Health Tech Forum: How tech will change our health

Posted by on Nov 20, 2014 in Blog, Performance, Stress, Tools and Apps, wearables

The Intersection of health and technology

I just returned from the Health Tech Forum (HTF) meetup in Menlo Park. HTF is a group dedicated to promoting access to health care through the adoption of new and innovative technologies. I attended for two reasons. First, as an integrative physician I am constantly looking for new tools to utilize in my practice. Secondly, I am partners in a startup dedicated to completely changing the way we interact with our own health. I’ll report more on that soon but the preliminary name is Evoq Paleo Health.

November 20th was a “Startup Thursday” event that brought together entrepreneurs, investors, and health practitioners. I met many great people who are driving innovation in the health sphere.

CrowdMed: An innovation that can change health care

The first company that really blew my mind was CrowdMed. They use the wisdom of crowds to help solve difficult medical cases. If you had a difficult and undiagnosed case how would you like to let the multitude of experts online help? Jared Heyman the CEO had a great story about how he was inspired to start the company after a group of interdisciplinary clinicians helped to solve his sisters very rare medical condition.

If you are a medical practitioner or even lay person you can help to solve these cases. There are usually small cash prizes and a point system that serve as incentives. According to Heyman the health “investigators” are almost 90% satisfied with their experience of using the site to solve problems. I would encourage anyone with a difficult, undiagnosed case to give it a shot.

Spire: A wearable that does more than just track

Spire is a super cool wearable device that uses breath analytics to track whether you are calm, stressed, focused or excited. Since it has an accelerometer it also works as a movement tracker. If Spire detects that you are tense it can suggest breathing changes or movement to help you get back in the flow. $119 bucks gets you the device.

Jonathan Palley, the CEO did a nice job showing the device off. He also noted that workers who piloted the device at LinkedIn felt they were significantly more productive and calm at the end of the day compared to not wearing it.

As someone who teaches people how to breathe all the time, I’m super excited by this product. The interesting thing is despite the power of the breathe many people don’t believe how profound an impact it can have on their lives. An app that tells you whether you are calm or tense is more likely I think to be believed than this health care practitioner. I can’t wait to get my own.

Next Meeting

If you’re interested in the next Health Tech Forum meeting I encourage you to go.  The next one will be in San Francisco on December 18.  You can find out the details on their meetup page.

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