Activity-tracking Sensor System: Older Adults Home Alone

ATHSS_cover1_webMary Hulme (a geriatric consultant and dementia care specialist) and I just published a non-fiction e-Book (on “Activity-tracking Home Sensor Systems“). If you are at all interested in the topic, we would love it if you would check it out. 🙂 We did a lot of research on this new class of products, that are designed to go in the home of a senior who lives by his/herself and help keep them safe. We think of this as the home that watches over your parent. We learned a lot about which products work, which ones don’t, and most importantly which ones work best for specific life circumstances. We decided this might be useful for others in our situation, and wanted to make this information (which took a lot of work to collect) available for others. In brief, we found there are a lot of these products and they all seem quite similar at first glance, but that in fact they vary quite a bit, with some being suitable for certain situations, and other life situations needing quite different products. [Read more…]

Mentoring Lean healthcare startups @ UCSF. Fascinating.

I am a mentor at present in Steve Blanks course at UCSF on lean startup methodology for healthcare startups. It’s fascinating to see the methodology being deployed simultaneously across a whole cohort of startups.

The main takeaway is just how rapidly the “get out of the building” approach leads to important insights by the entrepreneur. The second takeaway for me is that this cohort approach, including a lot of learning from peers, works extremely well. [Read more…]

Crowdfunding done right: Scanadu’s tricorder

I’ve been excited about the potential of crowdfunding for quite a while (here and here). The campaign that launched this morning on Indiegogo by Scanadu (developing a Tricorder) is a good example of a campaign done right, and shows the potential of this approach.
Scanadu on IndieGoGo

  1. The campaign reached its goal of $100K in 2 hours.
  2. It’s up to $240K as I write this and day 1 is not ended.
  3. 1200+ people already pre-bought the product as a result of this campaign, thus doing a great job of validating that (some) people will buy it. Frankly, this is probably more important than the capital.

BUT, …. this is by no means a “typical” crowd funding result. What are the lessons? [Read more…]

“Lean” medical device, cleantech, telco startups

The Lean Startup movement is a good example of the new internet-company methodologies mentioned in my last post. I got around to reading Eric Ries’ book over Thanksgiving. I liked it a lot, and I have been mulling over what its lessons are for non-internet businesses – particularly for the sort of science-based business I am interested in (medical devices, cleantech, telecom infrastructure).

Does “Lean” need tweaking for science-based startups?

It seems to me that there are several important topics here:

  • Regulation.
  • The number of available early adopters, and ease/cost of access.
  • Speed of each iteration cycle.
  • Metrics.

[Read more…]

Finding the killer app for that hot technology

Especially for the vast reservoir of cutting edge technology developed in places like the US national laboratories, a big challenge is often figuring out creative new “killer applications” for a technology, originally developed for non-commercial applications (eg military, space, etc). This post is about some recent success we had at the Acceleration Co-op in this area. [Read more…]

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