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AARP Health Innovation@50+ LivePitch Announces Advisory Board; and Co-Emcees

5th Annual Dual-Pitch Event to be Held April 27, 2016 at Plug and Play in Sunnyvale, CA Brings Together Innovative Companies Pitching Before Industry Expert Judges and Consumer End Users Sharing Real-Time Feedback


AARP is pleased to announce the co-emcees for its fifth Health Innovation@50+ LivePitch event which will be held in three months, Wednesday, April 27 at Plug and Play Tech Center in Sunnyvale, CA. Lisa Suennen and Alexandra Drane will be co-hosting this unique one day dual-pitch event. AARP also announced today the list of 15 healthcare industry experts who comprise the advisory board for this event and will help guide the companies competing at it. Applications are now being accepted and registration is also open at limited early bird pricing of $199.00 for the full day of content. For more information and guidelines please visit

AARP's Health Innovation@50+ LivePitch is a one day pitch competition for emerging startups in the healthy living space with a focus on caregiving. After a morning of programming featuring healthcare technology leaders and visionaries discussing topics such as caregiving, care coordination, and aging-in-place technology innovations, ten finalist companies will present their business focus on stage in a rapid three minute presentation. The companies will pitch to the expert judges as well as the startups' actual intended end users, consumers whose feedback is gathered and shared real-time.

Representing 38 million members, the power of AARP takes this pitch event up a notch. Only Innovation@50+ creates a dual-pitch event that also provides an audience of actual intended end user consumers who listen to the pitches and share feedback in real time, providing the companies absolutely invaluable market data on the spot.

About the Health Innovation@50+ LivePitch Co-Emcees:
Lisa Suennen and Alexandra Drane, two highly dynamic healthcare technology experts, are on board to co-Emcee the 2016 AARP's Health Innovation@50+ LivePitch event.

Lisa Suennen is managing partner of Venture Valkyrie LLC, a healthcare advisory firm that helps large organizations undertake smart venture capital and digital health strategies. She is also head of Cardeation Capital Management and a member of the faculty at the UC Berkeley Haas School of Management, as well as author of the Venture Valkyrie blog. Lisa serves on the board of the Dignity Health Foundation, Health XL and Heart-to-Heart International. She is also a member of the Advisory Boards of Qualcomm Life, Sanofi Integrated Care Advisory Board, the California Health Care Foundation Innovation Fund, and the BDC Capital Fund. This is her fifth year hosting this event.

Alexandra Drane is the co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Eliza Corporation, and co-founder of Engage with Grace and Seduce Health. She sits on the Board of Advisors of TEDMED, the Harvard Executive Sleep Council, and is Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a Harvard Teaching Hospital. She is a member of the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, the Board of Directors of the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC) and the Health Executive Leadership Network.

"This is a big opportunity, having these two individuals with such enormous industry expertise and passion around innovation in healthcare technology emcee the pitch event," said
Jody Holtzman, senior vice president, Enterprise Strategy and Innovation, AARP. "Our audience will benefit from their energy and expertise and we are thrilled both Alexandra and Lisa have agreed to spend the day with us April 27."

About the Health Innovation@50+ LivePitch Advisory Board:
The 2016 AARP Health Innovation@50+ LivePitch advisory board includes 15 industry experts, thought leaders and investors, including many of the top health-focused incubators and accelerators that assist in recruiting startups companies to apply for the LivePitch event, and supporting those selected.

This year's advisory board includes:

  • Lynn Banaszak Brusco, Executive Director, CMU Disruptive Health Technology Institute
  • Cris De Luca, Digital Health & Innovation Leader, Johnson & Johnson Innovation
  • Wen Dombrowski, MD, Medical Director, Northwell Health Solutions
  • Robin Farmanfarmaian, Vice President, INVICTA Medical
  • Mary Furlong, CEO and Founder, Mary Furlong and Associates
  • Shwen Gwee, Director of Digital Customer Insights, Biogen
  • Katya Hancock, Director of Strategic Partnerships, StartUp Health
  • Ayesha Khalid, MD, Surgeon and Innovator; VP Business Development at Doctella; MIT Sloan Fellows Program, Doctella
  • Christopher Lee, Christopher Lee, Co-Director, MIT Hacking Medicine
  • Eric Mathews, Founder and CEO, Start Co.
  • Mollie McDowell, Marketing Manager, RockHealth
  • Andrey Ostrovsky, MD, CEO, Care at Hand
  • Carlos Rodarte, CEO, HealthRhythms
  • Unity Stoakes, President, StartUp Health
  • Hubert Zajicek, MD, CEO, Health Wildcatters

