XSITE’s Mobile Health Panel Rallies Heavyweights in Wireless and Healthcare

6/10/10

For entrepreneurs, launching health IT startups to commercialize mobile or wireless technologies can be daunting. While there are many opportunities to create companies around mobile innovations in healthcare, there aren’t really many successful business models to follow. Sometimes it takes lots of smart people from multiple disciplines to rally around an idea to transform it into a viable venture.

So we’re bringing together five successful veterans from the healthcare arena for our mobile health panel at the annual Xconomy Summit on Innovation, Technology, & Entrepreneurship (XSITE) at Babson College next week (register here). With this group of panelists, and our expected audience of entrepreneurs and technologists, we expect there to be plenty of new ideas raised about mobile health to get our synapses firing.

Back from last year’s XSITE, Michael Greeley, a general partner of Flybridge Capital Partners (formerly IDG Ventures) in Boston, is going to lead the dialogue as moderator. Not only is Greeley an experienced investor in healthcare and technology companies, he’s not afraid to challenge the status quo in these industries. His firm backs Newton, MA-based PatientKeeper, which has found success in getting thousands of doctors to use its smartphone applications for automating their workdays. (Ask the moderator where his firm plans to make future bets on health IT.)

We’re anxious to hear more from Rick Lee, the CEO of recently launched Healthrageous, who recently told Xconomy that his mobile health startup aims to put individuals in the driver’s seat of their own healthcare, rather than leaning heavily on doctors to ensure that they stay healthy. The firm revealed yesterday that it raised $6 million in a Series A round of funding, so Lee obviously knows what it takes to attract venture money to mobile health startups.

Pam McNamara, president of the contract engineering company Cambridge Consultants in Cambridge, MA, is leading her firm as it develops new mobile health products such as this digital blood pressure device called “Vena.” Before she took the helm of the firm’s U.S. operations, McNamara was CEO of the electronic patient diary provider CFR Health from 2003 to 2008. So she knows how to develop a mobile health product and commercialize it. (For more about McNamara, see my profile, written shortly after she joined Cambridge Consultants in February 2009.

It helps to have a hospital chief technology officer in the room to keep everyone honest about what new mobile technologies will medical providers actually adopt. Cara Babachicos is the CIO of Partners Continuing Care, the branch of Partners HealthCare System of Boston that provides medical services to people both in traditional clinical centers and in their homes. There’s a big push to use information technology to improve care for people both inside and outside of hospitals, and Babachicos is on the front lines of this trend.

We knew we wanted a physician on the panel to inject his or her expert medical insights into the discussion, but we also wanted a doctor who is pioneering the use of technology in healthcare. John Moore, a physician and researcher at the MIT Media Lab, has both the requirements covered. At the Media Lab, Moore is working with his colleagues on a program called CollaborRhythm, which aims to use wireless devices and new interfaces to help patients stay connected with doctors from virtually anywhere. Here’s a link with a video demo of the project. (Moore is the doctor in the video, as one might guess.)

We hope you’ll come to the panel (which is one of four industry-focused breakout sessions during the afternoon of XSITE—here’s the full agenda) with bright new ideas about mobile healthcare. Bring your tough questions and your expertise, because both are needed to spark the meaningful debates and discussions we plan to have. To participate, make sure to register online as soon as possible.

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