Tech Tonics

By Connected Social Media

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Tech Tonics, the Podcast, is a twice-monthly program focused on the people and passion at the intersection of technology and health. Hosted by Lisa Suennen and David Shaywitz (the co-authors of “Tech Tonics: Can Passionate Entrepreneurs Heal Healthcare With Technology?”) the show draws on their experience in business, medicine, and health-IT. The Tech Tonics podcast seeks to bring the people in the digital health field to life and, ideally, elevate humanism in a healthcare world captivated by technology. “We deeply believe in what Robert Coles, an inspiration to us both, has termed ‘the call of stories,’” David Shaywitz says. “Our aspiration is to bring the spirit of Coles and Michael Lewis to the world of digital health.” Together, Suennen and Shaywitz engage a range of intriguing guests in discussions that enable listeners to appreciate the stories behind the startups and the people behind the passion. Lisa Suennen is the Managing Partner of Venture Valkyrie Consulting, LLC, a firm that provides advisory services to corporate and independent venture capital funds and to large and small companies around investment and product strategy, innovation spin-outs, market development, partnerships and financing. She is currently a member of the Qualcomm Life Advisory Board, the Sanofi Integrated Care Advisory Board, the Dignity Health Foundation Board, and an Advisor to the California Health Care Foundation Innovation Fund and a member of several private company Boards of Directors. Dr. David Shaywitz is the Chief Medical Officer of DNAnexus, a company that makes it easier to work with genomic data using advanced bioinformatics and scalable compute systems based on the cloud. He received his M.D. from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health, Science, and Technology at Harvard Medical School, and his Ph.D. from the Department of Biology at MIT. He trained in internal medicine and endocrinology at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and conducted his post-doctoral research in Doug Melton’s lab at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. Tech Tonics, the Podcast is produced by Jason Lopez and syndicated by Connected Social Media. You can also find out more at and

Episode Date
Tech Tonics: Sam Blackman, Translation With Heart
Story teller, writer, drug developer – Sam Blackman is all three, a philosophy major who became a pediatric oncologist and then a creative drug developer with a penchant for imaginative solutions to translational challenges. Although he was the son of a doctor, Sam’s journey to the leading edge of translational research was far from inevitable. [...]
Aug 06, 2018
Tech Tonics: Owen Tripp – Grand Founder
Owen Tripp, Founder and CEO of Grand Rounds, was brought up by parents who taught him that you could do whatever you chose to do and that there was not one clear path to the right door. Owen has taken this to heart, starting adult life as a Spanish major and working his way [...]
Jul 23, 2018
Tech Tonics: Matthew Stoudt – Real Empathy in a Virtual World
He’s one of those tech people that came to healthcare to find a career of significance, but Matthew Stoudt has actually been destined for the health tech world since his youth. Matthew Stoudt aspired to be a lawyer, then a senator, before he realized he was an entrepreneur at heart. A foundational experience of losing [...]
Jul 11, 2018
Tech Tonics: Molly Coye’s 360 View of the Healthcare System
Dr. Molly Coye comes from a family who was obsessed with innovation and had a high tolerance for risk. They also had a history of commitment to anything that would disrupt unjust social paradigms and passed that down through the generations. Molly has packed all of these qualities and more into a healthcare [...]
Jul 09, 2018
Tech Tonics: From Maine to Mainstream – The Noah Craft Story
Raised in a small town in Maine, and passionate about infectious diseases in the developing world, Noah Craft may not seem like your typical health tech entrepreneur – but on today’s show, we’ll hear how he’s channeled his passions into Science37, a high-flying startup the brings clinical trials to patients.” Growing up, Noah might have admired [...]
Jun 25, 2018
Tech Tonics: Amalio Telenti, International Man of (Genetic) Mystery
In the course of his fascinating career, physician-scientist Amalio Telenti has had the opportunity to work in two imiscible centers of excellence in genomics: Eric Lander’s Broad Institute and Craig Venter’s Human Longevity Institute (HLI); on today’s show, we’ll learn what he’s taken away from these two exceptional and distinct organizations – and why he’s [...]
