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Germany’s Peter Neumann is looking to meet you at mHealth Israel on February 18

Germany’s Peter Neumann is looking to meet you at mHealth Israel on February 18

Peter Neumann is looking for innovation and startups in the medtech space from Israel. He’s on his way here next week as part of the upcoming mHealth Israelconference, which takes place on February 18 in Tel Aviv. As the CFO of RHOEN-KLINIKUM AG, Peter’s hospital infrastructure can offer startups the opportunity to do a pilot and do trials in Europe’s largest healthcare market. Posted by Alan Weinkrantz, the Brand Ambassador to Israel for the Rackspace Startup Program aimed at helping startups and developers succeed. His mission is to #BeHelpful and engage in the startup and innovation economy that is transforming our world and advancing...

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Levi Shapiro gives us a glimpse of the future of mHealth

Levi Shapiro gives us a glimpse of the future of mHealth

Today I joined 12 other really smart people at the law offices of Greenberg Traurig in Tel Aviv where we heard pitches from 16 startup companies who made it to the semi-finals where we served as judges for the upcoming mHealth Israel Conference on February 18. Levi Shapiro manages to bring in healthcare experts and professionals from all over the world for these events. I have been to many of them, and I have to tell you that they are really first rate. I go not so much because I am some healthcare expert. I go because it gives me glimpse of the future. Like everything that is imagined here, they need global markets, because Israel is a tiny domestic market. The flip side to this is that when you are creating for healthcare, you are doing this to advance humanity. Sure, there is a business side to all this, but several of the companies we saw today were created from a personal experience or having lost a friend or family member to something that could have been avoided. If you save or improve one life, you can often find millions of others with similar issues or circumstances. So be it in Israel, the U.S., the U.K., or China, it’s just a matter of serving and helping millions or billions of people. Levi’s next event is the mHealth Conference on February 18. There’s a full week of events all over the country that are taking place before the conference. And he’s bringing a wonderful group of speakers, scheduling some wonderful one on one meetings, and lots more. While not every company who pitched today will be in the final round, the ones who do make it, will not only amaze you, but give you a glimpse of the future. Levi is really good at this and has built a very good community in the process of doing these events over and over and over. Be it for personal reasons, business reasons, or if you have an interest in getting sneak peak at the future, invest February 18 in you, your organization, or whatever will help you, help others in advancing mHealth, and our world at large. Yeah, it’s that...

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Can Insurance Make You Healthier?

By Levi Shapiro Obesity, smoking, sexually transmitted diseases, drunk driving….some of the most significant health risks can actually be addressed by behavioral change. One insurance company is attempting to reorient coverage to address behavioral change. Discovery Ltd of South Africa is using a mix of Big Data, predictive analytics, machine learning algorithms and other technologies to predict and reward behavioral change. This approach was initially greeted with derision by traditional insurance  companies, which base risk on medical profiles. Dr Ryan Noach, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Discovery Health says, “We look at each individual and their potential to change their behavior over time. The goal is then to offer value through upfront premium discounts, and to keep incentivizing behavior that has a positive effect on long-term health.” Dr. Ryan Noach, Deputy CEO, Discovery Health (South Africa) Discovery’s behavior-based wellness program, Vitality, was launched in South Africa in late 1997 and now expanded to the US, Europe, Asia, Australia and China. Since then, Vitality has been featured as  a Harvard Business School case study for its effect on social health issues like obesity, non-communicable diseases and lack of physical exercise. Noach says, “We built a benefits program addressing real-time, personalized  lifestyle assessment that can lower insurances rates and help people become healthier.” One of the key factors is gamification and instant feedback. Tangible benefits and rewards accrue proportionally with the level of engagement. In real time, users receive personalized health information, as well as discounts for partner companies, such as travel. For example, quitting smoking is worth significantly more points than completing a questionnaire. “The program recognizes changes  in behavior and builds incentives to encourage that healthy behavior”. Status Vitality members begin with Blue status and progress to Bronze, Silver, Gold and finally, Diamond status. High status levels enjoy lower insurance premiums. Points and status can be earned in a variety of ways: • Completing health checks and assessments of fitness, diet and general health. • Making healthy choices like quitting smoking, managing weight, buying and eating healthier foods, etc. • Being active, completing sporting challenges or using a fitness device or app to track activity. Research Confirms the Potential for Behavior Change A five year, longitudinal study of Vitality members focused on gym membership and recorded gym visits. The study found that active Vitality members had a longer life expectancy and 14% reduction in healthcare costs, with shorter hospital stays. One application works with the Apple Watch. Vitality Active Rewards tracks and recommends personalized, weekly fitness goals, dynamically adjusted based on progress. Achieving weekly goals leads to rewards like free coffee or fruit smoothies. “The basic principle in behavioral economics is loss aversion – an incentive to avoid losing something. The result is a 25% increase in physical activity among the 122,500 Vitality members who  downloaded the app and activated Vitality Active Rewards.”  Behavioral Change Outside of South Africa  Vitality adoption and results were positive in Discovery’s second primary market, the United Kingdom. The next great opportunity is the United States, where the Centers for Disease Control announced that 36% of the population is clinically obese (Body Mass Index of 30% of higher). US insurers, such as Aetna and Cigna, are now piloting their own behavioral-based programs to address the world’s largest healthcare market.  Ryan Noach will be in Tel Aviv as a featured presenter...

