Social Health Startup Bootcamp at SXSW 2013
Saratoga Springs, NY, March 8, 2013 – App inventor and endocrinologist, Jennifer Dyer, MD, MPH, is a panelist on the Social Health Startup Bootcamp (#SXSHbooty) discussion, Show me the Money $$$: Where to Get Funding, What They’re Interested In, and Why. Dyer, inventor of EndoGoal App, joins fellow panelists from the health incubators, StartUp Health, California HealthCare Foundation Health Innovation Fund, and GE Healthymagination Fund. Panelists will be discussing alternative forms of funding for health tech start-ups. The Bootcamp discussion takes place today, March 8, from 2 to 6 PM in Salon D of the Hilton Austin, as part of the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) interactive festival in Austin, Texas.
The Social Health Startup Bootcamp focuses on opportunities for investing in health innovation, and encourages innovators, technologists, and potential tech start-up founders to consider health as a viable option for launching a company. Led by Shwen Gwee, founder and organizer of the Social Health Startup Bootcamp, and founder and producer of PharmFresh.TV and the Social Health Summit (SXSH.org), this year’s Bootcamp will feature key executives from event sponsor, Aetna, discussing how now is the optimal time to invest in health innovation. Bootcamp will also showcase interviews with 3 successful health tech start-ups, moderated by Jason Calacanis, serial Internet entrepreneur/investor and host of This Week in Startups, and the panel on options for alternative funding options specifically for health tech start-ups.
“There has been so much attention directed towards consumer technology startups, where competition for funding and survival is fierce. Yet, the focus on social heath startups is only just starting to take flight,” said Gwee, who is also the digital health lead at Edelman. “In the last few years, we’ve witnessed an acute growth in the awareness of how technology and health intersect, particularly around digital health technologies that are connected via mobile devices. It is important that we show the opportunities for investing in and developing connected health solutions which are becoming more mainstream in the general consumer world. And, what better place to do that than at the SXSW festival.”
“The mHealth movement is upon us,” said Dyer. “For physicians to prescribe mHealth applications to patients, and for insurance companies to consider paying patients to use the app, the app must demonstrate that it can effectively help improve health outcomes. It’s all about health-caring and health-sharing. With the clinical trials we hope to demonstrate that EndoGoal can indeed enable diabetics to lead a healthier lifestyle.”
Palio+Ignite, an inVentiv Health agency, played a critical role in helping Dyer reach her fundraising goal by providing more than 50% of the funding for the EndoGoal App clinical trial through the crowdfunding website, MedStartr. The app was originally designed as a way to reward the good behavior of patients for better managing their diabetes. “The reward feature is unique to EndoGoal,” said Dyer. “It helps reinforce good behavior, which ultimately results in positive behavioral modification.” EndoGoal allows patients to manage their diabetes through journal entries of blood glucose recordings. When using the app, patients have the ability to set reminders to take daily recordings and add notifications for appointments that sync directly to the calendar on their phone.
To ensure that she had the attention of her patients, Dyer asked for feedback on EndoGoal. Those using the app suggested a more interactive component and Dyer introduced gamification features to further engage patients while continuing to reward their good behavior. The gamification component enables patients to interact with and take care of “Cooper,” a virtual golden retriever.
Patients care for Cooper through blood glucose recordings and earn weekly rewards. Each recording is rewarded with a point, and when a patient reaches 3 out of the 4 desired readings for the day, Cooper’s dog bowl is filled with food, allowing him to be satisfied. Once a patient reaches the final reading, a bonus prize of a bone is then given to Cooper. “It’s a way of gamifying the app so that you get a reward for doing the behavior you should be doing and it makes you feel good to know that Cooper is being well taken care of. When he’s being neglected, he’ll cry and whine. It’s very sad to hear Cooper cry,” said Dyer.
“Mobile technologies are changing the way we see health, and more importantly, the delivery of health care,” said Fabio Gratton, chief alchemist at Palio+Ignite. “We believe that gamification in mHealth can have a significant impact on the lives of patients by engaging and supporting them in their goal for better health – and that’s what Dr. Dyer’s app is all about.”
Gratton, a speaker at the inaugural Social Health Un-Conference that started it all 2 years ago, first met Dyer at SXSW 2011 while interviewing her on behalf of Gwee’s PharmFresh.TV on the role of mobile health applications in patient care. “She totally got it, before anyone was really talking about mHealth. When I saw she was on MedStartr trying to raise funds to conduct a clinical trial for her latest app, I knew we had to help out and be a part of it.”
EndoGoal is not only an interactive diabetes management tool, but it is also a resource for diabetes education. The medical tab of the app holds answers to all sorts of diabetes questions, keeping patients involved and up-to-date on diabetes health news. Diabetes blogs and articles can be accessed and shared within the diabetes community when using EndoGoal.
For the clinical trials, insulin-dependent diabetics will be recruited and asked to use the app for 3 months. A survey will be distributed at the beginning to record baseline results and an additional survey will be used to measure behavioral changes after the 3-month timespan. Dyer anticipates finding significant results in the clinical trials, proving that EndoGoal can help those with diabetes manage their disease and live healthier lives. Clinical trials will begin this spring, allowing the study to be peer reviewed for health publications.
For more information on the Social Health Startup Bootcamp, visit: http://bootcamp.sxsh.org. Follow #SXSHbooty on Twitter.
Palio+Ignite is an advertising agency revolutionizing healthcare marketing by leveraging the art and science of today with the technology and imagination of tomorrow. For more information, visit www.palioignite.com.