Over the last five years I have blogged and ranted about a number of topics, but never focused on a specific topic for an extended period of time. Well, over the last year, I have gotten interested in a specific area and thought it was time to focus on the subject so that I can get my thoughts down and, hopefully, get input from others. There area is Wireless Medical and Personal Health devices.
There are a number of things got me interested in this space. The first was an email from a friend back in early 2010 with a link to a YouTube video from TEDMED09 conference that was held in San Diego in October 2010. The presenter, Dr. Eric Topol, was showing off some devices that were a combination of an iPhone, some apps and some additional hardware connectors that turned the iPhone into devices that provided information about a persons health that is usually only available in a medical facility using equipment that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars.
For example, Eric has a blue, wing shaped object that he attaches to his chest and can send EKG info to a cellphone and can then be forwarded to a physician or other medical professional. Another device, attached to a phone can produce sonograms, while another can track sleep patterns. This 17 minute video just knocked me over. These types of devices can improve personal health by providing patients and doctors valuable information at reduced costs. The patient no longer has to travel to a medical facility, where tests of done using equipment that costs tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Additionally, these are not future products, that are hidden in the depths of R&D facilities, but already exist. More importantly, these are just the beginning. A year later, this industry is still in its infancy but quickly picking up steam. And for me, what is nice is that the focal point for this industry is San Diego!
So this got me excited. Throughout my career I seemed to gravitate towards cutting edge products and services that were possibly the next new new thing.
I was in telecommunications when computers and telecom converged. It was an interesting time and lots of changes occurred. New industries evolved and some, including very large ones, went by the wayside. The world is radically different in the way we communicate than it was in the 80’s and 90’s. Entire industries were turned upside down with very big players disinter-mediated.
While some players went away, others sprang to the top and benefitted from the this new industry like Cisco, Skype, Vonage and other VoIP solutions. Lets of different devices including voice communications through our personal/home computers. Lots of startups, lots of new entrepreneurs, lots of job creation, lots of wealth creation.
So, I am thinking that medical devices and wireless/cellular are colliding markets on track to converge and create the same kind of impact on our lifestyles, economy and there will be big winners along with big losers along the way.
With this in mind, I decided to write a series of posts on the industry, what is happening, some obstacles, and some ideas about how we can facilitate the development of new companies and help them get over the valley of death.
To accomplish this and attempt to get as much information and feedback as I can, I will be publishing these posts on the three sites I have: www.resonnect.com, www.socalbuzz.com and www.startupcoast.com. If you have opinions, comments, ideas you would like to share about this space, please comment. I still have a lot to learn.