could be used to create a more human electronic health record, the secondary story is about who can benefit from this technology.

Everyone’s talking about social determinants of health. This idea that we need to address the non-medical drivers of health, like access to fresh food and transportation. Healthcare providers care about these issues but don’t have the time or resources to analyze the data. That’s where Alvee Health and HealthBook+ can come in. Providing a fuller, more human analysis of patient data means taking into account important barriers to care and getting smart about how to overcome them.

So let’s get into it.


FundersBecome a Health Moonshot Champion
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.


Quantifying Mental Health: How Mobio Interactive Is Unleashing Precision Psychiatry at Scale



There’s a phrase that gets thrown around a lot in business: “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” It’s a quote attributed to Peter Drucker, the famed management consultant.‌

If business leaders such as Peter Drucker are right, not being able to measure the effect of an action would make it impossible to know if we should be doing more or less of that action – or if we should be doing it at all.

But if the saying is true in management, it’s even more true in clinical medicine in most areas of healthcare. Despite this seeming to be self evident, you’ve got to measure it to manage it yet there are still swathes of care that are delivered by some version of trial and error.‌

Our guest this week is Bechara Saab, PhD, CEO, Chief Scientist & Co-founder of Mobio Interactive, a company that joined the StartUp Health community in 2022.‌

Dr. Saab started as an academic researcher. It’s safe to say he loves measuring, loves gathering hard data and proving that he has found causation not just correlation in his work. So when his research introduced him to the modern world of mental health diagnosis and mental healthcare, he was taken aback by what he saw as a lack of solid objective measurements.‌

How could you help someone with anxiety, for instance, if you couldn’t accurately measure their anxiety before and after a treatment?‌

That is the thorny challenge that Dr. Saab is tackling with Mobio Interactive.

As you’ll hear, he’ll explain just how his research led to a solution that provides those objective measurements. His company, based in Singapore, came up with an accessible tool that provides clinically-validated therapy within a platform that objectively quantifies how a patient’s mental health is affected by therapy in real time and without a wearable, thereby allowing personalization of mental health therapy at scale.

Enjoy!


FundersBecome a Health Moonshot Champion
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.


Virtual Reality for Brain Health: Virtuleap’s New Platform Uses VR to Detect Cognitive Decline Early



Our StartUp Health NOW guest this week is Amir Bozorgzadeh, CEO & Co-founder of Virtuleap, a brain health company that joined StartUp Health in 2019.

Headquartered in Lisbon, Portugal, and expanding to Barcelona, Spain, Virtuleap improves brain health with VR. In this chat, Amir will walk us through their new platform – Cogniclear VR – that combines neuroscience with virtual reality games and activities to detect cognitive disorders. He’ll explain how VR can play an important role in the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and other dementias, why VR needs to be applied with care in health, and where virtual reality is going next.

Enjoy!


FundersBecome a Health Moonshot Champion
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.


How GO-Pen’s “Insulin Pen for All” Is Making High-Quality T1D Care Globally Accessible



Our StartUp Health NOW guest this week is Ole Kjerkegaard Nielsen, PhD, CEO & Co-founder of GO-Pen, a company in our Type 1 Diabetes Moonshot community.

As you’ll hear, Nielsen and his team based in Denmark have built a new kind of insulin pen, one that is affordable and accessible to all while also adhering to the absolute highest standards of quality. This more accessible insulin pen could change millions of people’s lives.

We’ll also get a glimpse into the uniquely challenging startup journey of developing a physical medical device. Nielsen and his team have been winning awards and grants on a regular basis, but the road is still steep. Whether it’s negotiating with a manufacturer across the globe or getting FDA approval, bringing a medical device to market as a startup with limited funds is a challenge that could intimidate even the most market-tested CEOs. Nielsen pulls back the curtain and lets us see that challenge from the inside and shows us where GO-Pen is going next.

Enjoy!


FundersBecome a Health Moonshot Champion
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.


10-Year Overnight Success: UnaliWear Tops Wirecutter List of Medical Alert Systems



We’re back with a new season of the StartUp Health NOW podcast!

This week we’re chatting with Richard Hirsch from UnaliWear. UnaliWear, under the guidance of CEO & Founder Jean Anne Booth, is a long-time StartUp Health community member that is changing the game in medical alerts for seniors.

UnaliWear built the voice-first Kanega watch that provides discreet support for falls, medication reminders, and a guard against wandering – and allows seniors to call for help if they need it. It gives seniors independence without making them wear a stigmatizing alert button around their necks.

And, now, after years of other awards and accolades, the Kanega watch was just named by The New York Times Wirecutter as the best medical alert device for people on the go. That’s the kind of market validation that startups dream about.

