Junto Profile: MindCotine

According to the CDC, adult Americans have decreased their smoking habits from 20.9% in 2005, to 15.5% in 2016. However, cigarette smoking continues to be the leading cause of death among preventable diseases in the United States. An estimated 37.8 million Americans still smoke, resulting in 480,000 deaths every year. Public Health professionals continue to assess the efficacy of health initiatives targeted at breaking cigarette addiction; however, no one strategy has emerged as a clear solution.

Classic smoking intervention models such as the Truth Campaign and the CDC’s various national campaigns have been able to make dents into the number of smokers in the U.S., but few technology focused interventions have risen through the ranks.

When we came across biomedical engineer-turned-CEO, Nicolas Rosencovich, and his innovative solution to breaking cigarette addiction: MindCotine we were intrigued to learn more about the vision he had for integrating smoking cessation principles with the technology advancements. MindCotine uses virtual reality technology to help break cigarette smoking addiction. For $50, those battling cigarette addiction can purchase a kit, which combines virtual reality and Mindfulness-based Exposure Therapy, to help cigarette smokers gain insight and learn hope to cope with nicotine addiction. While virtual reality may not be the ideal solution for every user and population segmentation, the design principles and global approach that Nicolas has taken with his company most definitely provides a unique perspective about the potential for cutting-edge technology to be integrated with classic therapeutic and psychological principles.

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Junto Profile: Henry Health

In the United States, 1 in 5 adults have a mental health condition, but 56% of these individuals are not currently receiving appropriate treatment. African Americans have been seen to be 20% more likely than Caucasian Americans to report experiencing significant psychological distress, however they use mental health services at only ½ the rate of their white counterparts.

Henry Health was founded in 2017 and has set the goal of adding 10 years to the life expectancy of black men within the next 25 years through mental health awareness, treatment, and destigmatization. Filled with ambition, drive, and passion, the Henry Health team stands out as a health technology company that is aiming to improve the lives of at-risk individuals and potentially help turn the tide on startling downward trends in life expectancy rates and health outcomes seen amongst African Americans throughout the country. 

We recently interviewed their founder, Kevin Dedner, so we could hear more about the work that Henry Health is doing and their newly launched telehealth platform.

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Junto Profile: Hoy Health

The United Nations has estimated that over the next 40 years, just about 2 million individuals will move every year from a poorer nation to one that is developed. About half of these individuals are expected to arrive in the United States.

While the data clearly illustrates that it is time to update our notion of what an American should look and sounds like, the United States government continues to struggle to address basic ethical and moral issues regarding immigration and globalization. Luckily, everyday citizens are taking it upon themselves to positively shape their communities in response to the changing demographic trends to become more inclusive and culturally sensitive.

This is beginning to change however, thanks to entrepreneurs such as Mario Anglada, who has stepped forward to help provide better representation and access to services for the Spanish-speaking population within both the confines of our country’s borders and abroad. Just last year, Mario founded Hoy Health, a comprehensive platform that is focused on providing access to bilingual English and Spanish speaking healthcare professionals as well as affordable medication. At Hoy Health they, “understand that care that is out of reach due to language difficulty, cultural misunderstandings, economic hardship or inability to connect with the right professional at the right time is not only a detriment to you as a patient but to the USA healthcare system as a whole” and are working to shift the healthcare paradigm within the U.S. so that it better reflects today’s current population demographics needs.

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Amelia EdwardsComment
Addiction in Crisis: What Impact Can Technology Have On The Opioid Epidemic?

For the past three years, I have been living as a transplant from New York City in Somerville, Massachusetts while attending Tufts University. This past Spring, I was once again reminded that one does not always know what happens behind the closed doors of a small town as I sat in one of public health courses watching Runnin', a new documentary about the devastating impact of the opioid crisis. Directed by Alex Hogan, a journalist at STAT, this film explores how the opioid crisis has affected and tore apart Hogan’s hometown community of Somerville. While he was covering the opioid beat for STAT News, Hogan began to contemplate about how he could illustrate how widespread the crisis was and the impact it was having on friends and family members of those who were addicted.

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Junto Profile: Spry Health

In the United States in 2014, chronic conditions accounted for 7 of the top 10 major deaths. Nearly 93% of all Medicare costs are on treatment for chronic health conditions like heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and arthritis. An estimated 195 million Americans live with a chronic disease but healthcare institutions have yet to find an effective solution for care.

