What Mobile Apps Mean For The Future Of Healthcare

Naimish PatelAnybody who has glanced at the front page of a newspaper or opened an Internet browser in the past year knows that the United States is in the process of overhauling its healthcare system. And it’s about time. For far too long U.S. healthcare has struggled with inefficiency, high costs, and poor outcomes. In light of the recent reform measures, healthcare has assumed center stage as a national discussion, and the pressure to fix the system is finally on high.

Inherent in creating a more productive healthcare system lies the necessity for patients to become active members in managing their own health. That’s the focus here at Audax Health. We’re committed to producing high quality products that foster patient engagement and empower users to make positive lifestyle decisions that ultimately enhance their overall health and wellness.

Reforming the health system is an incredibly daunting task. The U.S. spends more on healthcare per capita than any other nation, with an estimated $2.8 trillion expected to be attributed to health costs in 2013. By the year 2021, healthcare spending is predicted to account for 20% of the U.S. economy.

The facts and figures associated with the U.S. healthcare may be bleak, but thanks to technology, the future of healthcare doesn’t have to be. More than half of American adults have smartphones, and they’re increasingly open to the idea of using mobile applications and the Internet to access and manage health information.

In order to successfully improve U.S. healthcare, payers, providers, and patients must all step up to the plate by accepting accountability, and implementing real change. Audax Health has created the platform for stakeholders across the health continuum to do just that.  Zensey, Audax Health’s flagship social media and gamification platform, provides an easy-to-use, secure environment for patients to connect with others who have similar health concerns, manage existing conditions, and reach health goals. By partnering with health insurance providers, we’re able to leverage existing resources in a way that drives engagement and creates positive health outcomes.

Between the recent attention surrounding healthcare and the escalating rates of smartphone usage, it’s only logical that innovation in the digital health space is on the rise. Americans are already spending so much time on their smartphone and social media, why shouldn’t they be getting healthy while doing so?

Yes, digital health is on the rise; but much of what online and mobile health application have to offer only helps users address very specific health concerns. With Zensey, we’ve developed a more holistic approach to health management that helps everyone in the health continuum win.

Know the Value of “No!”

ShervinFounders are in search of “yes”. All day. Every day. That’s just how it goes. Whether you’re dealing with a potential co-founder, early employee, investor, or your first batch of customers, you are looking for the elusive “heck yeah!” So I got up at 4:15am and drove up to Fresno (from San Clemente), way too early for my 2:00pm meeting, but early enough so I could get WiFi and coffee from Starbucks, and answer a bunch of emails. At 2:00pm I met with the president of a local college; a warm lead/introduction that was brokered through one of our investors. At approximately 2:25pm I said “thank you very much!”, got into my car, and drove 286 miles home.
She said “no” in my face. Straight up. And it was good!
Good you say?
Yes. It was good, and here is why.

  1. Sharpen the focus  — Founders have happy ears. Hearing “no!” reminds you that your product is not meant for everyone. It reminds you to segment the market, develop a persona, focus on your early adopters, zoom in on exactly who they are, and be relentless about targeting them.
  2. Find the WHY behind the NO  — I had heard No through email, or through analytics, bounce, abandoned carts, etc. The difference with seeing No as a blip on a dashboard or some red dot in a report, versus looking someone in the face and having them tell you that your product isn’t right for them is HUGE. By being there in person I was able to use other tools (like my eyes!) to capture valuable information: their size (number of employees), the maturity of their systems, roughly how much they spend on IT, the number of calls that were coming in and how many people were answering them (which is important to me)… Furthermore, we were able to dig into what No really meant, and the WHY behind the No.
  3. Test for other parameters — The first thing you do when getting to No in person is to test as many parameters as you can. So I tested other price points, features, even bundles. At one point I found the combination that COULD have turned the No into a Yes, but there was no way I was going to shift the direction of our product for one customer. I simply did this to collect more information and see how far off she was from our target persona. You can even do A/B testing of your feature ideas and see how they react. Not sexy, but valuable.
  4. “What did you think it was?”  — Wow, how easy is it to simply assume that others will see your product as you do. Wrong! This intro came from someone who loved our product, and in turn introduced it through email to a friend. At one point she said “this is nothing like Fred described it!” Through more Q&A I determined where things were being lost in translation, and how she perceived us and the product. Hearing No gave me the opportunity to dig deep in this area as I had nothing to lose. Can you imagine an email exchange asking for this information? What would the response rate be? 2%? What would the accuracy rate be???
  5. Reduce churn early — Lets face it: when you have 100’s or 1,000’s of customers you are are going to have a semi-predictable churn rate, and will do all you can to reduce to maintain it. Early on however, you want to optimize for high-touch, high-love. As a founder you should be in contact with 100% of your early user base (whatever that means for you). By “qualifying out” early you can reduce churn and make a bigger impact with the customers you connect with.
  6. Hearing No makes the Yes even better — I need people to want my product, and in doing so they are validating the past 3 years of my life. As painful as the No’s are they make the Yes all the sweeter. Imagine if everyone said Yes to you? There would be no magic, no pat on the back moment. I’m a big fan of BJ Fogg and Tiny Habits, and this reminds me of his reinforcement principles. It’s tough hearing No, from anyone. But it makes you hungry, hard working, and grateful of the Yes.
  7. Hearing No makes you humble — I had a lot of success in my past life. Not going to lie, it was pretty good. This startup stuff is hard, really hard. I even got a lot of Yes’ when we first started out (focused on F500 market, my background) so my arrogance was unchecked. Hearing No has humbled me. Brought me to my knees at times. I remember hearing No 80+ times from investors, and what that taught me. Hearing No has humbled me, in many ways. It has changed me as a father too. When I hear No I thank the person saying it, because I know it must be hard for them too. Especially when they are doing it to your face.