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User Data: Are Israeli Companies Doing It All Wrong?

By Levi Shapiro Guest post by  Eli Greenbaum & Noam Pratzer of Yigal Arnon Law Firm As each of us goes through our day, data about our every movement and activity is tracked and reported to a vast array of digital networks. Steps are traced by fitness trackers and digital maps, interests are tracked by web-browsers and online stores, and social activity is monitored by Twitter, Facebook, and Tinder. Although this may conjure up images of the Soviet era KGB, today’s corporate information collectors are interested in your cash rather than your political allegiances. The commercial Internet is buoyed by a flood of user data. That torrent of information presents companies with a basic strategic question: how can this data be converted into a profit? Many companies monetize the data by exploiting it – either using it for product marketing or selling it to other companies that will. Did you consider purchasing that book? Advertisements for it will follow you across the Internet. Do you walk to work every day? These great walking shoes are sold right next to your office! For these companies, the monetary value of data correlates with the degree to which it can be used to target consumers. Although this kind of exploitation may be the quickest way to turn data into cash, it is not always the best way to build customer loyalty and brand confidence for long term success. Increasingly, consumers and enterprises are concerned about protecting their privacy. This is especially true for sensitive categories, such as health, medical or financial data. Given this trend, companies may be better positioned for long-term growth by branding themselves as guardians of their customer’s privacy, rather than turning a quick dollar and  ignoring privacy concerns. Firms that gain a reputation for being loose with customers’ personal information risk being branded as villains of the digital age. Some companies have recognized the mounting privacy concerns of consumers and enterprises, making the strategic business decision to position themselves as privacy protectors. This strategy prioritizes long term positive brand recognition and customer loyalty over the immediate exploitation of personal consumer data. Notable among such companies are technology giants Apple and Microsoft. Apple touts its commitment to privacy, most notably with encrypting messages and personal information. Microsoft changed the default settings of its most recent browser, marketing it, with limited success, as the least intrusive web-surfing option. Israeli tech companies that recognize this trend can benefit from the increasing alignment between corporate and consumer interests in the protection of personal data. Israel is considered one of the world’s leaders in cybersecurity technology. In fact, investors allocated $520 million to Israeli cyber startups in 2015 (IVC), seeking similar exits like the IPO of CyberArk in 2014 and Microsoft’s $320 million acquisition of three-year-old Adallom. Worldwide, businesses and governments are looking to Israeli companies for the technology and know-how to protect privacy and prevent hacking and data breaches. As increasing numbers of technology companies look to brand themselves as privacy protectors, rather than traffickers in personal data, the demand for cybersecurity technology and software will continue to grow. Israel, as a leader in cyber technology, is well positioned to lead the charge in changing the way corporations perceive their relationship to consumer data, yielding both economic and moral benefit to Israel’s high-tech sector.  Eli...