May 21, 2018
Tech Tonics: Scott Barclay of Data Collective, Journeying Down the Data Stream
Scott Barclay is a nearly ubiquitous presence around the healthcare IT world, standing at the intersection of technology and health since 2005. He has journeyed down the data stream from CVS to startup whisperer to venture capital investor over the last several years, always searching for ways to combine information and empathy. But it wasn’t [...]
May 07, 2018
Tech Tonics: Eric Leuthardt… neurosurgeon, inventor, playwright, book author, clothing designer and father of two
Eric Leuthardt, MD, is quite the Renaissance Man. An accomplished neurosurgeon, inventor, playwright, book author, clothing designer and father of two, Eric has built a career with and around brains in a way no one would have imagined early in his life. Teachers thought he was a slow learner, but it turns out [...]
Apr 23, 2018
Tech Tonics: Katherine Chou – How A Quintessential Googler Wraps Her (Deep) Mind Around Healthcare
Katherine Chou is in many ways the quintessential Googler – super smart, a passion for computer science, an engineer through and through. On today’s episode of Tech Tonics, we’ll learn how this rock star at Google decided to turn her talents to healthcare, and hear what she’s discovered about healthcare, and herself, along the way. The [...]
Apr 09, 2018
Tech Tonics: O-K K-A-R-D-I-A, The Dave Albert Story
Although his dad was a prominent politician who eventually became Speaker of the House, AliveCor Founder Dave Albert always knew he wanted to a career in medicine – it was the passion he discovered for engineering and entrepreneurship that took him, and his career, by surprise. While Dave chose a very different path than his father [...]
Mar 19, 2018
Tech Tonics: Lisa Alderson and her Long and Winding Road to Genomics
For a skydiver who’s motto is “Just jump out and go”, the journey from chasing down Sandanista kidnappers to driving Disney strategy to genomics pioneer sounds sort of rational. Lisa Alderson, founder and CEO of Genome Medical, is one of those special someones who thrives on adrenaline and channels it to great effect. Lisa went pretty [...]
Mar 05, 2018
Tech Tonics: Gini Deshpande, @biotechfounder
The daughter of a commercial airline pilot and the oldest of two kids, Gini Deshpande grew up in Mumbai and told her parents that by the time she was forty, she wanted to own her own car, house, and company. Check, check, and check. After completing college and a competitive masters program in molecular biology [...]
Feb 19, 2018
Tech Tonics: Patients are why technology matters
Deborah DiSanzo had a plan. She was going to be a stockbroker and make a ton of money to rise out of the rough circumstances of her childhood and make it big. When she realized she hated the role, but loved programming, she cast around for a new way to exercise her tech [...]
Feb 05, 2018
Tech Tonics: A Brief History of Iya Khalil
Iya Khalil is a woman who’s always been ahead of her time. In middle school she was captivated by the writing of Stephen Hawking. After graduating school at Cornell with a PhD in physics, while colleagues were heading to Wall Street to be quants or to Silicon Valley to launch the next Webvan, [...]
Jan 22, 2018
Tech Tonics: David Van Sickle, Drummer… Digital Health Pioneer
Tech Tonics has shared many stories of digital health pioneers who were passionate about health and computers from a young age, and fell effortlessly into a career at the interface of these interests. David Van Sickle, on the other hand, was most passionate about drumming. When he graduated from University of California, Santa Barbara, David [...]
Jan 08, 2018
Tech Tonics: Amir Dan Rubin, Change Agent
A self-proclaimed optimist who calls himself “a change-agent with a funny foreign name,” Amir Dan Rubin has spent his career shaping and reshaping healthcare delivery systems. Today, Amir is the CEO of One Medical, a company focused on making primary care personal, accessible, and affordable. Amir joined One Medical after a brief stint at Optum [...]