Modified from Shervin’s blog.

What have you learned from No?

Recap: A Los Angeles Startup Panel

Recently, Tech in Motion: Los Angeles hosted their one-of-a-kind meet-up: a startup-based event that focused on the business and entrepreneurial side of tech start-ups. Hosted at nearby Loyola Marymount University, the evening consisted of a Q&A style panel featuring four successful start-ups in the LA area: Surf Air, CARD.com, Valarm Corp and Sendify! The moderator, a professional from the LMU staff, introduced a few general questions for the panelists to answer. The questions were relevant to marketing, business strategy, finding a business partner, and overall successful tips regarding their experience in their own start-ups.

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The night kicked off with mixing and mingling amongst the Tech in Motion guests. Networking was on the minds of many who attended, and the space allowed for an easy flow for meeting fellow attendees. The large display of catered food was also a huge hit!

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The panelists, not knowing one another prior to the event, were very charismatic and cohesive throughout the night. They seemed to be on the same page and they all offered similar advice, while agreeing with each other during the open dialogue. Ron Lin of CARD.com provided the audience with a unique strategy called the “Bad Idea Friend.” Here, he recommended bouncing an idea off a friend who generally has bad ideas to see whether they approve or not. This humorous approach put the audience at ease, and allowed for a dynamic discussion between panelists and audience members. Their passion for the start-up community was very evident in their thoughtful answers. The most important insight that the panelists agreed on was to make sure you have a thorough and complete business plan – including ample funding – BEFORE finding a business partner and/or team. Wade Eyerly, co- founder and CEO of Surf Air shared his enthusiasm and optimism with the guests in regards to finding an able and willing team.

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At the end of the evening, all four panelists were very popular with the Tech in Motion members, who were eager to introduce themselves and bounce ideas off of one another. This was a very successful and unique event for Tech in Motion LA!

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Things CAN Be Easier – With the Help of Wireless & Wearable Tech

bencooperWhy can’t things just be easier? As soon-to-be first time parents (7 more weeks, yay!), we’ve been a bit overwhelmed with all the new categories and products we have to be savvy on. What do I actually need? What’s important? From bottles to strollers, to wipe warmers to pacifier leashes, there are a lot of decisions to be made on what is important and what is “nice to have”. As a bootstrapping entrepreneur, ultimately, our decision-making will hinge on what we absolutely need and what will keep our child safe.

Sensible Baby came from a real problem. When we first came together, Jeff Tagen, our CTO, spoke to us about his experience as a first-time father. He recalled sneaking into his infant daughter’s room to check on whether she was still breathing. Fortunately when he discovered she was, he had to figure any way possible not to wake her back up! With the state of wireless technology and the ever-growing industry of wearable technology, we knew there was a solution; we just had to find it. After some tinkering around for a weekend, we had a working prototype that connected to our iPhones and did what we wanted it to do. It was rough, very rough, but it worked and gave us confidence that it was possible.