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Effective Visual Marketing for Healthcare Companies

By Levi Shapiro The average human attention span is …. Oh look over there! The average human attention span is now only eight seconds, down from 12 seconds in 2000. With 84% of human learning being visual, marketing language should be visual first, text second. Daniel Berliner, CEO of Berliner Design, shared four tips for building a bold visual brand. 1. Wear Your Customer’s Hat When developing visual marketing language, take the customer’s viewpoint. How does the website appear to your customer? What emotion do your brand colors, shapes, images and messages convey? What is the resulting behavior? Is there an explicit Call to Action? A great starting point is to review all visual materials – both offline and online. That includes social media, brochures, PowerPoint etc. Be honest with yourself…what is working and what is not? This is often the first step toward better visual branding. Below are some Israeli health tech logos that effectively use color, design and shape to convey a strong brand message. 2. Say it, Say it Again, Then Repeat An integrated approach to using visuals will strengthen a good written message. A good example is a campaign for Medi-Tate incorporating simple messaging alongside strong brand imagery that is repeated and cleverly targeted throughout the audience journey. 3. Shoot, Don’t talk! A picture is worth a thousand words. Well-chosen images or carefully designed illustrations eliminate the need for lengthy explanations! Remember that 40% of us respond better to visual information than plain text. If you need to say something technical, make sure to say it clearly, concisely and simply! This may not always be possible in the healthcare sector. The challenge is to depict complex messages through simple and memorable visuals. A great example is from Lumenis. The sleek product image requires only ten words to complete the description. 4. Be Different, But the Same! Most Israeli companies struggle to effectively differentiate their brand from competitors, while retaining a visually recognizable brand. Take time to know the visual and graphic language used by the competition to avoid “me too” messaging. That means to understand their colors, imagery, shapes, typeface, font choice, formatting and page layouts. Identify choices that are working for the competition and recognize the need to differentiate through bold colors. Remember, doctors are not afraid of blood, so why be afraid of the color red! Below is a print design for medical device company – notice the dramatic product effect achieved through the use ofbold colors to dramatize the product Effective visual communication in healthcare requires a strong, consistent style that integrates with, and enhances marketing activities across channels. Good visual marketing is about helping the target audience recognize, remember and act! Anyone interested in enhancing their brand’s visual marketing strategy, schedule a 1×1 meeting with Daniel Berliner at the mHealth Israel conference, February 18....

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Israeli startups address medical adherence

By Levi Shapiro Healthcare has a problem- patients don’t take their medications. As former US Surgeon General, C. Everett Koop, noted: “Drugs do not work in patients who don’t take them". The financial cost is staggering. NEHI, the New England Health Institute, estimates that non-adherence adds 13% to US health care expenditures or an additional $417 billion this year. In Israel, data from the Clalit Research Institute suggests that half of patients do not adhere to their medications. Among chronic diseases like Diabetes, the numbers are even worse. Only 44% take their medications as prescribed. This week, the Israeli Society for Quality in Healthcare (http://quality.doctorsonly.co.il/about-quality) convened a conference in Tel Aviv to tackle the problem of non-adherence. Lectures were followed by an Adherence Startup Contest with five startups presenting to an audience of 300 doctors and clinicians. Dr. Rami Cohen, CEO of Telesofia, Winner of the Adherence Startup Contest Telesofia automatically generates branded personalized educational videos for patients. The videos are tailored to the specific patient, directed to low literacy level, and available on devices with no need to install a specific application or codec. Medisafe: An easy to use mobile application with nearly two million downloads for patients, families, friends and caregivers to know when patients have taken medications and alert them when they do not. Vaica Medical – A cloud-based service management and monitoring software, enabling the remote deployment, management and monitoring of smart medication dispensers and vital sign monitors. Belong Tail – Social and big data tool for cancer patients and caregivers to manage and improve the cancer treatment process. TeleMessage HIPAA compliant, enterprise-quality, secure messaging platform for hospitals and doctors. TeleMessage is a publicly traded company that is transferring its 16 years of telco messaging experience toward the healthcare sector. Mobile Health is a growing sector in Israel. IVC Research Center estimates 251 companies in the sector with more than 30 new companies established for each of the last three years. Based on the mHealth Israel database, only 5% of mHealth companies are in Growth Revenue stage. The expertise of these companies is not Life Sciences. It is IT domains like Sensors, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Imaging, Cyber Security, etc. Most of the Israeli digital health startup community will be in Jerusalem on June 29th to meet executives from companies like Merck, Allianz, NTT, Cleveland Clinic and J&J at the mHealth Israel Investors Summit. "We understand non-adherence is not a problem of just forgetfulness or lack of money”, says Ran Balicer (https://www.linkedin.com/in/ranbalicer), Chair of the Israel Society for Quality in Healthcare. “It is a multi-factorial phenomenon, attributable to drug, patient, caregiver, provider and system factors, and the solutions must be multifaceted as well”. The medical world is beginning to view Israeli digital health startups as part of the...