Dec 18, 2017
Tech Tonics: Daphne Koller – Guiding Health From AI to Actual Intelligence
While most of us spent our early teens dealing with the drama of middle school, Daphne Koller was in Israel simultaneously completing high school and college. She was a computer science prodigy on the fast path to a career as a leading AI researcher, an entrepreneur, and now the Chief Computing Officer at Calico, a [...]
Dec 04, 2017
Tech Tonics: Dawn Meyerriecks – Bringing the Fail Fast Thinking of Silicon Valley to the CIA
In what might be one of the coolest government roles you could find, Dawn Meyerriecks job is to bring the latest and greatest science and technology to the Central Intelligence Agency –she gets to be a modern day Q in a world of data, drones and DNA. Dawn’s path to technology and intrigue was anything but [...]
Nov 20, 2017
Tech Tonics: Ken Tarkoff – Back to the Future of Medicine in a Brave New World of Data
We have had numerous guests on Tech Tonics who went to medical school only to find their way into non-medical roles. But Ken Tarkoff, whose original career plan was to follow his father into medicine, chose the long way. Ken took the road to the dark side early into investment banking, joining a [...]
Nov 06, 2017
Tech Tonics: Atul Butte – When it Comes to Data, More is More
An infectiously exuberant champion of science, sharing, and entrepreneurship, Atul Butte is the Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg Distinguished Professor at the UCSF School of Medicine. Among the questions we explore on this episode of Tech Tonics: can the irresistible force of Atul Butte overcome the immovable object of health data silos? Atul was born [...]
Oct 23, 2017
Tech Tonics: Amy Abernethy – Dosage, Disney & Data
If anyone can bridge the gap between technology and health, it just might be Amy Abernethy , oncologist and technologist, who has led the charge, first at Duke and now at Flatiron, for rethinking the way we collect and analyze clinical information. Born in Houston and raised by her mom in Orlando, Amy learned math by [...]
Sep 25, 2017
Tech Tonics: Chris Cassel, Accidental Doctor to Ultimate Physician Leader
Dr. Christine Cassel never set out to be a doctor but a chance encounter between a kindly navy corpsman and her unexpectedly broken leg took her down the road to medicine. Over the years she has undergone an evolution from “Accidental Doctor” to the one of the nation’s most accomplished and recognized physician leaders, [...]
Sep 11, 2017
Tech Tonics: Rachel Francine and the Many Applications of Music Therapy
For many, music as medicine has long been put in that category of things that seem nice but not like “real medicine” We all know that music can make us feel better individually, but there is an accumulating body of scientific evidence demonstrating the clinical value of structured music therapy. The world is beginning [...]
Aug 28, 2017
Tech Tonics: While Designing the Clinic of the Future In New York, Joel Dudley Remains a Cheesehead at Heart
From the frozen tundra of Wisconsin, to the desert of Arizona, to the Eden that is Palo Alto, to his current home in the greatest city on earth, Joel Dudley has followed his interests and instincts to become a pioneer in the thoughtful application of data science to biology and medicine. In this episode of Tech [...]
Aug 14, 2017
Tech Tonics: Jeff Reid and the Impassioned Pursuit Of Bad Music and Great Science
From tinkering with computers as a kid, to matriculating at Johns Hopkins while his peers were entering 11th grade, to his PhD in physics, to his current work at drug discovery at Regeneron, Jeff Reid has always embraced his inner nerd. Today, Jeff is head of genomics informatics at the Regeneron Genetics Center (RGC), which he [...]
Jul 24, 2017
Tech Tonics: Margaret Laws, Where Non-Profit & For-Profit Healthcare Innovation Collide
Margaret Laws has been working at the intersection of the for-profit and not-for-profit healthcare world for many years. This world has had an explosion of activity to find solutions to major public health and personal health challenges; according to Margaret, these worlds are beginning to blur and the newest foundations and non-profits are actively [...]
Jul 10, 2017
Tech Tonics: Deneen Vojta – Skating to Where the Healthcare Puck is Going
Deneen Vojta has played virtually every possible position in the healthcare world. She has at various times been a physician, an entrepreneur and a payer. Today it’s a hat trick, bringing all three of these roles together to bring new clinically valid, evidence-based technologies and services to patients through her current role as [...]