Past AARP Health Innovation@50+ LivePitch events have been held in Boston, Las Vegas and New Orleans, with last year's event in Miami showcasing technology innovation across Florida. Finalists from the previous four events have raised over $80 million in investments and four companies have been acquired. Holding the 2016 event in Silicon Valley, such a hub for technology innovation, is a strong opportunity to attract and feature 10 amazing companies.

Registration to attend the event is now open at Applications to compete for one of the ten finalist slots are also now open. Startups with solutions focused on Digital Health and/or Caregiving are invited to submit their information for consideration.

Press are invited to attend the 5th AARP Health Innovation@50+ LivePitch event gratis and may register by contacting Laura Beck, Representatives from AARP and past winners and finalists, as well as judges, are also available for interviews.

Additional information, including the 2016 sponsors and judges, and programming content, will be shared ongoing as we near the April event. The 10 finalists will be announced in advance of the event. Please mark your calendar now to join us Wednesday April 27, 2016 at Plug and Play Tech Center in Sunnyvale, CA to see the most exciting startup companies in the "50 and over" health technology sector.

The AARP Health Innovation @50+ LivePitch event is produced with support by Adeo InterActive.

About AARP:

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services. A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin;; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at

Newest batch of Digital Health startups -- the SXSW Finalists 2016

by Cris De Luca

When I tell my "pharma grey beard" friends that I'm evaluating pages and pages of startups over several weekends each December, first they stare blankly-- but then they ask "how do you spell SXSW again?"

SXSW is important for healthcare innovation but just like anything else, you need to know how to filter out the noise to get to the core. Hopefully this post provides some helpful insight.

First some background on SXSW... or South by Southwest. It was really born as a film, media and music festival in Austin, Texas back in the late eighties. Many top artists and filmmakers launched classic pics and debuted marquee hits. Fast forwarding through years of some point around 2006-2007 it converged with the tech startup scene where newly minted tech CEO's from companies like Wikipedia and Craigslist, joined important panel discussions. In 2007, a small website allowing people to post 140 character messages on a feed, named Twitter, also launched there..followed on by Foursquare and many consumer tech products thereafter.

Today SXSW is just as much an innovation scene as it is an artists scene. As an Advisory Board member since 2014, I have been lucky enough to help shape the Digital Health and Medical related tracks of the interactive/accelerator programs. Their energy and world tech tracks are also impressive. Thousands of companies from around the world, apply each year to participate in the SXSW accelerator program and it's highly competitive and impressive. I'm very excited to repost the finalists which have just been selected to pitch at the festival in March for Health and Wearables:

You can see all finalists in all categories here:


Breath Diagnostics
Louisville, KY
OneBreath is a patented technology that will determine if a patient has lung cancer by analyzing a patient's breath with parts per billion. The accuracy is allowing very early detection. Its design makes it easy to use, inexpensive and accessible.

Cerebral Assessment System
Pittsford, NY
Cognivue makes cognitive care part of primary care: 1) only FDA approved dementia test, 2) run by staff in 10 minutes, 3) reported to portable devices, 4) readily interpreted by practitioners, and 5) reimbursed by CPT, E&M, and ACA.

Desktop Genetics
London, England
Desktop Genetics, provides medical researchers with tools for CRISPR gene editing, a technology used for finding and replacing DNA in any organism. The company helps scientists make state-of-the-art genetic engineering decisions and conduct their cutting edge lab-work entirely from their computers.

DreamUp Vision
Paris, France
Vision deserves all our energy! DreamUp VIsion fights blindness by providing healthcare professionals everywhere around the world with software that diagnoses blindness related diseases, from retinal images, as well as the best ophthalmologists even in their earliest stages.