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Medica to Sponsor mHealth Israel Startup Contest After Strong Showing of Israeli Startups at Medica 2015

By Levi Shapiro Dusseldorf, Nov 19 Medica Trade Fair, the world’s largest medical marketplace with 130,000 visitors from 120 nations, held its annual Medica Apps Contest in Dusseldforf. Israeli startups dominated the contest, comprising half of all Finalists, the Winner and 1st RunnerUp. Based on the contribution of Israeli startups, the Medica Apps Contest has announced plans to expand its relationship with the Israeli digital health startup community with an Israel visit in February, 2016. Benjamin Choukroun, SmokeWatchers; Joachim Schafer, Managing Director, Messe Dusseldorf; Maren Lesche, Talkitt; Donny Rose, Mobile ODT Jerusalem-based Talkitt, launching in February, won the Contest. Talkitt allows people with unintelligible speech to communicate verbally. Using machine learning, NLP, AI and other technologies, the system identifies and categorizes speech patterns, translating these into recognizable speech. Among other accolades, Talkitt recently earned a spot in the prestigious 43North accelerator program, including a $500,000 grant. Watch the Talkitt video, HERE Medica 2015: 130,000 attendees from 120 countries, including 50+ exhibitors from Israel MobileODT, one of two Runners Up, is a 23 person startup from Tel Aviv. Mobile ODT transforms Smartphones into cervical cancer screening devices. Deployed in 14 developing countries with partners like Massachusetts General Hospital, University of Pennsylvania and Scripps Medical Center, the company is now expanding its medical diagnostic capabilities to other pathologies. The other RunnerUp, Smoke Watchers, is a Paris-based startup. The program helps cigarette and e-cigarette smokers track their addiction, with support tools including a virtual coach and access to a community of watchers. Other Israeli Finalists included iFeel Labs, Eco Fusion / Serenita and DocToMe Tom Mitchell, President, North America for Messe Dusseldorf (parent company of Medica Tradefair brand) served as a contest Judge. “The technologies and teams from Israel in the Medica Apps Contest were inspiring. We are honored to welcome so many innovative digital startups, in addition to the 50+ Israeli exhibitors at Medica.” The Medica Apps Contest has announced an initiative to broaden outreach with the Israeli startup community. Tom Mitchell will attend the mHealth Israel conference, February 18th in Tel Aviv, and serve as a Judge in the Startup Contest. The winning team will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Medica World Americas in Houston, May 18-20, with a full day of business development meetings. Another Finalist will have an opportunity to present in the Connected Health Forum at Medica 2016 in Dusseldforf. Finalists in the Medica Apps Contest, with Mark Waechter, Board Member, Mobile Monday Germany “Software is transforming healthcare and Medica is paying close attention”, says Mitchell. “We welcome Israeli digital startups to contribute your ideas and energy to the Medica global community as we address this...