Jun 19, 2017
Tech Tonics: Zak Kohane On Medicine and Computers
The son of Eastern European immigrants, Zak Kohane was born and raised in Switzerland; he then came to the United States where he’s nurtured a passion for medicine and computers to become one of the nation’s leading thinkers, innovators, and mentors at this important and rapidly evolving interface. Join us this week as we discuss Zak’s [...]
Jun 05, 2017
Tech Tonics: Glen de Vries – A Series Of Quite Fortunate Events
Glen de Vries grew up in Manhattan, a nerdy kid who admired Richard Feynman, loved his TRS-80, and went to Carnegie Mellon University planning to study chemistry and computer science. A summer of molecular biology inspired him to switch his major to biology and, after graduation, he found himself in a lab at Columbia [...]
May 23, 2017
Tech Tonics: iRhythm’s Uday Kumar… What Makes Him Tick
The medical device company iRhythm has been described as that rarest of all breeds – a digital health company with an actual, viable business model behind it. On today’s Tech Tonics podcast, we’re delighted to welcome Uday Kumar, the cardiologist and serial entrepreneur who started the company in his apartment, and learn what makes [...]
May 08, 2017
Tech Tonics: Data Scientist Eric Perakslis, “I Build Stuff.”
“I build stuff” is how data scientist Eric Perakslis modestly describes his breathless career, a journey that’s taken him from industry to academia and back again, with a brief stop at the FDA. Eric’s first job after college was at a small combinatorial chemistry startup in Boston, but he was soon recruited to J&J, where he [...]
Apr 24, 2017
Tech Tonics: Jan Bruce and the Science of Resilience
When you ask Jan Bruce where she grew up, she says “in the media business.” Jan worked early on in the magazine and then digital media sectors, backing into the health and wellness category through opportunity. She planned a career as editor and publisher but always found herself gravitating to selling the advertising rather [...]
Apr 10, 2017
Tech Tonics: Jess Mega of Verily Actually Is Making the World a Better Place
Jessica Mega, an accomplished cardiologist and now Chief Medical Officer at Alphabet’s Verily (formerly Google Life Sciences), says she joined the venerable Silicon Valley company to help patients. According to Jess, physicians who love patients need to lean into the tech world because great tech that doesn’t actually change care doesn’t have much of [...]
Mar 27, 2017
Tech Tonics: Deborah Kilpatrick – Calling Audibles
Deborah Kilpatrick grew up on a family farm in rural Georgia; her dad was a teacher and football coach; she describes life in her town as “very Friday Night Lights.” With a passion for math and science, Deb decided to becoming a Ramblin’ Wreck at Georgia Tech, continuing on there for a masters and PhD in [...]
Mar 06, 2017
Tech Tonics: The Intersection of Medicine and Marijuana
Reports suggest that today there are between 1.2 to 2.6 million legal medical marijuana users in the U.S. But as we know, there is great controversy about medical marijuana as a “legitimate” medical intervention due to its history as an illegal substance and the lack of a large body of clinical trial evidence. And yet, according [...]
Feb 20, 2017
Tech Tonics: Chris Benko, From Fortune 100 to Fortune Seeker
Chris Benko first joined Merck when he was but a lad of eighteen, rising through the ranks in HR and talent management to become one of the youngest VPs in the history of the organization, at the age of 34. But instead of continuing his ascending career into the senior ranks of biopharma, Chris opted instead [...]
Feb 06, 2017
Tech Tonics: Susannah Fox, Learning from MacGyver Patients
Susannah Fox eloquently described her job as U.S. HHS Chief Technology Officer – a role which just came to an end in the transition to a new administration – as “helping Health and Human Service (HHS) leadership harness the power of data, technology, and innovation to improve the health and welfare of the nation.” It sounds [...]
