TechCrunch Disrupt Takes on Healthcare and ‘Digital Medicine’
Today is the final day of TechCrunch Disrupt… and what a whirlwind of a week it has been. It commenced with the Hackathon on Saturday, featured some of the hottest startups and most controversial topics, battled for the geeks’ attention during the Apple announcement on Tuesday, and today it will culminate with several panels that are sure to have folks walking away (either in person or from a live stream) feeling inspired and optimistic about the future of tech.
While many of the panels are focusing on technology that you may expect TechCrunch Disrupt to cover, only one panel is focusing on the future of healthcare – in particular, digital healthcare. The ‘Digital Moments are the New Rx’ panel is today at 11:45am and will consist of influencers and thought leaders, from the panel to the moderator. The panel is Peter Hames, founder of Big Health and Sleepio, Matthew Cooper, CEO and Founder of Carmenta Bioscience, and Glen Tullman, Managing Partner of 7wire Venture. Sarah Buhr, current writer at TechCrunch and former USA Today writer, will be moderating.
Peter Hames founded Big Health, self-defined as ‘digital medicine’, after he struggled with insomnia for years. Now, his company is a multi-million dollar VC-backed startup that is determined to make digital medicine an everyday term. In an effort to avoid taking pills for his insomnia 5 years ago, Hames cured his own insomnia using a self-administered course of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). He then convinced Colin Espie, the author of the CBT book that helped him and sleep disorder expert, to come on board as co-founder. Big Health now uses tracked data to create highly personalized behavioral medicine programs, all delivered via web and mobile to the highest standards of clinical evidence.
— Peter Hames (@phames) September 9, 2014
Big Health’s first product is a cloud-based digital service called Sleepio. It uses engaging sleep questionairres to digitally deliver an evidence-based CBT program for insomnia sufferers. Instead of relying on expensive therapy sessions or pills to help with insomnia, users will use this SaaS to have support in a combination of recorded human voices, algorithmically created self-help, and an available support group of fellow insomnia sufferers within the software.
Matthew Cooper is CEO and Founder of Carmenta Bioscience, a company dedicated to improving maternal and fetal health. Their current focus is the development and commercialization of diagnostic tests for preeclampsia. Preeclampsia, a leading cause of preterm birth and maternal/fetal death, occurs in 5-8% of pregnancies and results in billions of annual healthcare costs in the US alone. Diagnosis using current guidelines (hypertension with proteinuria after week 20 of pregnancy) often occurs too late for effective management and intervention. Studies have demonstrated earlier monitoring and intervention can lead to delays in preterm birth as well as decreases in the incidence of preeclampsia. Carmenta is actively working with Maternal Fetal Medicine specialists (MFMs), OB GYNs, and healthcare economists to develop tests with the value of identifying preeclampsia in both symptomatic and asymptomatic mothers.
Glen Tullman is a successful entrepreneur and co-founder and Managing Partner of 7wire Ventures, a Chicago-based investment firm focused on healthcare and education. Through the creation of new businesses, investments in early and growth stage companies, and complementing funds with insight and experience, 7wire Ventures transforms great ideas into world class companies. Their team works with business incubators, seed and early-stage investors, and growth equity firms to create the best opportunity for inspired visions to reach the market.
Moderator Sarah Buhr is writer at TechCrunch with a focus on tech culture and biotech. Prior to working for TechCrunch, she wrote for USA Today. Sarah has skills in reporting, on air talent, voice overs, politics, and heavy writing / editing experience.