Cork, Ireland
Dengue Fever affects up to 528 Million people every year; leading to internal bleeding & organ failure. GlowDx has developed the world's first Accessible Diagnostic Platform; a cost effective, user friendly & rapid solution for the people of developing countries.

New York, NY
Kinetic is building hardware and software tools for a connected industrial workforce. Its wearable device is designed to reduce workplace injuries in industrial environments while improving efficiency.

San Francisco, CA
MUrgency is using the power of mobile technology and networks to make emergency medical response available to anyone, anytime, anywhere with just one tap on a mobile phone or through auto alerts from sensors / wearables for high risk population.

Madison, WI
Redox is the modern API for healthcare. We allow best-in-class software to easily and securely interoperate with EHRs by connecting to existing health system infrastructure. Software applications connect to Redox once and integrate with any health system they sell to.


St. Louis, MO
Epharmix creates clinically validated, condition-specific communication tools: SMS and phone-based "digital interventions." Epharmix interventions align with existing reimbursement codes and quality metrics, and are clinically proven to help patients, save payers money, and generate new revenue for physicians and nurses.

Durham, NC
Neuro+ makes brain-controlled video games to helps children and adults learn attention skills.

Cocoon Cam
Palo Alto, CA
The Cocoon Cam wellness camera for babies is the first all-in-one video camera and phone application duo that noninvasively detects and tracks heart rate, respiration, and skin temperature at a distance, without any mats or sensors attached to the body!

There is also a SXSW Health and Medtech expo that you'll want to check out:

Here is the full healthcare schedule between March 11-15

I've skipped over a lot of key vitals related to "South by" but hopefully this gets you going.

See you on David Bowie Street!
Cris De Luca

Cris is the head of digital innovation at Johnson and Johnson's Innovation Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is responsible for digital health and technology innovation and was formerly head of emerging technology programs at Novartis. In 2010, De Luca Co-founded the largest monthly venture competition in Boston, NYC and Silicon Valley called Ultra Light Startups. He was named 40 Under 40 by the Boston Business Journal and MedTech Innovator magazine and ranked amongst the 50 most influential in Digital Health in 2015.

Digital Health tracking @ JP Morgan 2016

As we soon ring in 2016, Union Square in San Francisco will transform into a sea of grey business attire. When I first learned about this biggest healthcare investor conference several years ago, I was completely baffled as to why the community of healthcare innovation, dresses up like Wall St, for one week only - but then it clicked, this is where the business of healthcare sparks.

I am excited to be attending as a member of a new category of the healthcare innovation economy - digital health.

Digital health innovators are two kinds of people, i)high-tech: applying their skills and tech-knowledge to healthcare or ii)medical/scientific: enabling solutions through technology. Most digital health innovators have never attended JP Morgan so I am hoping to help pave way for my fellow technophiles.

As a newbie to JP Morgan and leader of Digital Innovation for Johnson and Johnson Innovation, I'm excited to jump in and make the connection and see what kinds of collaborations are happening in industry at the intersection of small and large health-tech and high-tech companies, with large healthcare companies.

As I started to unravel the Gordian knot of the conference agenda, I realized there is no agenda (rookie mistake).

This is truly an "unconference". The agenda is what you make of it. Sure there are plenty of meetings and receptions lined up on my calendar already but as I social networked my way through, I decided to compile and share the things that a Digital Health Innovator would be interested in, so here goes the Digital Health Line-up for JP Morgan 2016:

Comment with suggestions to add to the list. I'll continue to add new sessions as they come up.

See you there,

Cris De Luca
@crisdeluca |

Cris De Luca, 1 of 10 winners of Boston State of Innovation Impact Award by BostInno

Originally Posted by BostInno Marissa Wan 06/04/15 @2:03pm in Tech

State of Innovation 2015 BostInno Impact Award details:

On June 16th, hundreds of influential Bostonians convened at BostInno's third annual State of Innovation at the Westin Waterfront.

Featuring the top entrepreneurs and business leaders in Boston, State of Innovation discovered the key issues facing Boston's startup and business communities to explore what it will take to maintain Boston as a leader in innovation. The afternoon featured some of Boston's most well-known civic leaders, entrepreneurs, VCs and local leaders who are scaling Boston's biggest companies and the future of city.