Jan 16, 2017
Tech Tonics: Sridhar Iyengar on IoT Meets Life Science Research
Many entrepreneurs and investors on our podcast advise would-be innovators to focus on the problem to be solved, rather than become wrapped up in a particular technology. “Your solution,” VC Dave McClure famously warned entrepreneurs, “Is not my problem.” On the other hand, many scientists – and students of science – have emphasized the pivotal [...]
Jan 02, 2017
Tech Tonics: Rasu Shrestha – Living Inside the Culture Clash
Rasu Shrestha, MD, is one of those doctors who found his way from medicine to technology. As he puts it, he rolled downhill from his birthplace in Kathmandu, Nepal, across many continents and into medical school in India. But Rasu kept rolling, finding his way to London, Los Angeles and then Pittsburgh where he [...]
Dec 12, 2016
Tech Tonics: Vishal Gulati, VC and Agitator By Nature
Vishal Gulati says he was “genetically predisposed to be a doctor.” But as it turns out, he was born to be a pioneer in open data, digital health and global venture capital. During his medical training, Vishal realized that the practice of one doctor seeing one patient at a time just wasn’t scalable. Rather than [...]
Nov 28, 2016
Tech Tonics: Taha Kass-Hout – OpenFDA, Open Mind, Open Heart
A cardiologist by training and a data scientist long before it was sexy, Dr. Taha Kass-Hout demonstrates the outsized impact possible when heart, vision, and passion meet commitment to government service, and beyond. Originally from Syria, Taha discovered his love of computers and programming at a very early age. The son of an architect, he [...]
Nov 14, 2016
Tech Tonics: The Most Interesting Man in Silicon Valley
Jazz musician, cardiologist, geneticist, engineer, entrepreneur, referee of kids soccer: our guest today, Stanford’s Euan Ashley, does it all, and just might be the most interesting man in Silicon Valley. Scotsman by birth, doctor by destiny, and a technologist by choice, Euan has pursued an integrative career that merges medicine and data, and is a pioneer [...]
Oct 31, 2016
Tech Tonics: Jody Holtzman of AARP – Innovation is Not Only for the Young
Jody Holtzman, Senior Vice President of Market Innovation at AARP, has a favorite quote, which is Thomas Edison’s, “…there are no rules here – – we’re trying to accomplish something.” He has certainly brought that idea to life as he has built an ever-increasing awareness of the business opportunity afforded to entrepreneurs by serving the [...]
Oct 17, 2016
Tech Tonics: Speaking Health Care in Spanish with Abner Mason
The U.S. healthcare system was designed primarily based on our understanding of the biological and social needs of white men. Of course, our current experience tells us that society is far more complex and that the system must recognize and respond to a diversity of gender, culture, language and other biopsychosocial factors to be truly [...]
Oct 03, 2016
Tech Tonics: Dorit Donoviel, To Infinity and Beyond
A self-described geek, Dorit Donoviel was happily pursuing a career in molecular biology until a chance encountered diverted her course to space medicine. Today, Dorit directs the Biomedical Innovations Lab, Center for Space Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. She also serves as Deputy Chief Scientist at The National Space [...]
Sep 19, 2016
Tech Tonics: Jessica Rousset – Today’s Kids Are Tomorrow’s Adults
While determining what to do with college and her career, Jessica Rousset struggled to decide – go with the right brain and be an artist or go with the left brain and pursue engineering. In a way she has managed to do both, though her current canvas is companies and her palette is the health [...]
Sep 06, 2016
Tech Tonics: Diego Miralles – Physician, Scientist, Drug Developer, Humanist
Infectious disease physician, entrepreneur, and life-long innovator, Diego Miralles has pursued the frontiers of medicine on three continents, and in at least three distinct settings: academia, biotech startups, and the largest pharma company on earth, J&J. There, he founded both the J-Labs incubator and the J&J Innovation Network, which has offices around the world, including [...]