The bottom line is, things can be easier! At Sensible Baby, we developed a wearable baby monitor that syncs with your smart device in a matter of two clicks. The future is here. We’re connecting parents with their babies, but we’re not the only ones streamlining experiences with things around us. the Internet of things is growing at a rapid rate. In the 90’s and early 2000’s we experienced the webbing effect of the virtual Internet. During this decade, we’re ushering in the connection of physical things.

I love to brew beer. When I have a free weekend in the fall or winter, I’m typically in the kitchen experimenting with a new brew recipe. Last weekend was my kick-off for the season. After spending the typical 3-4 hours measuring ingredients, precisely monitoring the mixture’s temperature and managing the timing of everything, I said to myself “There has to be an easier way”. My next instinct was to search for a system that would automate the tedious processes and allow me to focus on the fun parts: concocting new recipes and sampling the goods. so I typed in a couple keywords into Google to see if anyone else was doing it. Wouldn’t you know, this company Brewbot just closed a successful Kickstarter campaign with a product that does exactly what I was looking for! Anything you’d need to know about your brew is sent directly to your smart phone. At any moment you could find out the alcohol content at a particular stage of the fermentation, the brew temperature, yeast activity, and the list goes on. The best part is you get a text message when the brew is ready for consumption. Perfecto!

Even simple home appliances are making the transition to the smart device world. Nest, the creators of the Nest Thermostat, have made managing your home temperature a smart and money-saving activity. Their thermostat learns what your ideal room temperature should be, based on your activities, preferences, environmental conditions and daily habits. You can even control it from your smart device while you’re not home. They just recently came out with the Nest Protect. This system brings smoke and carbon monoxide detection into the 21st century. Not only do you have the luxury of monitoring from your smart device, but if you have the Nest Thermostat, they’ll communicate with each other in the event of an unsafe change in your home (i.e. fire, excessive carbon monoxide levels, etc).

Ultimately, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Our world will experience connectivity beyond our current imaginations. The day has come when you can easily brew your favorite microbrew with no prior experience. There will also be a day very soon when the temperature adjusts automatically in your child’s room based on the immediate temperature surrounding them. All this information will be at our fingertips the instant it happens. The potentials are endless.

Recap: Tech Education Panel in NYC

Thursday, October 17th, our New York City chapter held a successful Tech Education Panel event at the Academy for Software Engineering (AFSE) for 400 people. We had six very influential panelists within the technology education industry including: Reshma Saujani, Founder of Girls Who Code and Deputy Public Advocate; Evan Korth, Founder of Hack NY, Founder of AFSE, and NYU Computer Science Professor; Eugene Lee, Senior Policy Advisor for Economic Development for the NYC Mayor’s Office; Anna Lindow, Regional Director at General Assembly; Michael Preston, Senior Director of Digital Learning at the Dept. of Education; and Leigh Ann Delyser, Computer Science Curriculum Coordinator at AFSE.

The event was moderated by Sloane Barbour, Regional Director of Jobspring Partners and Member of Young Executive Board at Camp Interactive, who added his own expertise to the discussion.

The evening kicked off with a networking session coupled with complementary food and drinks. After networking was finished, the event was kicked off with a pre-panel presentation by Mike Denton, Executive Director at Camp Interactive. Denton gave a short presentation on the current state of tech education in NYC and why our panel discussion was so important for the tech education community in New York.

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Once the panel discussion began, the six panelists discussed what steps are being taken to close the STEM skills gap, as well as how public and private institutions are uniquely addressing this problem. There was discussion around how to utilize early education to change the ratio of men to women studying computer science and how to encourage more young women to go into technology, as well as how business and tech leaders can recruit and educate junior level engineers and provide career advancement and professional development opportunities internally to increase engineer retention rates; along with recent events in New York City technology communities.

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Throughout the event, audience members blew up Twitter with great quotes, insights and questions surrounding the importance of learning to code and the lack of code education availability in NYC. Then at the end of the panel discussion, audience members were eager to ask the panelists various questions including those on how people can aid the NYC tech education community.

All in all, the evening was a huge success. We’d like to give a quick shoutout to our continued sponsors who made this event a success: Jobspring Partners, Workbridge Associates, Buncee, Microsoft and LeadDog Marketing.

Stay tuned for our next event in NYC and join our official meetup group!