In tandem, BostInno recognized Boston-area alumni who are shaping the city of Boston.

The winners were selected by a panel of judges and honored live at State of Innovation. 10 winnners were selected amongst the hundreds of nomimations from Greater Boston and New England.

Over 200 nominations were reviewed and 10 winners were selected:

The announced winners of the 2015 Alumni Impact Awards:

  1. Alex Gruzen, CEO of WiTricity, MIT & Harvard Business School;
  2. Art Papas, CEO of Bullhorn, Tufts University;
  3. BC Krishna, President and CEO of MineralTree, MIT;
  4. Cris De Luca, Leading Digital Innovation for Johnson & Johnson Innovation Center, Boston University;
  5. Jesse Mermell, Executive Director of Alliance for Business Leadership, Boston College;
  6. Josh Trautwein, Co-founder and Executive Director of Fresh Truck, Northeastern University;
  7. Lourdes German, The Civic Innovation Project, Boston College;
  8. Mackey Craven, Partner at OpenView Venture Partners, MIT;
  9. Nick Rellas, CEO of Drizly, Boston College;
  10. Nina Dudnik, Chief Executive Officer of Seeding Labs, Harvard University
Congrats to all the winners and nominations.


Health Innovation @50+ Live Pitch by AARP

by Cris De Luca #myblog

The 50+ population makes up a large percentage of patients who depend on medicines and healthcare consumption. I had the honor of joining the AARP Health Innovation @50+ Live Pitch Advisory Board and am pleased thrilled to see the list of finalists below who will be presenting at the main pitch event on May 14-16th in Florida. Congrats to the entrepreneurs!

LivePitch Finalist Companies

New York, NY
Audicus aims to mitigate the stigma associated with aging by offering sleek, easy-to-use hearing aids at prices significantly lower than those of competitors. By selling hearing aids over the internet, Audicus is able to cut hefty intermediary costs without sacrificing quality. No one should miss out on a life well-heard.

Constant Therapy
Newton, MA
Constant Therapy's mobile solution helps people improve their brain function after a stroke, brain injury, dementia, or learning disorders with personalized science-­‐based exercises and powerful data analytics. It is used in hundreds of institutions such as Kaiser Permanente & Massachusetts General Hospital, and is helping thousands of patients & caregivers.

First Derm
San Fransisco, CA
On average, it takes 38 days to see a dermatologist in the USA. With First Derm™ you take a picture of your skin problem, send it to our board-certified dermatologists, and receive an opinion in hours of what it could be, treatment(s), or if you need an in-person dermatologist appointment.

Medella Health
Ontario, Canada
Medella Health is developing smart contact lenses that continuously and non-invasively monitors glucose levels, and transmits that information to a mobile phone, so patients can better manage their diabetes.

Boston, MA
MediSafe™ is the leading mobile medication management platform that reminds patients to take their medications via mobile solutions, to improve adherence rates and curb growing health care costs. The personalized application –downloaded by more than 1.4 million users worldwide – alerts family, friends and caregivers if patients miss a dose.

ollo wearables
Oakland, CA
Controlled by voice, ollo is a wearable 4G smartphone that combines a personal digital assistant with real time health monitoring. We enrich every moment of the day by making communication easy and intuitive, whilst smart monitoring software provides constant peace of mind that all is well.
Lafayette, CA
Sharefund is a crowd-sourcing platform that enables families (and communities) to secure help with rides, meals, visits, chores and funds from chosen social networks when caring for an ill or aging loved one.

Nashville, TN
Keep your loved ones safer while on the road with splitsecnd. It is the most affordable and only portable device that, in any car, provides automatic crash notification, real­time GPS tracking and, at the push of a button, directly connects to a 24/7 emergency response center.

Emeryville, CA
Veridrop has developed a unique platform and an electronic device to help patients administer and track their eye drops medications. It is a bold step that will change the way we install eye drops and overcome the challenges associated with traditional eye drop delivery methods.

Zen Health
San Fransisco, CA
Personalized vitamins on subscription packaged in daily doses and delivered to your home. No more pill bottles running out at different times or filling out weekly pill cases. Each pack is customized based on 1) what you already take, 2) questionnaire leading to a suggested pack, or 3) blood/genetic/activity data.

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