Aug 22, 2016
Tech Tonics: Our Favorite Bioethicist, Michelle Meyer
Emerging technologies bring not just profound opportunities but also vexing ethical dilemmas, involving issues such as privacy, consent, and access. Today’s guest, Michelle Meyer, is a bioethicist and legal scholar who seeks to bring clarity and structure to this important and ever-more-complicated space. Whether discussing the ethics of A/B testing at Facebook, the roles and [...]
Aug 08, 2016
Tech Tonics: When Companies Go Awry
The success of Silicon Valley is often attributed to the ability of the entrepreneurial community to embrace setbacks rather than punishing those who experience them. Celebrating these setbacks has become an art form of it own as a recent NYT op-ed suggested, “telling the story of what went wrong is a way to wring insight [...]
Jul 25, 2016
Tech Tonics: Whoop Founder, Will Ahmed
So much emphasis has been placed on fitness and wearables over the last five years and much has been made of whether these trackers can translate to better health or are just there to make people feel a sense of accomplishment. In their quest to be taken seriously, most of the focus has been on [...]
Jul 11, 2016
Tech Tonics: Kara Dennis and the Development of New Therapies
The gap between the promise and practice of technology has been especially vivid in the area of pharmaceutical clinical trials, where even switching from paper to electronic data capture has proved too radical for some sponsors. Today’s guest, Kara Dennis, who is the managing director of digital health at Medidata, seeks to change all this [...]
Jul 04, 2016
Tech Tonics: Jim Joyce, A Man of Genius Makes No Mistakes
James Joyce, the famous Irish author once said, “A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portraits of discovery.” His namesake, entrepreneur Jim Joyce, could not agree more. An entrepreneur many times over and twice in healthcare, Jim says the kind of failure matters greatly as [...]
Jun 30, 2016
Tech Tonics: Merck’s Robert Plenge on Human Biology and Social Media
For years, medical research seemed focused on understanding disease processes primarily through model organisms such as yeast, flies, and mice. Today’s guest, Merck’s Robert Plenge, offers the radical suggestion that with the help of emerging technology “humans serve as the best model organism for understanding human health and disease.” As a physician-scientist, trained as a clinical [...]
May 30, 2016
Tech Tonics: Martin Kelly, Conductor of a Global Orchestra of Entrepreneurship
One of the most significant challenges faced by the healthcare community is that the biggest companies want to innovate but can’t get out of their own way, while the smallest companies want to have an impact, but can’t get any meaningful access to the broad global market. These two communities need each other to deliver [...]
May 16, 2016
Tech Tonics: 2016 Preview
Tech Tonics started 2015 with a goal of featuring the people and passion at the intersection of technology and health. We had 24 great shows featuring the perspectives of consumers and physicians, technologists and investors and others who represent the best and brightest from the digital health community. In five short years the sector has gone [...]
Mar 14, 2016
Tech Tonics: John Hixson, From Aggie To Techie
John Hixson’s career has taken him from a small town near Waco, Texas to the Johns Hopkins Medical School, a neurology residency at the University of Pennyslvannia, and ultimately to his current role at neurologist at UCSF and the San Francisco VA, where he focuses on the application of digital health tools to clinical trials [...]
Dec 23, 2015
Tech Tonics: Alex Drane Talks about the Unmentionables
Alexandra “Alex” Drane has been talking about the Unmentionables like end of life, sex, loneliness and empathy long before it was cool to address these topics as core healthcare issues. Always the brightest light in any room, Alex draws people to her with her fresh and honest take on serious issues and her vivaciousness and [...]
Dec 07, 2015
Tech Tonics: Thomas Goetz, Bridging the Analog Divide
Writer, editor, entrepreneur, visionary – Thomas Goetz has always combined a sophisticated understanding of emerging technologies with a profound sense of humanism. This was evident in his work at Wired (where he served as executive editor for eleven years), in his wonderful book, The Remedy (Lisa’s comments here and David’s comments here), and through [...]
Nov 23, 2015
Tech Tonics: Dr. Sachin Jain… Professional Culture, Patient Focused
When Dr. Sachin Jain got the call to become Chief Medical Officer of Anthem’s highly-regarded CareMore Unit, he could hardly have feigned surprise. It must have seemed like the role to which he was destined: a physician leader in an innovative delivery system The challenge, he says, was finding one. The son of a [...]
