Follow Healthy Startups
Healthy Startups Search




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.




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.


Innovation in care for our ageing population
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.
Have you got what it takes to HaTCH a solution?
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. 
What are YOU waiting for? APPLY NOW at the HaTCH website.
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.
The winning project will be announced on Wednesday, 3 December 2014.

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

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? 


#hic14 Interview with ePatient Dave

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

Despite technical/ wifi/ battery issues and speaking with 'ePatient Dave' deBronkart in the middle of a crowded conference venue... here is my first ever video interview on Healthy Startups.

I couldn't think of a better person to interview for #1. ePatient Dave is a passionate, funny, driven advocate for patient voices in healthcare, empowered and informed patients and for 'revolutionizing the relationship between patient and health care providers, which in turn will impact insurance, careers/jobs, quality of life and the distribution of finances across the entire spectrum of health care.'

The video quality isn't great, the sound isn't great and my phone stopped recording, so there is an abrupt end to the interview, BUT... Dave's message is vital and doesn't warrant any air brushing. I am so pleased he was invited by the Health Informatics Society of Australia to be part of HIC 2014 and I am so lucky to have been able to meet with a true champion for empowered patients.