Recap: DevOps in San Francisco

Tech in Motion: San Francisco held their September Event at NextSpaceUS where three great presenters spoke about DevOps. The night began with networking and some great food and drink.

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After making some great new connections, everyone gathered around for the presentations. Yaakov Nemoy came from a background in Open Source advocacy and technology. He is now building a DevOps company that is by engineers and for engineers. Yaakov spoke about what DevOps is and isn’t, what a well-built process looks like, and explained the questions you should be asking and what you should know so you can focus on doing the work you love.

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Daniel Nowak is currently a Technical Operations Engineer at Technorati Media. He uses his previous career in customer service to deliver outstanding support to both his internal and external customers. Daniel spoke about how delivering a fast-moving, exceptional product is challenging for both developers and operations. This is because developers and operations have different rolls that often put them at odds with one another. It is the roll of DevOps to bridge the gap between these two teams and unify them as one great team delivering a great product. He explained how having the right person in this roll will enable you to create an awesome team that produces amazing results.

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David Kramer is currently the Senior DevOps Manager at Jive Software. David has over 14 years of experience in Systems Engineering and Technical Operations. He has worked in a variety of industries including Finance, HealthCare, Retail, andTelCo. David spoke about the basics of Puppet and Hiera and how Hiera itself isn’t really complicated, but surprisingly, most people don’t know about it.

The evening ended with questions for the three amazing speakers and more networking. Looking for more pictures from the event? Check out our Facebook page! And don’t for get to join our group so that you don’t miss out on the next event!

Recap: Mobile Gaming with Android and iOS

It was a chilly Thursday night in September, but the audience of Tech in Motion: Silicon Valley kept cozy and warm thanks to the wonderful heaters at The Downtown Brit. Donning their favorite gaming clothing, people came from all over the Bay Area to discuss mobile gaming for Android and iOS.

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Our first speaker of the night was Kejun, senior designer from NVIDIA. There, she works on the SHEILD, a brand new, hand-held, android gaming device that can be used to stream games to and from TVs. She took the topic to heart, “What is the future to mobile gaming?” Her presentation started off as an explanation on her experience with the design process. What worked verses what didn’t work, and what that had meant to her. She went on to explain the features of the SHEILD. Kejun ended her presentation on what she believed to be mobile gaming’s future. No, they will not take over counsel gaming, but she would like to see games be able to stream and cross traditional platforms.

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With the emphasis of positive social impact, Josh, the CEO of Raindrop Games created Arrival: Village Kaiske for iOS. Josh started with a small team of 5, which then downsized to 3 with a handful of come-and-go internships. But he did it, and with no funding, Josh released his strategy game Arrival: Village Kaiske in 2009. He drove home the importance of getting actual play testing done before your game is released. “What may make sense for you might not make sense to another person.”

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It was a great event and we appreciate everyone who came out to listen to our awesome presenters! Don’t miss out on Silicon Valley’s next event – join the group!

Recap: Tech Trunk Show Explores the Intersection of Technology And Fashion In Philadelphia

On Thursday, September 24th, the Philadelphia chapter of Tech In Motion celebrated Philadelphia Fashion Week with our Tech Trunk Show: How Technology Drives Fashion. Held in conjunction with The Philadelphia Collection, the evening kicked off with an outdoor cocktail reception before settling down to discuss the intersection of tech and fashion.

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While networking with the speakers and other members of the local technology community, guests sipped on craft cocktails from sponsors Art in the Age and Shawnee Craft Brewing.

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President and founder of Brick Simple, Det Ansinn, was a hit before he even took the microphone. During the networking hour before the presentations, the two pairs of Google Glass he brought with him were more popular than the cocktails and pizza combined. Below is one Tech In Motion member sporting the much-desired device.

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After the attendees had enjoyed the chance to network, the crowd moved inside for presentations from Ansinn, Andy O’Dell (CCO of Clutch Holdings) and Stephan Jacob (CEO and Co-Founder of Kembrel). Each expert focused on a different topic: “Glass & Wearable Devices”, “Mobile Apps: Fashion’s Most Profitable Accessory” and “Online and Offline: What It Means for Consumers.”

Ansinn spoke about how wearing Glass has affected his choices as a developer, saying that “I wear glass full time” because “in order to develop apps you really need to experience it” that way. However, Glass is more than the “ultimate nerd jewelry” – it’s the beginning of something that is going to affect our lives as we integrate technologies such as wearable devices into our everyday experiences.

