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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!


A quick download from today's Connect Digital Health Summit

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


Today I was lucky enough to attend the Connect Expo 2014 Digital Health Summit in Melbourne, Australia*. It's after 11:45pm on Friday (AEST) as I type this and I'm exhausted, but I wanted to write up a quick post about the day before I jump into some more detailed reflection and analysis of the conference next week:

  • Far and way the most interesting and engaging presentation of the day was the case study The digital hospital in action: a sneak peak of St Stephen's Hervey Bay. The presentation was delivered by Richard Royle, Executive Director UnitingCare Health Queensland

    See more at the Connect Digital Health Summit website 
  • If you have been following this blog for some time you will know of my interests in UI/UX in healthcare and health clinic/ hospital design. St Stephen's Hervey Bay will be Australia's premier digital hospital boasting clinician driven design that delivers enhanced services to patients. The hospital will be a showcase of how digital technologies shape the healthcare experience. The AU$ 87.5 million project is set to be completed in September 2014
  • The chance to hear more from my colleague Lissanthea Taylor from Rise Healthcare Group, and HealthTech Sydney Meetup Group on collaboration and community building to drive innovation in health
  • The 'best' part of the event was the chance to meet so many innovators and champions of digital health. When you live outside the USA you can sometimes develop the impression that innovation, startup, mhealth, quantified self and technology culture is all driven out of Silicon Valley. Yet, all the way out in Australia, there are startups, accelerators, entrepreneurs, doctors, patients, software and IT vendors, cloud technologies, mobile applications that are changing the way, and even leading the way, in which we deliver healthcare in to the future. More on that soon!

I also spent a lot of time on the trade show floor speaking with people from Tunstall Healthcare, uHealth, BluePoint (who gave me a chance to try the awesome Chromebook Pixel!), Ruckus Wireless, Cruiser Interactive and (saved the most awesome for last) GE Healthcare.

All in all, a most awesome day. Now... I must sleep! 


* Disclosure: I received a complimentary media pass to attend the Connect Expo 2014 Digital Health Summit.


10 most popular health startup and social media posts in 2013

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


I can't quite believe that in November 2013 Healthy Startups turned 3! Here I am, here we are, years after this first post. 2013 was the biggest year yet for traffic to Healthy Startups - and there were many more 'pay offs' from the effort that I have put in to the site: I finally got paid to work with, and consult to, healthcare startups and I was invited to speak at conferences and to attend conferences that I otherwise would never have gone to.

In 2013 my biggest 'ROI' from Healthy Startups was the awesome opportunity to network with, support and learn from entrepreneurs and innovators all across the world who share one dream - to change healthcare for the better.  

Let's work together to make 2014 awesome! 

Here are the 10 most popular posts on Healthy Startups in 2013

10. Regulation, risk and the 'go slow' in healthcare innovation

A post that I am super proud of and likely the most 'political' piece I have written for the site. Why are startups are driving change in healthcare? They are agile, fast and largely free of the red tape and vested interest politics that have caused our health systems to stagnate. 

9. Nutrislice answers 6 for a startup

A great example of how a platform like Healthy Startups can help to promote the awesome work of innovators in healthcare.

8. Attack of the healthcare startup clones

A homage to sci fi and a look at why imitation is sometimes better than innovation.

7. 5 reasons why your health app will fail

A few tips on building an engaging app that helps people to be healthier. 

6. The biggest UI and UX challenge in healthcare (it's not what you think)

Another post that I am incredibly proud of - I know that sounds arrogant, but this is some of my best thinking about design in healthcare (something that I am super passionate about).

5. 7 ways to get more media coverage for your startup - right now!

It's about time I put all that 'spin doctoring' to good use!

4. Doctors are the new search engines

A post that could be about the perils of ePatients or a homage to the intellectual giants in our health systems.

3. Why your medical practice needs a social media strategy

Does a small medical practice really need to be active on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter... Do they really need a social media strategy?

2. 100 trends that will change healthcare

A massive list chronicling the massive changes that technology, mobile networks, ePatients, social media, startups and innovators will bring to healthcare into the future.

1. Startups: Do 1 thing

This seemed like a throw away post. It took me a handful of minutes to write, yet it is the most read post on the site. Is it the headline? You tell me.


I'm excited to continue on this journey in 2014. Please let me know which topics, trends or ideas you think I should explore on the site in 2014. Also, let me know if you would like to contribute to the site in 2014. I can't pay for guest posts, but I can give you access to a world wide audience that is engaged, passionate and excited about the potential to change healthcare in 2014 and beyond.

Thanks so much for all your support! 