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Future of Aging Panel at mHealth Israel- Seniors Reach All Time High in US Population

By Levi Shapiro This week, the US Census Bureau announced new population data for 2015. One group reached an all-time high: people over 60 now comprise 15% of the population. Globally, the trend is even more pronounced. The older population is expected to triple over the next 50 years. At the same time, average costs for assisted senior care are rising quickly, from $42k per year in 2011 to $51k per year in 2015 (MetLife Market Survey of Nursing Home, Assisted Living, Adult Day Services, and Home Care Costs). Tech companies, large and small, have been slow to adapt to this demographic shift. However, a few Israeli companies have launched innovative digital tools and services for the Senior Market. Population Aging Map, Global AgeWatch Index 2015 The marketplace for technology to assist aging adults is poised to grow from $2 billion today to over $30 billion in the next few years, according to Aging in Place Technology Watch. This will be driven by customization of software and hardware. Even faster growth is anticipated for home-based care, representing 35 percent of elder care service revenues through 2018. Despite this trend, many of the Milennial startup founding teams addressing digitgal health, and their VC investors, are ignoring this key demographic.  VC investment in digital health tools targeting Seniors represents only 2.6% of all 2015 digital health venture investment Tools and solutions need to focus on both the End-User, and their caregivers, who are often family members and loved ones. Below are six Israeli technology startups targeting the Senior healthcare sector, selected by Dov Sugarman, an expert foc used on Israel technologies to address Aging: 1) E2C: Smartphones designed for seniors, distributed by wireless carriers 2) Amity: Developed by Xorcom, this is a home monitoring solution for seniors aging in place 3) PowerTags: Disposable tracking device with an intuitive, real time location sensor system 4) VideoTherapy: Cloud-based tele-rehabilitation platform focused on Seniors 5) Moving Life: Mechanized mobility scooter that folds into a lightweight trolley 6) Safe Beyond: A “digital time capsule” and online platform allowing users to record and store video, audio and written messages to be accessed posthumously by their heirs and loved ones The largest proportion of the healthcare population is the most under-invested. This is likely to change. In October, tJP Morgan and AARP, the 40 million member US association for Seniors, announced a $40 million venture fund. The three focus areas are Aging at Home, Convenience & Access to Healthcare, and Preventative Health. Earlier in 2015, Prudential launched an Innovation Lab and Venture Capital Fund addressing the needs of seniors, Gibraltar Ventures.  Go-to-market for the Senior demographic can be tricky. Focus on testing and iterating marketing messages, providing friction-less adoption with monetization from SERVICES, and cultivating the loyalty of family and caregivers.  Interested in creating technologies to address the  fastest growing and largest segment of the healthcare sector? Join the mHealth Israel "Future of Aging" Hackathon and panels at the upcoming mHealth Israel conference, February 18th in Tel...

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Investing in Artificial Intelligence for Healthcare: mHealth Israel Speaker, Nathan Benaich, Partner, Playfair Capital