Nov 02, 2015
Tech Tonics: Dr. Brennan Spiegel, Translating Technology into Practice
It seemed like a simple enough idea – evaluating whether the use of virtual reality goggles would reduce the pain experienced by hospitalized patients. Yet, when Brennan Spiegel, a gastroenterologist, clinical trial expert, and digital health pioneer at Cedar Sinai tried to offer it to patients, he struggled to find takers. “No thanks,” he was [...]
Oct 19, 2015
Tech Tonics: 2015 Health 2.0 Preview with Matthew Holt and Indu Subaiya
Matthew Holt has spent 20 years in health care as a researcher, forecaster, and strategist. He learned from some of the best in forecasting, policy and survey organizations, like the Institute for the Future and Harris Interactive. But these days he’s best known as the author of The Health Care Blog and as Co-Chairman of [...]
Oct 05, 2015
Tech Tonics: Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, Getting Close to Home on Healthcare Costs
Jane Sarasohn-Kahn’s mother was named Polly. Polly was diagnosed in 1971 with leukemia treated with the current state of medieval medicine and told she would not live long. But armed with a well-equipped librarian, some cooperative doctors and Adelle Davis’ book Let’s Eat Right to Keep Fit, she found her way to 7 more happy, [...]
Sep 29, 2015
Tech Tonics: John Wilbanks, Participant-Centric Innovation
When John Wilbanks graduated from Tulane with a major in philosophy and almost a minor in French, he had little idea that he would become one of the world’s most important forces for good in the areas of citizen science, data sharing, and participant empowerment. John’s fascinating journey and eclectic career started after college, when he [...]
Sep 15, 2015
Tech Tonics: Bijan Salehizadeh, from Dr. Oz to Venture Capital
In his final year of medical school at Columbia, Bijan Salehizadeh weighed whether to become a cardiothoracic surgeon or pursue what was a very unusual path at the time: a career in entrepreneurship. Inspired by mentors including Dr. Mehmet Oz (in his pre-raspberry ketone period), Salehizadeh graduated, then flew to Silicon Valley and joined a [...]
Aug 31, 2015
Tech Tonics: Jonathon Feit on How to Empower First Responders
God help you if you are picked up by ambulance—assuming they can find you easily, they don’t know anything about you, can’t get your medical record, can’t effectively pre-communicate to the hospital what you will need, can’t document your data to ensure a smooth hand-off. When I happened to get an unexpected ambulance ride back [...]
Aug 17, 2015
Tech Tonics: Bob Wachter, The Digital Doctor
UCSF professor Bob Wachter has had a front row view to the collision of irresistible emerging technology with an immovable healthcare system, and has managed to navigate this interface with unusual nuance and grace, a story he shares in the wonderful, recently published book “The Digital Doctor.” In our conversation with Bob, he takes us [...]
Jul 20, 2015
Tech Tonics: Inventor, Entrepreneur, Doctor, David Goodman
After his second series of medical school rejections, biomedical engineer David Goodman found his way to a nascent medical device company seeking to develop an easy way to measure oxygen levels in the blood. The result – the Nellcor pulse oximeter – transformed medical care. It also earned David a coveted spot in the Health [...]
Jul 06, 2015
Tech Tonics: Sean Duffy’s Ascent from Legos to Healthcare
Sean Duffy was one of those kids building monumental Lego edifices when his friends were playing outside. He continued to progress on the building front until he hit on his latest endeavor, the establishment of Omada Health, a company that helps people reduce their risk of progression to Type 2 diabetes by employing a mix [...]
Jun 22, 2015
Tech Tonics: Elli Kaplan, Diagnosing Alzheimer’s
I first met Elli Kaplan, CEO of Neurotrack, when she won the SXSW best new start-up competition a few years back. She wowed the audience for the scope and creativity of what she is trying to do: create a non-invasive test that predicts patients’ risk of developing mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease years before [...]
