If you’re old enough to remember, you had to love the gadgets from the original Star Trek series, especially the phaser, transporter, and whatever they called the machine that instantly created whatever food you were hungry for. Even GrubHub can’t do that.
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When I first heard about Scanadu, a real life version of Dr. McCoy’s tricorder, it took me by surprise. And yet, the device is here, or at least awaiting FDA approval to measure heart rate, temperature, blood pressure, ECG and other readings simply by holding a tiny device to your temple for a few moments.
Still, I have concerns. Dr. McCoy was an M.D. This gadget is for you and me. And people are so neurotic these days, is everyone going to freak out and run to the emergency room every time they see an abnormal reading? I mean, how is an average person supposed to interpret all that data?
You can’t just pick up the phone and call your doctor. Let’s face it, medicine is a business and that’s not exactly how they make their money. They want you to come in. And doesn’t that leave us right back where we started?
Apple’s HealthKit may provide a framework to aggregate personal health information to share with medical professionals, but what if you’ve got a serious condition like high blood pressure or heart disease or you’re prediabetic? Will these gadgets and apps do you any good or just make you confused and paranoid?
Enter Hello Heart, a new iPhone and Apple Watch app designed to help more than 100 million Americans suffering from chronic heart conditions. The app integrates measurements and test results and helps patients make sense of all the data through personalized dashboards that explain what the numbers actually mean.
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Founding CEO Maayan Cohen came up with the idea when her boyfriend developed a cancerous brain tumor and she found herself managing a medical condition. For two years she collected all sorts of vital signs and medical records and wondered what it all meant, whether he was doing better or worse, and what to do about it?
Having been through similar scenarios myself I can certainly relate, as I’m sure millions of Americans can. In an interview, Cohen shared her vision for Heart Health, which launches today, as well as what it was like being a female CEO raising capital in male dominated Silicon Valley (edited for clarity):
Tobak: You say “Hello Heart” can be life changing. Tell me why.
Cohen: Consumers and patients don't have any tools to understand their health today and we are here to change that. Hello Heart is the first product that basically turns your medical data into actionable information that patients can understand. We really believe this product empowers people to manage their heart’s health.
The app is already integrated into most U.S. hospitals and clinics so consumers can start to securely import their medical data directly into their iPhone and Apple Watch to better understand their health.
Tobak: Who’s your competition?
Cohen: We have many indirect competitors that help patients collect their medical data like PicnicHealth, Microsoft HealthVault, Prime health and others but no one is actually helping patients understand their medical data. We are very excited to be the first product that does that.
Tobak: Where are you based?
Cohen: Product development is in Tel Aviv and we recently opened a marketing office in Palo Alto.
Tobak: Congrats on your $1.3 million seed round. What are your plans for the funding and future product development?
Cohen: The funding will be used to build Android and Apple Watch versions. The next big product development will be personalized tips that help you improve over time in baby steps. We will learn your lifestyle and adjust the tips according to what will work for you, since we know they already work for others just like you.
Tobak: Not to get off-topic, but tell me about your experience as a woman CEO raising capital here in the Valley.
Cohen: Let's admit the facts: Silicon Valley has a very dominant male investor atmosphere; it's not trivial for women to raise money in this environment. But it doesn't mean that you can't raise money, and I actually think that being a female CEO is an amazing screener for bad investors.
When you meet the right investors, you discover that they are five times better than chauvinist investors. They are smarter, a lot more helpful and actually much more successful. After all, female founders have a 30% higher ROI.
For more information visit HelloHeartApp.com.