3 Ways Collaborative Health Solutions are Changing Healthcare

Jessica Day
Marketing Director @ IdeaScale



Crowdsourcing and health innovation have long gone hand in hand. Any time someone amasses data from a wealth of patient responses as part of market research or surveys an entire company of employees for new healthcare ideas – that’s crowdsourcing. But with the advent of new technology and constant communication, change and healthcare innovation are an imperative that both patients and employees have come to expect. Using crowdsourcing and innovation management tools effect healthcare providers in three key ways.

Empowering End Users

Patients know more about their diseases and the options available to them. It is more likely that a patient will be knowledgeable today and participate in decision making than ever before. For example, according to a recent study by the Mayo Clinic “Among 824 patients waiting to see a general practitioner, 86% expressed the desire to determine the choice of treatment in conjunction with their physician and to establish a therapeutic partnership.”

Increasing the Pace of Innovation

Because feedback and ideas can be received at any time, businesses are learning to keep up with the speed of suggestion. Businesses can literally begin to institute change the moment the idea comes through the door and others can begin to benefit from those moments of inspiration.

Improve Employee and Customer Satisfaction

Simply involving public or private communities in the conversation increases customer or employee satisfaction. This is true in any industry where service is at a premium and the people that know your product or service best are the people who are receiving it or doling it out every day. And most of the time, people are chomping at the bit to participate (like the story below, which generated 100% participation).

IdeaScale is an idea management tool that works with clients around the world to create solutions for numerous health-based solutions, whether that’s helping them find ways to make healthcare more accessible or learning more about diseases.

One healthcare client was BAYADA Home Health Care, which is a trusted leader in home health care—providing home health care services to children and adults of all ages in the comfort of their own homes. Over the years, BAYADA has attracted other like-minded health care professionals who now comprise a team of more than 18,000 home health care professionals serving communities in 25 states from 260 offices.

In the fall of 2012, BAYADA Chief Operating Officer Linda Siessel challenged the organization to find a solution for identifying and gathering the innovative thinking that was taking place in the 260 BAYADA service offices around the country. And in a short period of time had collected more than 400 ideas for changing the way that company did business.

To learn what sorts of changes were implemented and how the company was able to assemble the voices of participants all around the nation, download the Bayada case study here.


Jessica Day is a marketing and technology writer and editor for IdeaScale, a leading innovation software solution for idea management. She received her Masters in Writing from the University of Washington. Day also blogs about crowd-based innovation and idea management solutions at



Cariloop answers 6 for a startup 

Jason Berek-Lewis Founder, Healthy Startups 


Michael Walsh is a busy man. The Texan health entrepreneur is Cofounder of a health startup called Cariloop, Founder of Health 2.0 Dallas and the regular HealthSparx podcast. Phew! As if that wasn't enough, he recently sent me his answers to 6 for a startup...

How will you disrupt healthcare, specifically in the senior care industry?

By replacing the outdated process our country’s caregivers go through to research, locate, and connect with senior care providers with something more current, cost effective, and efficient – Cariloop.

What inspired you to launch a healthcare startup?

Our founding team has a real passion for helping people and solving problems, so it was only a matter of time before we found something at the intersection of both these core values and got inspired. 

Families across the country (USA) are literally seeing their lives get turned upside down financially and emotionally when having to make choices about their aging loved ones. One minute, life is normal, and the next, you are thrown into the position of having to make life or death decisions about your parents or grandparents. It can be extremely frightening.

We saw this problem very clearly and knew with the proper tools and education, our country’s families could better navigate the stress of this particular situation and produce a more positive outcome or experience.

Where can we learn more about your healthcare startup?

Cariloop launched in beta to the state of Texas back in April, 2013 – check it out at

We are also active on Facebook (, Twitter (, and Google Plus (

Are you bootstrapping or seeking investors? Why?

Cariloop has been completely bootstrapped to this point, but we will be looking to do a fundraising round here this winter as we prep to do our national rollout in the first part of 2014.  

What is the number 1 challenge you face in building your healthcare startup?

The healthcare environment is undergoing a complete metamorphosis right now, so our customer’s buying appetites are a bit tethered to the moods of the marketplace, which can make it a challenge sometime to propose something new to them. Our team will be big time focused on making sure we provide a huge value proposition to customers right out of the gates so that our retention rates start and remain high.  

What fundamental change will the web/ social media/ apps/ new technology bring to healthcare in the next 3 - 5 years?

This is an incredibly exciting time in healthcare. Thanks to all these incredible technologies and tools, patients and their families are becoming more and more powerful. With this trend comes savvier consumers, better decisions, and dollars saved – all must haves if the healthcare environment is to truly make some long term improvements.