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Supercharge your healthcare startup with SoftLayer Catalyst Startup Program

Jason Berek-Lewis
Founder @ Healthy Startups
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Meet Catalyst, the SoftLayer startup accelerator with a laser focus on enabling the next generation technologies and empowering the entrepreneurs that will bring them to market. So, what type of startups can apply to Catalyst and can health startups make the grade? The eligibility criteria for Catalyst are:
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● Startup, born-on-the-web, or early-stage technology company with an Internet-dependent product or service
● Referral to the program from a SoftLayer investor or advisor
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What is SoftLayer doing here?
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If you are still unsure why SoftLayer is being featured on a healthcare technology blog, let me add some more to the story for you.
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In May I was chosen to attend the HealthXL Global Gathering to represent the Asia Pacific region - at the event I was lucky to meet Joshua Krammes, Vice President, Community Development at SoftLayer, an IBM Company.
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Josh very well might be one of the luckiest guys on Earth - his job, as he describes it on his LinkedIn page, involves:
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As a community builder, I serve as an advisor, mentor, friend and liaison for early-stage startups to SoftLayer and the broader startup community. I manage the Community Development team at SoftLayer. In this role, I am honored to manage relationships with TechStars, 500 Startups, the Global Accelerator Network, several of the world's premiere co-working spaces, entrepreneurial organizations and many more.
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I love meeting people who are as passionate, or even more passionate, than I am about the power of startups to change the world and to change healthcare. To get to the guts of what Josh is up to... Let's get to the...
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Interview!
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Jason: Josh, welcome to Healthy Startups. It’s a huge buzz for me to have met you in Dublin and to have the chance to work with you in promoting SoftLayer’s Catalyst program. I love that on your LinkedIn page you describe yourself as a ‘friend’ of startups and I know that you work closely with TechStars, 500 Startups, the Global Accelerator, etc - what is your attraction to/ personal motivation for working in the startup space?
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Joshua: Thanks, Jason. I’m excited for our partnership with Healthy Startups, too. What you’re doing to promote innovation in the healthcare community is close to me. I have a heart condition that has impacted my life and there are many reasons why “Josh as a patient” and “Josh as a startup technology guy” wants to see big innovations in health care.
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For me, the appeal of startups is the energy and the passion. Life is far too short to do something that doesn’t give you fulfillment and make you feel alive. Each day, I get to meet and learn about new technologies and new companies that are dramatically changing our lives. Our personal lives, our lives at work, and how we behave.
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I feel strongly that we are in an age of renaissance that, centuries from now, will be looked upon as the renaissance the art world experienced centuries ago. Each entrepreneur I meet is an artist. They are poets that are redefining the future. And I get to meet them every day. How could that not be personally motivating to work in this field? 
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Jason: I’ve gone into a little of the detail above, but can you give readers some insight into your work 
with the Catalyst program?
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Joshua: Sure. SoftLayer launched the Catalyst program with the intention of incubating more long-term technologies on our Infrastructure platform as a way to deliver a product efficiently to the market.
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Our CEO (Lance Crosby) and Chief Strategy officer (George Karidis) realized that many of our big success stories were startups, and that in order to compete in the hosting markets, we had to have an offering that provided value to the startups in order for them to consider a new platform. Thus, Catalyst was born.
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We offer Catalyst as a community building platform where we can teach you how to use SoftLayer for your IaaS, while at the same time we loop you into our private, invitation–only community to collaborate with our partners, our other startup Catalyst clients, and people in our professional networks that will help take the time to mentor you.
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Our entire focus on community is to build a meaningful relationship with our early-stage customers, based on our world-class, best-in- market Infrastructure product. 
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Jason: Is the SoftLayer Catalyst program focused on USA-based startups only?
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Joshua: Absolutely not. We are a global company, with global reach. We have Catalyst community managers in Australia, China, the US, UK and several other countries to come. Our team is growing fast and it is our goal to be supportive of every startup community around the world.
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We have several startups in our program and that have graduate program from well over 50 countries and five continents. 
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Jason: You have worked with many startup companies and I think readers would really value your insights into the biggest barriers that early stage startups face in their journey and perhaps you could share some tips on staying the course and getting past those initial bumps on the road?
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Joshua: Well, as an entrepreneur myself, I can relate. Things have changed a bit since I started my first company back in 2001. Having been in the startup technology community the past few years, I would say there are three major areas where I find most entrepreneurs struggle.
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First, is the intention and focus on why they are building their company. So many entrepreneurs are chasing pay days. Big ones. And generally speaking, those that are focusing solely on the dollar sign are the ones that don’t make it.