Listen in as Hirsch shares insights on how UnaliWear grew into a “10-year overnight success.”

——

FundersBecome a Health Moonshot Champion
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.


From the Archives: Naheed Kurji of Recursion Takes a Deep Dive into Artificial Intelligence for Drug Discovery



For this StartUp Health NOW episode, we dive back into an interview we did with a long-time Health Transformer, Naheed Kurji. At the time of the interview, Naheed was the CEO, President & Co-founder of Cyclica, a StartUp Health company that is considered one of the pioneers of what is now the increasingly hot space of using AI for drug discovery and development.

We wanted to revisit this conversation because in the time since we aired it, Cyclica had huge news. In May 2023, the company was acquired by Recursion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: RXRX), a clinical-stage biotech player.

Naheed now leads Recursion’s Canadian operations and is putting his experience to use accelerating innovation in drug discovery in whole new ways. By looking back at Naheed’s experience at Cyclica, we can gain a glimpse into how he was so successful piloting a startup from launch to acquisition and how he might lead Recursion moving forward. Naheed will also give us an inside look at how Cyclica reshaped this market – then he’ll zoom way out: as the chair of the Alliance for Artificial Intelligence in Health, Naheed can help us understand where the AI for health industry is going.

We will be back with fresh episodes after Labor Day!


 

FundersBecome a Health Moonshot Champion
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.


From the Archives: Why Media Giant Jon Miller, Former CEO at AOL and IAC, Joined StartUp Health’s Board of Directors



As we gear up for the launch of the next season of this podcast, which will drop after Labor Day, we’re bringing you replays of favorite episodes from the past.

This week, we’re featuring a conversation with Jon Miller, a member of the StartUp Health Board of Directors. Miller is best known for being a former CEO of AOL, Head of Digital Media at News Corp, and Chief Executive of the media powerhouse IAC.

With all of that experience in media, Miller might seem like an interesting choice for a board focused on health innovation. After all, on the StartUp Health board he joins the likes of Toby Cosgrove, MD, whose pedigree as the former head of the Cleveland Clinic needs little explanation.

In our conversation, we talk about how Miller’s experience in business, finance, and media translates to health moonshots – these audacious goals that guide us at StartUp Health. Specifically, we wanted to know what media tools could be used to speed up health innovation and help startups bring their solutions to the market more successfully.

What we learned was that many of the advancements and opportunities Miller has seen in media over the last couple decades – advancements in consumerism and community – are absolutely core to improving health in scalable digital ways.

Listen in to hear Miller explain that vision and why he’s more excited than ever to support a global community of health tech entrepreneurs – this band of like-minded founders we call Health Transformers.

We will be back with fresh episodes after Labor Day!


FundersBecome a Health Moonshot Champion
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.


From the Archives: Dr. Robert Wilson on How Partnering with PreventScripts Enhanced His Medical Practice



Typically on this show we talk to the health tech founders – who we call Health Transformers – that are creating the tools and platforms that will modernize our health system. Or we talk to top investors on what they’re looking for in startups.

But, on this week’s StartUp Health NOW, we look back at one of our most-popular podcast episodes, which featured a different kind of guest: one that helps round out the picture of how healthcare innovation goes from idea to real-world implementation.

Robert Wilson, MD, is a family physician who runs CovenantCare Family Practice, a multi-site medical practice in Tennessee. Dr. Wilson popped up on our radar because he was an early partner for PreventScripts, a startup that’s part of the StartUp Health community. PreventScripts, led by Brandi Harless and Natalie Davis, MD, has created a platform that helps family doctors like Dr. Wilson identify patients who would benefit from chronic care management. Think about a patient who is pre-diabetic and all signs point towards a long battle with Type 2 diabetes. While Dr. Wilson might be too overextended to identify and coach this patient before the disease sets in, PreventScripts can identify the risk and put the patient on a clinically-proven program. Patients with chronic diseases, or the risk of disease, get heightened care between visits, and Dr. Wilson gets added reimbursement.

We wanted to talk to Dr. Wilson to understand why he was interested in partnering with a health startup, as this is one of the key hurdles for any health innovator. How do you find the right clinical partner, a place to prove out your brilliant idea in the real world, and then iterate based on user feedback?

In the conversation – our most-downloaded episode in the past year – we’ll get into the real-world challenges that Dr. Wilson faces, his motivation for evolving his practice, and how PreventScripts has helped him fill gaps in patient care.

We will be back with fresh episodes after Labor Day!


 

FundersBecome a Health Moonshot Champion
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.