Glympse Bio CEO Caroline Loew grew up in England with the expectation that she could do anything. After all, her grandmother managed a hotel when she was in her 20s and her parents always supported her ambitions. And while for most students, organic chemistry is a weed out class for pre-med Caroline actually fell in love with the subject and pursued her PhD.
She then made her career in drug development at big pharma where she built a strong and broad foundation across multiple domains that prepared her to run a biotech company.
In this episode of the HealthBiz podcast Caroline shares her personal and career background and what it’s like to lead a high-profile spinout from MIT with prominent board members and investors. We also talk about sexism in science and business and I ask her to explain why she appears in so many podcasts.
As an anesthesiologist, Jon Bloom was distressed to participate in so many foot amputations for diabetic patients. He vowed to do something to consign this barbaric, Civil War era procedure to the dustbin of history. Eventually, he met up with some like-minded co-founders at an early Hackathon and the result was Podimetrics.
A decade later, the team has developed and deployed a technology and care management solution that is putting their goal in reach. Of course in the US healthcare system, amputations are lucrative for providers but prevention isn’t. So that’s an extra hurdle Podimetrics has had to clear.
In this episode of the HealthBiz podcast, Jon traces Podimetrics’ path. But we also carve out time to discuss high school marching band, why it took him 8 years to graduate from college, his dreams of being a punk rock musician, and what my son Harry Williams was like as a Podimetrics summer intern.
If your healthcare or life sciences business needs strategy consulting, I’d be happy to discuss. We have two decades of experience working with companies whose strategic opportunities and challenges are similar to Podimetrics. Contact us here.
Vision impairment is the most common disability for children, and it’s usually very treatable if detected early. But pediatricians struggle with vision screening. Wall charts are cumbersome to administer and as a result practices take shortcuts and miss a lot of cases. Kevon Saber is on a mission to change that. GoCheck Kids, where he’s CEO, uses a smartphone based tool for easy vision screening that integrates with the electronic health record.
In this episode of the HealthBiz Podcast, Kevon traces his journey as the son of Persian and Mexican parents living in immigrant neighborhoods, through Santa Clara University, Stanford, Silicon Valley and now Nashville. Many of the kids he grew up with have struggled –some are dead or in prison. Meanwhile, Kevon is a proponent of diversity in healthcare leadership, and wants his team to reflect the communities they serve.
Kevon is re-reading (or listening to) a few books:
I’ve gotten a lot of use out of the Watch over the past couple years and I’m not giving it up any time soon. But the Band adds some useful –and novel— features, making it more of a complement than a substitute. I’m planning to keep wearing both.
(January 3, 2021 Update: I have been asked about whether I’ve found a way to import Amazon Halo data into the Apple Health app. The answer is no. When I follow instructions from Apple to import data from other apps, Halo doesn’t show up, which means it’s unlikely to be compatible. I followed Amazon’s instructions to download my Halo data. Theoretically I could enter it into Apple Health manually but that would be cumbersome and not likely to yield much. I am going to explore this topic further to see what I find and possibly write a new post or record a supplemental podcast.)
A few years back I heard that sitting is the new smoking. That concerned me, since I’m the type that tends to stay glued to my seat throughout the workday, especially when working from home. Some colleagues and clients have standing desks –or even treadmill desks!– but they never appealed to me.
The Apple Watch has been helpful in encouraging me to stand up. While I ignore most of its other prompts (like the suggestion to Breathe) I am quite responsive to the notification I get 10 minutes before the top of the hour, imploring me to stand up at least once before the clock strikes.
Recently, FluidStance offered to let me test out its Plane balance board, billed as a product that brings “movement and happiness to your workplace.” Bottom line: I like it and you might, too.
With #COVID19 in the air, I don’t get a lot of excitement. So it’s always a highlight to receive a package on the doorstep. The balance board came in a long, thin box; when I opened it up I was impressed with the cloth backpack. I felt pretty cool carrying it up to my home office past my teenagers!
It took me a couple minutes to figure out which end was up. (I got it wrong at first.) And my initial joy was tempered when I read the label on the board.
WARNING, USE AT YOUR OWN RISK! This product creates an unstable surface. Use of this product may result in injury or death. Use at your own risk.
Injury I can live with. But death? Even if sitting is the new smoking (and that’s actually controversial) death is still the old death!
Although my balance is good, I’ve never had much luck with skateboards, wakeboards, surfboards of anything kind of board. I was particularly good with the pogo stick as a kid, however.
I need not have worried, because the FluidStance board is really easy to balance on. If you do fall off, it’s about 3 inches so no biggie! It does provide a nice stimulus –better than just standing on the floor, and it’s easy to swivel around, too, should the temptation strike you.
I didn’t want to risk messing up my hardwood floor, so I put a mat under my chair. It protects the floor but does make it a little harder to swivel. When I’m not standing (which is still most of the time) I put my feet on it and use it as a footrest.
I’ve always done audio conference calls, but the pandemic seems to be pushing what would have been in-person meetings and even many phone calls into the video realm. Since I’m not even walking from one conference room to another, I’m sitting even more and am making an effort to stand.
The balance board is good to stand on during conference calls, but it presents a couple of challenges. For audio, I’m a bit far from the speaker phone –but I’ve checked with others and my sound seems good. But for video calls my head ends up out of camera range, even if I tilt the monitor up. I could probably do something about that with a webcam or mounting my laptop on a shelf, but I haven’t. These are minor annoyances but it means I don’t use the board as much as I might like to.
I’m not sure whether there are measurable benefits from using the balance board, but in any event I do like it and plan to keep using it. The literature that came with the deck said, “We aim to blur the lines between work and play, making work a more fluid and natural part of our whole lives.” I can feel that.
The FluidStance product is very well built. It’s solid, attractive and durable. Built in California, it’s well positioned to ride the de-globalization that seems likely post-COVID.