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I see so many entrepreneurs offering great products to the market and unless they focus on building the right product, and building on a platform that will allow for continued growth of the company, they miss out.
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Next, I’d say a big obstacle is the audience. Meaning, who for sure do you need to see what you are building, and why will they use it? Many times, entrepreneurs get great mentorship from advisors and old guys like me that offer great insights to different markets where their product could gain financial success. I try to steer clear of that with our Catalyst customers. I say build your product for the market you are absolutely certain needs the product, will buy the product, and thus prove clear success of your company so that you can raise an effective round of funding to explore new markets. 
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Let me be clear – you may be building something that many markets will adopt, but you have to start with one.
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Lastly, I’d say that many entrepreneurs buy into the perception that they absolutely and positively have to be in Silicon Valley or in SF. Sure, I get that – and I live in SF and am more than thrilled to call this my home. I’ve been fortunate to travel a lot and think this is the most beautiful place to live. And yes, it is the epicenter of the universe when it comes to tech startups.
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But with traveling, I see capable entrepreneurs in every nook and cranny of the world. You can use technology to build your company. I wouldn’t buy into the hype that this is the only place in the world to do
what you’re doing. 
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Have an idea? Build it. Chase your dream to make it real. If your journey brings you to SF / Silicon Valley –well great. But as the market matures, more and more entrepreneurs need to know there are bridge
organizations out there that will help you tap into the network before completely uprooting your life to be
here. Find those friends. If you have a hard time – find me. I’ll introduce you to them myself.
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Jason: Well, you've sold me on SF! What is the specific piece of advice that you most often share with internet startups?
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Joshua: To stay focused on building the product that people or enterprise needs / wants. Focus on mutual value proposition with every relationship you are trying to build for yourself and your startup. Meaning, why would _____ want to talk to you about what you’re building? What do you have to offer them? Can you communicate to that person or organization without selling them? People – especially millenials – hate to be sold to. 
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Jason: What is the strangest/ most difficult question you have been asked or the most unusual advice you have been asked to provide in your work with the Catalyst program?
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Joshua: Wow. This is a tough one... I’d have to say the most difficult question I am asked is if I would personally invest in a startup. You know, it’s hard to say 'No' to people when they are passionate and chasing their dreams. In a perfect, altruistic world, everyone’s would be a winner. Yet still, when I was a kid, you didn’t get a 'participation trophy' for finishing in sixth place out of sixth. You worked harder the next year to win the trophy. 
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I’ve been asked a lot of other crazy questions, too. I guess one that also sticks out is how to separate a business from one of the co-founders. It’s a delicate situation that has to be approached with diplomacy and empathy – two things that are challenging for us as humans to be perfect at.
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Lastly, and this one for a bit of humor... I was asked one time about what haircare products I use. I used to have this crazy front swoop that I absolutely loved. It was a three-product system and got a lot of laughs. Unfortunately, the swoop has been retired. Perhaps sometime here or again it will make a reappearance.
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Josh Krammes has awesome hair!
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Jason: Can you tell me a bit more about the healthcare startups have been a part of the Catalyst Program?
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Joshua: Sure. We’ve been lucky to be part of several healthcare groups, such as HealthXL and the Sprint Mobile Health Accelerator powered by TechStars. There are several awesome startups I have had the pleasure of being a friend and mentor for: LifeLine Response, PRIME, Yosko and Symptomly come to mind.
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All participated in the Sprint accelerator early this year in Kansas City. Each one has a very unique product for their market and are all positioned very well after the accelerator program. We’ve also had other startups come through the Catalyst program. We find with healthcare startups in particular, our hybrid solution, global network, speed, and privacy are the big reasons healthcare companies build on SoftLayer.
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Jason: On the SoftLayer blog you have shared some of your thoughts on the future of healthcare. Where do you think the space is headed and what are your thoughts on the roles of startups in driving future healthcare innovation?
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Joshua: I think startups are essential to innovation in healthcare. All of enterprise, really – but healthcare, especially.
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What most major healthcare organizations are not is agile. Startups generally don’t get buried under layers and layers of decision-making and bureaucracy rather, they build. So, in order to really build innovative solutions for the healthcare industry, I see that more and more startups are going to take the lead in building solutions that work, that healthcare organizations will either adopt or acquire. It simply takes too long for large enterprise to innovate at the speed of the market today.
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Throw on top of this other issues like security, attracting the right work force, and offering the same lifestyle startups do, it’s a recipe for startups to really, really push innovation in healthcare forward. In my personal opinion, I think startups will drive the conversation in innovation in healthcare... and I’m excited for that.
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Jason: I couldn't agree with you more! Thanks for your support and for taking the time to share your thoughts on the future of healthcare and the SoftLayer Catalyst Program.

