Follow Healthy Startups

Healthy Startups Search




AliveCor beats at the heart of the empowered patient

Jason Berek-Lewis
Social media, content, PR, sales consultant @ Healthy Startups


This week, I had the chance to interview David Albert, Founder and Chief Medical Officer at AliveCor. The power of the internet allowed us to connect, but completely failed when it came to recording the interview - lucky I took detailed notes!

Jason: G’day Dave, thanks so much for your time and for doing this interview. Who are you and what do you do?

Dave: I’m David Albert, Founder and Chief Medical Officer at AliveCor. By way of background I am a cardiovascular researcher and have worked with corporates like GE Healthcare. I founded AliveCor three years ago.

So, what is AliveCor? What does it do? How does it work?

AliveCor is a heart monitor that attaches to your smartphone and allows you to record your own electrocardiogram/ ECG (a test that records the electrical activity of the heart). An ECG shows how fast your heart is beating, whether the rhythm of your heartbeat is steady or irregular and the strength and timing of electrical signals as they pass through each part of your heart.


It's the AliveCor!

Using the AliveCor monitor together with the app on your smartphone enables you to share your ECG with your doctor, health professional or caregiver. For a small fee you are able to have your AliveCor ECG reviewed by US board-certified cardiologists or cardiac technicians*. This service is also available in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

* You can read more about this service on the AliveCor website.


Report provided in the AliveCor iPhone app

I was lucky enough to have a quick ‘hands on’ with the AliveCor at the recent HealthXL Global Gathering in Dublin. It struck me as to how portable and accessible the device was. And how easy it was to use and set up.

 You attach the AliveCor Heart Monitor to your mobile device. Then download the AliveECG app from the App Store or Google play. You sign up for your account and then record your ECG.

It seems to me that one of cases for the AliveCor would be in developing nations, even in developed nations, where access to care is difficult. Can you share some thoughts on that?

 Absolutely!. Improving access to care is a key part of what we are looking to achieve with AliveCor.

When it comes to access for mobile health in the developed versus developing world, it seems that Android is the way to go. Can you share some thoughts on iOS vs Android in terms of mobile health?

Firstly, we are platform agnostic, so AliveCor wants to be on as many devices as possible. iOS and Android are making plays in wearable devices (and) we are focused on supporting both platforms.

I’m conscious of time, so finally how can we find out more about AliveCor?

Our website is at

Thanks so much Dave, I really appreciate your time.


You can also follow AliveCor on social media:




Sergey Brin, Larry Page talk Google as a health company

Jason Berek-Lewis
Social media, content, PR, sales consultant @ Healthy Startups



The Khosla Ventures CEO Summit features big thinkers talking solutions around big challenges. You don't get much bigger than Sergey Brin and Larry Page from Google talking to Vinod Khosla about healthcare. Here's the transcript:


VK That leads to another strategy question. Can you imagine, given your interests-- you've had some interest in health. There's some radical stuff there. Android is a natural platform for health. Mobile is, and health needs to be distributed and highly accessible - broadly, not just at the hospital. Can you imagine Google becoming a health company? Maybe a larger business than the search business or the media business?

SB I think it's, for sure, a larger business. In fact, Google X - for example - we do have the glucose reading contact lenses. 

LP Which are very cool.

SB I don't wear them. Well, I don't wear contacts, so I don't have the need to measure my glucose. But they should be coming along pretty well. I'm very excited about that. Generally, health is just so heavily regulated. It's just a painful business to be in. It's just not necessarily how I want to spend my time. Even though we do have some health projects, and we'll be doing that to a certain extent. But I think the regulatory burden in the U.S. is so high that think it would dissuade a lot of entrepreneurs.

LP We have Calico, obviously, we did that with Art Levinson, which is pretty independent effort. Focuses on health and longevity. I'm really excited about that. I am really excited about the possibility of data also, to improve health. But that's-- I think what Sergey's saying, it's so heavily regulated. It's a difficult area. I can give you an example. Imagine you had the ability to search people's medical records in the U.S.. Any medical researcher can do it. Maybe they have the names removed. Maybe when the medical researcher searches your data, you get to see which researcher searched it and why. I imagine that would save 10,000 lives in the first year. Just that. That's almost impossible to do because of HIPPA. I do worry that we regulate ourselves out of some really great possibilities that are certainly on the data-mining end.