“For Clutch it’s really more about fashion crashing into technology,” according to Andy O’Dell, on how mobile apps are affecting the way we shop. Using interesting stats and stories, (such as how Target found out one teen was pregnant before her own father), O’Dell explained how fashion and retail is using technology to find out who we are, why we shop, how we buy and what we bring home. “We are not one dimensional, we are all individuals,” he proclaimed, “I just want someone to understand what I’m looking for and give it to me.”

Lastly, Stephan Jacob spoke about Kembrel and how his company moved from an e-commerce platform to a bricks-and-clicks business, and how he keeps it running smoothly. Using real-time technology, his cloud-based inventory system keeps track of all purchases. Buy from the store and it’s removed online. “A well-executed strategy is extremely powerful,” said Jacob, “Customers have come to expect a seamless experience.”

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All three speakers then joined forces for a panel-style Q&A with questions from the audience. The topic inspired quite a few questions and a bit of a debate from the attendees, leading to some great conversation. After the time allotted passed and we let the speakers go, audience members still crowded around them with follow-up questions and conversation. It was definitely an inspiring event for attendees and speakers alike.

A big thank you to our speakers for their participation, and to our sponsors for the night: Uber, Art in the Age, Shawnee Craft Brewing, Jobspring Partners and Workbridge Associates. Please join Tech In Motion Philadelphia to hear about our next event!

Capturing the Rise of Philly Tech

When I got to Philadelphia in 2004 there was not much of a tech scene to speak of. At least not one I could see. As I would find out later, a lot of the people were here, but they had not yet coalesced into a community. Within a few years, however, events like Ignite Philly and the first BarCamp Philly began to reveal a Philadelphia that looked a lot like the temporary tech community I witnessed every year at SXSW Interactive.

This whole time I was a filmmaker, having made my first movie in high school, when editing meant wiring two VCR’s together and hoping for the best. So it was only a matter of time before my two passions collided.

In 2012, my co-producer Maurice Gaston and I began shooting the web series Developing Philly, about the rise of what we called the “innovation community” in Philadelphia (because “tech” was just too narrow). We interviewed luminaries like Alex Hillman, who helped define coworking not just for Philly, but for much of the world, Wil Reynolds, who showed how you can build a tech business that helps sustain a neighborhood, and Josh Kopelman, who took lessons from the last tech boom to empower this one.

Earlier this year, we completed the series and debuted the first episode during Philly Tech Week. It ran for seven weeks, got lots of acclaim, and is available now at DevelopingPhilly.com. It was very fulfilling to give back, in our own way, to the community we love by attempting to document it and how it has impacted – and been impacted by – the city we love.

My co-producer and I are working on season two now, but first we have to go run that very conference that helped build this community. In part based on our work with Developing Philly, we’ve been asked to organize this year’s BarCamp Philly! How’s that for coming full circle?

You can check out the first episode of Developing Philly below:

Episode One – “The End Is the Beginning”

 

Recap: Going Green with Tech

On Tuesday, September 24th, our DC chapter held their “Going Green with Tech” panel discussion at Opower. The speakers included 3 movers and shakers from the DC area: Ed Peters from Opower, Lynn Miller from 4GreenPs, and Matt Caywood from TransitScreen. The event was moderated by Sen Zhang from Greensmith who added his own expertise to the discussion.

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The evening kicked off with a networking session coupled with complimentary food and beer, and was followed by a panel discussion on the advancement of green technology and how each speaker’s company has harnessed green initiatives and alternative resources. During the discussion, Matt Caywood provided the audience with the striking statistic that the “environmental footprint of a building’s transportation demand is 130% of own energy use”. He followed up with “…transportation produces ¼ of greenhouse gases.”

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Throughout the event audience members were encouraged to participate by asking their own questions of the panel, which promoted a laid-back yet engaging atmosphere. Ed Peters concluded the event with a “word to the wise”, that cable boxes are known to use more energy than refrigerators! So when not in front of the television or before leaving for work, we should all remember turn off the cable box. Cost efficiency and sustainability? Sounds like a win-win. Overall, the evening proved to be thought provoking and informative.

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We’d like to thank, again, Opower for hosting our event and our sponsors, Workbridge Associates and Jobspring Partners.

Stay tuned for our next DC event by joining the group!