That’s where Spry Health comes in. Founded in 2013 by Pierre-Jean “PJ” Cobut and Elad Ferber, the startup has created a wearable device, called “The Loop,” that updates doctors on their chronically ill patient’s health status. The logic behind the device is simple: if doctors can get updated continuously on their patient’s health data, they can prevent some emergencies. Spry Health recently won the MedTech Breakthrough award for Best Biometric Sensor Solution. 

We interviewed Pierre-Jean Cobut last week to discuss wearables, the state of chronic health care provision currently, and what to expect from this relatively new company in the next year.

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Junto Views From The Summit: Part 2

Dr. Swiernik and Haddad have been working together on integrating digital solutions into Kaiser Permanente’s network. At the Summit, they spoke about the three big lessons they learned to avoid future failures in the healthcare business and 4 key questions to ask yourself on the road to organizational improvement.

Dr. Swiernik and Haddad defined failures as “ideas in action that do not work. They may teach you something, but they will not get you closer to your goal.” Their thesis: failure is a natural part of experimentation, and while it is important to learn from failure, you should strive to fail less over time in order to remain close to your overall goals.

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Junto Views From the Summit: Part 1

On June 14th, Junto held its 2018 Summer Summit at Cornell Tech’s newly opened campus on Roosevelt Island. Summits are invite-only events that bring together over 50 senior executives, representing nearly 40 organizations, for a day of knowledge sharing, networking, and collaborative project development. Our Summits reflect our view that many of the problems faced in the healthcare industry today will only be solved by breaking down organizational silos and working with complementary partners.

At each Summit, we ask community members who are doing innovative work within their organizations to share their expertise, with the goal of inspiring, teaching, and cross-collaborating with others in our community. Our speakers share their insights  and “how-to” stories; these discussions have proven helpful to industry veterans as well as recent entrants.

Our first speakers at this year’s Summer Summit were Dr. Dodi Meyer and Isaac Kastenbaum from New York-Presbyterian, who shared their experience designing, co-developing, and implementing a comprehensive screening system for social determinants of health (SDOH). They identified 4 key takeaways of their new screening initiative, based on the challenges they faced along the way.

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Junto Profile: Awair

Wearable fitness devices were the first health technology products that truly made me consider whether health tech had the ability to make a big splash into the average, consumer goods marketplace. With fitness devices, you did not have to have a particular illness or set of health needs to find use for them, which is rare in the health tech world. While their merits may still be debated, it was still nonetheless remarkable that all the sudden one day everyone was monitoring their steps on their wrists.

Ronald Ro and his team at Awair have developed a consumer-facing healthcare product that, similar to the wearable fitness device, may soon be found in the hands of individuals all across the country.  Awair is a sleek device that monitors the quality of air in a room and then provides recommendations to create a healthier home environment. This device is moving beyond simply monitoring the health of one's body and is instead taking into account the large impact that the environment plays on health outcomes. The premise behind Awair is that you should not only be worrying about air quality once you are suffering from the adverse consequences of pollution, chemicals, or dust. Instead, you should be working to stabilize your environment and prevent these adverse consequences from ever arising. 

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Junto Profile: EpiBone

What if everything you needed to recover from an injury or illness was already residing within your own body? Nina Tandon and her team at EpiBone are trying to make this idea a reality with their mission to harness the body's healing power and develop a new method of skeletal repair. The EpiBone team has figured out how to harness the power of a bioreactor to mimic the conditions found in the human body which enable bone growth. In just three weeks, they are able to build a personalized bone graft out of adult stem cells that is ready for implantation. 

With a PhD in tissue engineering and an Executive MBA in healthcare entrepreneurship from Columbia University, Nina has been making waves in both the academic and commercial world with her revolutionary bone growth process. Fast Company named her as one of the top 100 creative people in business and she also is a TED Senior Fellow. In 2017, Nina was also named as a Finalist in Heritage Healthcare's Annual Innovation Awards. 

Currently, EpiBone is on track to begin their first human clinical trials this year with a plan of going to market in 2023 if all goes well. We caught up with Nina to learn more about what it has been like to grow her company in New York City and how EpiBone has been received within the medical community.

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