When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade. When Life Gives You Cancer…

 

Maayan Cohen
CEO, Hello Doctor



4 years ago, my former boyfriend started having bad headaches. They usually started around the evening time, until one day he woke up with a headache — that’s when I knew that something was seriously wrong. I dragged him to the emergency room and 3 hours later, the sky fell on us. A scan revealed he had a brain tumor and he had to undergo immediate surgery. That morning marked the beginning of 2 excruciating years of fighting cancer that included surgeries, chemotherapy, lab tests, radiations, second opinions and countless visits to doctors who are part of disparate medical networks whose technology systems don’t talk with each other.


The worst part was trying to find the right medical document at the right time

 

 

Each doctor we saw gave us a net of about 10 minutes face time. Beyond the uncertainty and fear, the worst part of these meetings was trying to explain his medical condition by pulling out the relevant Medical Records that the doctor wanted to see out of my “medical binder”. I knew that if I could not find the right document at the right time it would affect his treatment and in this case — it can even cost us his life.

This story has a couple of happy endings. First, my former boyfriend went into permanent remission, he is doing great today and we are still good friends. The second is Hello Doctor. The frustrations of my experience with the healthcare system inspired me to quit my job and start Hello Doctor, which is intended to help millions of people who are dealing with the same frustration that I had to deal with. Today, Hello Doctor’s team has 6 members — all went through a similar experience with different medical conditions — bowel disease, breast cancer, ALS and pregnancy monitoring. We have all been there, and we decided to devote our career to helping people feel less confused and more in control when talking to their doctors.

 

Hello Doctor helps people manage and understand their medical records


Hello Doctor is a free mobile app that empowers people to control their health. We started with an iOS app that helps people to manage and understand their medical records.

 

 

It allows you to easily aggregate all of your medical records (paper or digital) on your tablet or mobile phone and get to any one of them in literally just 2 taps. It allows you to share your medical records with your doctor and add comments on the medical records themselves  -  so that you won’t forget what bothered you and resolve it in time. It’s that simple and it’s that useful, especially in real time  - when you are facing your doctor.
 

 

 

Making a difference, helping people


A few weeks ago we found out that we are already helping people. Ilene, a 60 year old cancer survivor sent us an amazing thank you letter. “A simple flu shot meant that I have to take my 2 medical binders with me to the doctor as he doesn’t have access to all of my records. Your app is invaluable”. This is exactly what we dreamed of when we started this project and we need your help in spreading the word about Hello Doctor. You can start by downloading and trying it yourself — take control over your health now. Manage your medical records with Hello Doctor.