By Nathan Benaich Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the most exciting and transformative opportunities of our time. From my vantage point as a venture investor at Playfair Capital, where I focus on investing and building community around AI, this is a great time for investors to help build companies in this space. There are three key reasons. First, with 40 percent of the world’s population now online, and more than 2 billion smartphones being used with increasing addiction every day (KPCB), we’re creating data assets, the raw material for AI, that describe our behaviors, interests, knowledge, connections and activities at a level of granularity that has never existed. Second, the costs of compute and storage are both plummeting by orders of magnitude, while the computational capacity of today’s processors is growing, making AI applications possible and affordable. Third, we’ve seen significant improvements recently in the design of learning systems, architectures and software infrastructure that, together, promise to further accelerate the speed of innovation. Indeed, we don’t fully appreciate what tomorrow will look and feel like. We also must realize that AI-driven products are already out in the wild, improving the performance of search engines, recommender systems (e.g., e-commerce, music), ad serving and financial trading (amongst others). Companies with the resources to invest in AI are already creating an impetus for others to follow suit — or risk not having a competitive seat at the table. Together, therefore, the community has a better understanding and is equipped with more capable tools with which to build learning systems for a wide range of increasingly complex tasks. Nathan Benaich, Partner, Playfair Capital How Might You Apply AI Technologies? With such a powerful and generally applicable technology, AI companies can enter the market in different ways. Here are six to consider, along with example businesses that have chosen these routes: There are vast amounts of enterprise and open data available in various data silos, whether web or on-premise. Making connections between these enables a holistic view of a complex problem, from which new insights can be identified and used to make predictions (e.g., DueDil, Premise and Enigma). Leverage the domain expertise of your team and address a focused, high-value, recurring problem using a set of AI techniques that extend the shortfalls of humans (e.g., Sift Science or Ravelin for online fraud detection). Productize existing or new AI frameworks for feature engineering, hyperparameter optimization, data processing, algorithms, model training and deployment (amongst others) for a wide variety of commercial problems (e.g., H2O.ai, Seldon and SigOpt). Automate the repetitive, structured, error-prone and slow processes conducted by knowledge workers on a daily basis using contextual decision making (e.g., Gluru, x.ai and SwiftKey). Endow robots and autonomous agents with the ability to sense, learn and make decisions within a physical environment (e.g., Tesla, Matternet and SkyCatch). Take the long view and focus on research and development (R&D) to take risks that would otherwise be relegated to academia — but due to strict budgets, often isn’t anymore (e.g., DNN Research, DeepMind and Vicarious). There’s more on this discussion here. A key consideration, however, is that the open sourcing of technologies by large incumbents (Google, Microsoft, Intel, IBM) and the range of companies productizing technologies for cheap means that technical barriers are eroding fast. What ends up moving the needle...

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10 Ways To Make The Most From A Mentor Relationship

By Alan Weinkrantz Over the last twelve months, I have mentored and engaged with over 500 startups here in Israel. When you do something over and over and over, you begin to see certain patterns. When you come to the mHeatlh Israel Conference on June 29 in Jerusalem, you are going to be able to have the opportunity to meet with a variety of mentors in special fields of expertise. Each mentoring session is ten minutes, where you will sit with three experts in their field. We’ll have experts from a variety of disciplines and background in finance, coding, business development, legal, regulation, and strategic partnerships. This is a unique aspect to the conference, for you are getting specifically selected experts in a fields that related directly to our program and doing so in a speed-dating like session. Before you come, here’s ten tips for you to consider in the process of this, or any type of mentor relationship. Come prepared and be ready to listen. Here’s my top ten tips to help you have a meaningful and beneficial experience. 1. Research who you are meeting with. Do your homework. Do your research. Go on LinkedIn. Search for articles. Find out and dig into who you are meeting with. 2. Look for guidance, not just answers. Not everything is yes or no; or black and white. Ask for answers, but go deeper. Seek guidance. Maybe you just need to go a different path and the mentor could point you in the right direction. 3. Make it a two-way street. Look at this session as a way to exchange positive energy with each other. You could even wind up learning from each other. That’s where the magic, in a short session can happen – and possibly lead to something else. 4. Ask you mentor if there is someone else they could refer you to. It’s not what they may or may not know, but who they may know. A mentor may be able to steer you in a new way and connect you to someone they know who could be of even more help to you. 5. Come prepared. Make sure you know what you are looking for. Don’t just show up with an idea. Come with facts and insights. And start this process with point #1. 6. Inspire your mentor. You may have something compelling for your mentor or a point of view they have not thought of before. This is not a one way street. It’s an exchange of energy. So energize your mentor and exchange some startup love. 7. Listen. And I mean really listen. You are taking up someone’s time. And if you show that you are listening, you expressing gratitude and thanks. 8. Take notes. We also do this in different ways. Paper is fine. Bring your tablet. Even on your smart phone. Write stuff down. Don’t depend on memory. When you put it down in writing you are committing to something. 9. Offer to follow up. If you’re mentor gives you a lead, an idea, but it needs some follow up, take the lead. You do the work; not the mentor. Maybe your mentor recommends you look into something. Do it . Follow up. It shows you care. And that you do what you...

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