VK Two or three years ago, I wrote a blog called, "Do We Need Doctors?" And I speculated Doctor Algorithm will do most of the work. Amol (the CEO) from is here. They introduced their psychiatric monitoring app at Kaiser—

LP I was talking to them about that last night. It was cool.

VK In the first week, Kaiser believes they saved three suicides, because the app alerted the nurse that the patient was in a suicidal state. That's just the big outcome. But that feels like a software business, mostly. Delivered mostly through mobile, and it's more needed in the least regulated areas - India, Africa, places like that. Go ahead.

LP I was going to say, in the U.S., I think diabetes and heart disease are both about 3 or $400 billion dollars a year in expense. That's of the 1.3 trillion, so that's a pretty big chunk. So definitely, just making a dent in those would be a big deal for people.

VK In fact, most people may not know this, but the first mobile app got approved as a pharmaceutical because it's directly competitive with metformin, which is the principle drug for blood sugar reduction. So it has the same effect, and the FDA approved it. Of course, with the funny caveat that it has to be refilled every three months, and it's priced at $182 a month.

LP Do you want to take any questions from the audience?

VK I'm going to have one question for you, Larry. You lost your voice last year. You've talked a little bit about what you've learned from that.

LP Sergey encouraged me to make all the details public. That was really great, to get a lot of feedback, information, things like that. As a good example, we're talking about medicine, a lot of the angst people have about their medical records is related to insurance. Which if we could just fix insurance-- the point of insurance is to cover medical issues. We somehow worked ourselves into a state around that. Obviously, I don't care very much about that, so I don't have that issue. Anyway, I don't think my voice is likely to get much worse, so I'm happy about that. I can get my job done fine.

Interview transcript reproduced from Khosla Ventures


For now, I am going to leave it at that. But, my next post is titled Google is building a hospital. Stay tuned!


Diabeto hardware and iOS app launches 

Jason Berek-Lewis
Social media, content, PR, sales consultant @ Healthy Startups


Almost 2 years ago Shreekant Pawar, CMO/ CoFounder @ Diabeto wrote on Healthy Startups:


... a startup in India has come up with a hardware device, which transmits the readings from a Glucometer to Android phones wirelessly. These readings can be then be analyzed with the help of an Android application, the patients can track their glucose readings, check the shifts and also email these readings to their doctor for further analysis. 

The hardware device, which is called “Diabeto”, is currently compatible with six glucometers and the team is busy researching and making the device compatible with more glucometers available in the market. 


Now, in mid 2014 the moment has arrived for Shreekant and the team at Diabeto - the startup recently launched their global private alpha release:



... private alpha release and we would be giving away Diabeto hardware and accompanying iOS application to selected users who would be willing to help us with feedback, interviews and testimonials.


Being a passionate advocate for healthcare innovation, I am putting what weight I have behind Diabeto's alpha launch. Shreekant and the Diabeto team have poured so much into developing the app and distinctive device that syncs your glucometer with your phone and a secure cloud server.

The iOS app allows users to:


  • access all their stats on one beautiful app homescreen
  • track meals and physical activity, together with blood glucose readings
  • set reminders for blood glucose tests, and 
  • email readings graphs to your doctor


A sweet journey...

One of the most awesome parts of running Healthy Startups has been connecting with entrepreneurs and startups all over the globe. On a personal note, it's super exciting to see Diabeto heading for launch. I've been lucky to see part of Shreekant's journey and have kept up with the team on social media. I'm super excited for Diabeto and their users. Mostly, I am again inspired and excited by the growing opportunity of mhealth.




How I came to live a very different life - a health startup founder's tale

Aviva Cohen
CEO @ Neuro Hero Limited



As a student and teacher of philosophy, I have always believed it possible to think my way out of any situation. In the past, I have almost always managed to get what I want, although it hasn’t always turned out to be what I expected. I found myself in a situation that made me wonder if I was wrong. Maybe I had met my match; maybe this was the situation where thinking was not going to help. I was only half right.