 

Website https://hello.do
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/HelloDoctorApp
Twitter https://twitter.com/HelloDoctorApp 

 

 


Janssen offers $140000 to HaTCH a plan to improve Australia's health 

Jason Berek-Lewis
Social media, content, PR, sales consultant @ Healthy Startups [at]health

 

 

 

 

Janssen Australia has announced the launch of the #JanssenHaTCH challenge and has put AU$140000 on the table to drive innovation across:
  • Early disease detection and monitoring if we can detect things earlier and can monitor them in the community we can disrupt the pattern of landing in a hospital for diagnosis. 
  • Access to and sharing of health information not a new problem but an opportunity that is critical for helping manage patients more successfully in the community.
  • Connectivity between Australians and HCPs and services we need to develop new ways to connect and engage all members of the 'care team.'  HCPs, services, families. This will help to empower patients and their families in the healthcare process.

 

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Innovation in care for our ageing population
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This innaugural HaTCH challenge focuses on innovations to 'treat' the way Australia cares for its ageing population. The challenge is specifically looking for solutions that deliver care and prevention strategies outside of the hospital system.
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Have you got what it takes to HaTCH a solution?
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Then you had better hustle FAST! The Janssen HaTCH challenge is not open for long. Entries close on Friday, 3 October! Throwing your hat in the ring is quick and simple: all you need is a brief outline of the idea that you want to HaTCH. 
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What are YOU waiting for? APPLY NOW at the HaTCH website.
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Next, Janssen's healthcare and startup expert panel will judge the entries and select 4 finalists who will each receive AU$1000 to further develop their ideas. Selected finalists will receive mentoring from HaTCH judges between October and December.
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The winning project will be announced on Wednesday, 3 December 2014.
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GOOD LUCK!

Ice Buckets Don’t Drive Long Term Change

 

Jason Berek-Lewis
Social media, content, PR, sales consultant @ Healthy Startups [at]health

 

Sergey Brin, Larry Page from Google get iced. Image courtesy of www.androidcentral.com

Why has the Ice Bucket Challenge been a huge success? It is a laser focused, brand new, easily relatable, highly visual 'stunt' that breaks through the noise - RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW.

But, like so many of these 'viral stunts', the impact of raising awareness will dissipate very, very quickly. Raising fleeting awareness is one thing - but where is the long term engagement strategy for these campaigns?

Getting a huge spike in social media followers, social media shares and web traffic is a great outcome, but driving sustainable, ongoing and long term funding/ behaviour changes is quite something else. I'd like to see some hard data around outcomes - ie money raised for research, corporate partners/ sponsors secured, volunteers signed up and engaged. I don't disagree with these sorts of tactics and I don’t for a minute begrudge the campaign for its successes against short term metrics - I congratulate them for being daring and innovative - but I believe the healthcare communications, marketing, PR, social media industry needs to come up with longer term strategies too.

 

What the Ice Bucket Challenge Tells Us About The State Of Healthcare Marketing

 

Old ways of doing healthcare marketing are stuffed. In 2014 it’s not enough to hire a ‘celebrity’ to do a community service announcement on radio, put up some billboards, send fundraisers with collection tins to the local shopping mall and hope for the best. Even the telethon, that staple of fundraising campaigns, is losing its lustre as younger demographics shy away from traditional ways of supporting healthcare awareness and fundraising campaigns. And please use the comments section below to tell me when you last bought a raffle ticket...

Sure, these Ice Bucket Challenges are being undertaken by ‘celebrities’ and maybe that brings eyeballs, but the definition of celebrity is changing in 2014. Participants in the IBC include staid CEOs, news readers, washed up pop stars, YouTube/ social media wannabes, politicians. The reason the participants are so diverse is part of the attention deficit disorder remedy that the campaign has deployed.