Jun 08, 2015
Tech Tonics: Linda Avey, We Are Curious
When 23andMe veteran Linda Avey pitched her new startup, We Are Curious (which focuses on integrating patient-reported symptoms and experiences) she thought she’d emphasize a condition that seemed like an easy win: menopause-associated symptoms. VCs, she reasoned, would be immediately grasp the size and associated economics of this market, the need to better understand [...]
May 25, 2015
Tech Tonics: John de Souza, Meant for Medicine
As a child growing up in Ethiopia, John de Souza witnessed the grim reality of poverty — families wishing for rapid death for their sick children because a cure was out of reach socially and financially. Fast forward a number of years to when he was able to emigrate to the U.S. and was accepted [...]
May 11, 2015
Tech Tonics: Kelly Brezoczky and Unmentionable Personal Healthcare
Innovator and entrepreneur Kelly Brezoczky, Founder and CEO of Butterfly Health, has always had a keen interest in where the consumer and health merge. And in Kelly’s case, that merger occurs in very intimate places, as she has pioneered multiple new products in personal healthcare areas often considered “unmentionable,” but which affect between 20% [...]
Apr 27, 2015
Tech Tonics: Dr. Jason Langheier and the Power of Personalization
“If Amazon can personalize book recommendations, if we can get digital prescriptions of drugs nailed down with Walgreens, why can’t the two come together so that physicians can give personalized prescriptions for healthy eating?” wonders Dr. Jason Langheier, the CEO of Zipongo, a San Francisco startup that personalizes actionable daily recommendations for people struggling to [...]
Apr 13, 2015
Tech Tonics: Erik Douglas, and the Move to Mobile Digital Diagnostics
Many people who work in the medical industry come to it for personal reasons. For scientist and hardware hacker Erik Douglas, his stint helping diagnose patients in the remotest parts of Africa and Asia was a pivotal moment. It led him to realize that he could use what he learned about healthcare in the field [...]
Mar 30, 2015
Tech Tonics: Bob Kocher on Fixing Hospitals and Healthcare
This week we are delighted to feature an interview with Venrock partner Dr. Bob Kocher, who probably knows more about the business of healthcare delivery than almost anyone in the world. He grew up in Seattle and was the fourth generation of his family to attend the University of Washington. After medical school, and a [...]
Mar 09, 2015
Tech Tonics: From Apples to Apple to Better, Geoff Clapp’s Road to Healthcare Technology
Today’s Tech Tonics Podcast features Geoff Clapp, CEO of Better, Inc. From the apple growing community of central Massachusetts to the Apple Computer community of Silicon Valley, Geoff has been a lifelong high technology fan. He started out as a teenager selling homemade computer games from his bedroom and has been at the [...]
Feb 23, 2015
Tech Tonics: Michelle Snyder and the Transformation of Sickcare to Wellcare
Announcing our 3rd edition of Tech Tonics, the Podcast. Today’s show features an interview with long-time digital health entrepreneur Michelle Snyder. Michelle is currently Chief Marketing Officer at Welltok, a company that works with health plans and other population health managers to guide and incentivize consumers to optimize their health. The company is one [...]
Feb 09, 2015
Tech Tonics: Aenor Sawyer’s 360 Degree View of Healthcare
In this second edition of Tech Tonics, the Podcast, we feature Aenor Sawyer, MD. Aenor has had an unusual journey to and through the healthcare world. She has held the roles of physical therapist, physician, patient, caregiver and technology innovator, giving her a uniquely comprehensive and integrated view of what works and what doesn’t [...]
Jan 26, 2015
Tech Tonics: Lisa Maki and the Power of Empathy to Develop Healthcare Solutions
Lisa Maki’s unexpected journey took her from the outskirts of Puget Sound (where we discovered she grew up, in her words, a “Seattle Hillbilly”), to Silicon Valley. Today she is CEO of a company that helps people find profoundly useful information about how to find and pay for health care. Her company, PokitDok, arose [...]
Jan 18, 2015