In the summer of 2006 I found myself living a magical life. I had the most wonderful six-year-old daughter, a perfect baby girl in my arms and Steve who was funny, strong and shared my love of learning. Things were going well with my family too, especially my sister Belinda who was in remission.


Then, everything changed


By December, everything had changed. My sister had lost her long battle with breast cancer and a stroke had turned my karate master Steve into a 17-stone child with no speech, severely reduced movement and little understanding of what was going on around him. My mother was dangerously ill, I had slipped a disk in my back trying to lift Steve and I had many signs of breast cancer. How was I going to think my way out of this?


I wanted to read everything!

Some people turn to comfort food at times like this. I do too, but I also take comfort in reading; the heavier and more obscure the topic the better. When Steve fell ill, I asked his doctors and therapists to give me papers to read. I wanted everything they had on stroke.

Then I went online. I started on the first entry that popped up and read and read and read.... After a year, I stumbled upon a treatment the doctors had never mentioned and it really helped Steve. I found another and another, until the light came back into his eyes, the movement came back into his paralyzed arm and the hope came back into our lives.

I decided to share my discoveries with others who, like us, were desperately searching for help. This led me to create the Research & Hope website.

Over the next few years Steve became more and more able. After Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy he learned to wash and dress himself, during acupuncture his ability to make sounds returned to him and Stem Cell therapy enabled him to move his right arm which had been paralyzed for three years.

For all this progress, Steve still had no speech, so that was my next challenge. For a few months after he left hospital Steve received free speech and language therapy from the Irish government. Then we started to pay €80 per hour but it wasn’t long before this became unsustainable. I searched for home based rehabilitation aids, we found some but they did not specifically address his word finding difficulties. After a while the monthly payments for these online tools became prohibitively expensive.

The only option was to develop my own.


From the beginning I had been asking questions, sitting in on every speech and language therapy session and reading every SLT training manual and paper that I could lay my hands on.

In September 2011 I won a place on the National Digital Research Centre’s (NDRC) accelerator program for digital start-ups in Dublin. They helped me and my team to hone our ideas and start to develop home based rehabilitation apps. In May of 2012 we received the Arthur Guinness Fund award. This award supports emerging social entrepreneurs to develop their projects by providing the resources they need to make a difference.

In October of 2012 we received the Impact award from Social Entrepreneurs Ireland. This award helps high potential social entrepreneurs to refine their solution, become effective leaders and increase their impact.

With their help we created our Talk Around IT low cost apps for people with word finding difficulties and made a series of educational videos. Working with Speech and Language therapists (pathologists) we have created tools to help people to improve their word finding at home, using a commonly used therapy called Semantic Feature Analysis.


Stroke or brain injury does not happen to an individual, it happens to a family


Over the years I have learned that a stroke or brain injury does not happen to an individual, it happens to a family. So I make sure that every app and video that we create will help  the whole family to learn key skills, to work together and to keep hope alive…


1 month left to apply to HealthXL!

Jason Berek-Lewis
Social media, content, PR, sales consultant @ Healthy Startups



Last week at StartUp HealthTech I had the chance to meet up with a few Australian entrepreneurs/ innovators who were looking to apply to the HealthXL for their first round intake for 2014. Why apply to HealthXL over other accelerator programs? Let's ask HealthXL:


The mission of healthXL is to help solve these (global health) problems by changing the rate of innovation in healthcare by creating a new model for driving outcome focused relationships between innovators and industry leaders from around the world. healthXL is comprised of ten strategic partners including Bupa, Cleveland Clinic, GSK, IBM, ICON, Janssen HealthCare Innovation, Linde Healthcare, Novartis, Partners HealthCare and Silicon Valley Bank.

Through our strategic partners, supporting partners, mentors and innovative high growth companies invited into the program, healXL puts together those with the resources, ability and passion to drive real change in the way healthcare is delivered.


Just take another look at that list of strategic partners! This is your chance to roll the dice, tackle a huge healthcare moonshot and work with the best regarded innovators in global healthcare.

Are you really going to miss out on this? Click here to apply!