Not only is the idea of celebrity changing, so too is the concept of supporting a charity or awareness campaign - once again driven by the decline of attention. Where my grandparents and parents once gave a donation by check (or cheque as we spell it here in Australia), Millenials feel that clicking the Like button on a Facebook post or sharing an image to Snapchat or Instagram is the best way to rally behind a cause.

Because of this battle for attention, health care campaigners are having to ditch the long term strategy to drive real, sustainable change in favour of the ‘How Do I Get Washed Up Celebrity X To Retweet My Gosh I Hope It Goes Viral Video Right Now’ strategy.

 

How To Break Through The Short Term Syndrome

 

There are some ways we can reach out to people engaged in an Ice Bucket Challenge style stunt to build longer, deeper and richer conversations/ relationships that drive ongoing change:

  • The video is the home base - what are you doing to deepen engagement on the outposts?

  • Are you sending the video to long time donors/ corporate supporters through social media and email marketing?

  • Are you using the video to build your email list or drive viewers to your website or social media channels?

  • Have you thought about how to use the video to introduce and/ or extend the story?

 

Where’s Bono?

 

By the way, do you have Bono’s phone number? I want to give him a call and assure him that no H2O molecules have been intentionally harmed in any celebrity Ice Bucket Challenge.

Lastly please use the comments section below to post YouTube links to your Ice Bucket Challenge videos and I will include the videos at the end of this post.

 

Health heroes assemble! @ #hic14

Jason Berek-Lewis
Social media, content, PR, sales consultant @ Healthy Startups [at]health

 

 

What a week at HIC 2014, Australia's premier digital health, e-health and informatics conference. We've talked digital health, big data, e-patients, design, participatory health, workforce issues, innovation, open access to health information, startups, electronic health records...

I was lucky enough to attend the event on a press pass courtesy of the Health Informatics Society of Australia (HISA), which gave me access not only to a thought provoking conference and workshops, but the opportunity to meet more of my health heroes.

 

Jack Andraka and Jason at HIC 2014

Why we need health heroes

It's one thing to repeat the slogan that 'healthcare is broken', and it is, and it is another thing to put yourself out there and do something about it. The many, many people that I look up to in healthcare are all on similar paths to change the 'system'.

We need health heroes because they lead the innovation and reform charge, but also because they place a 'human face' on the causes they champion - and one of the biggest issues confronting healthcare (especially as we move into the era of big data) is the decline of humanity in healthcare.

When I talk about the decline of humanity in healthcare, I am not pointing fingers. The way that our health systems have evolved to being system cenrtic instead of patient and doctor centric is a product of many factors and not the 'fault' of any one group or profession (except maybe politicians - that's a joke). However, we have two choices as how we respond to this 'systemization' of healthcare: accept it or change it. 

 

Jason and Regina Holliday and ePatient Dave at HIC 2014

Health Heroes Assemble!

Just as The Avengers are a group of superheroes who unite to bring their abilities/ powers together to face a bigger threat the challenges facing our health systems have become too large and intractable to be solved by any one group or individual. That's why we need organisations like the Society for Participatory Medicine, which I hope will soon have a pressence in Australia and conferences/ events/ meetings like HIC 2014 that bring together difference professions in and around medicine, innovators and patients to develop a united path to tackling health challenges in a collaborative way.



Jason and Dr Danny Sands, Society for Participatory Medicine at HIC 2014 

Give a shout out to your health heroes

Who are your health heroes? I have many and on my list are people who have founded/ work in startups, doctors, patients, researchers, hackers, programmers, activists, policy makers, futurists, etc. I have been lucky to meet with many of the people who inspire me including John Nosta, Gary Fingerhut, Martin Kelly, Regina Holliday, ePatient DaveBertalan MeskóBart Collet, Jack Andraka...

Who are your health heroes?