Earlier this month, Governor Charlie Baker of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts issued a proclamation declaring “Precision Health Awareness Week” to be observed September 26-30, 2016. Kicking off this week, PAN’s Healthcare practice is reporting from the inaugural Powering Precision Health 2016 summit, which was started by Kevin Hrusovsky, CEO and executive chairman of Quanterix. Especially since this is a PAN client, we are excited to hear firsthand from researchers, scientists, physicians and innovators who are all highlighting innovative research on new biomarkers that are transforming healthcare into personalized medicine.
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While we’ll be diving deeper into some of the compelling sessions at this event, we couldn’t be more excited to talk to so many disruptors in the healthcare field this week, starting with never-before-seen approaches to cancer diagnostics and infectious disease and a fireside chat with a second Start-up Stand-up panelist who will be presenting at tomorrow’s event.
Check out our Q & A with Mory Bahar, President & CEO of Personal Remedies as we discuss Boston’s booming healthcare market, how the mHealth industry will improve patient engagement and track the healthcare industry’s shift from treating symptoms to treating disease.
Why is Boston a great place to start/grow your business?
The Boston area offers the great combination of worldclass academic institutions, leading healthcare providers, and a strong ecosystem for startups and politicians who seem to be supportive of the innovation economy. All of these factors contribute to making this area attractive to startups such as ours.
Why are you participating in this event?
Networking and awesome exposure.
Why are there seemingly more allergies diagnosed now than in years past? Is it better detection or does it signify a different trend?
I think there are three factors:
- We have successfully weakened our immune system and continue to do so through our poor diet, pristine environment we were raised in, exposure to toxins that surround us, lower percentage of breast feeding, etc.
- Increasing presence of foods and substances that aggravate and damage our immune system
- Improved detection, diagnosis, tracking and reporting of allergies
As a veteran in the technology industry, what attracted you to Personal Remedies?
I have a passion and conviction that a vast majority of our health issues can be avoided or addressed through appropriate diet, lifestyle, exercise and natural remedies. That is what led me to start Personal Remedies.
Do you feel health and wellness apps have longevity as the industry moves towards precision health or are they a stepping stone towards extending care outside the four walls of traditional facilities?
I think health apps or mHealth have longevity for two reasons:
- The problem with chronic conditions is so large and growing that it cannot be managed without the active participation and engagement of patients in the process. Mobile apps are effective tools (in cost and availability) for getting patients engaged.
- To provide or enhance care for people in remote locations, and to tackle the growing chronic condition epidemic the telehealth/telemedicine industry is emerging and must continue to grow. Apps/mHealth is enabling technology for these emerging organizations. Having said that, we are still at the very early stages of the mobile app phenomenon, and there will be major consolidation and restructuring of the app-producing industry.
How do you foresee the health and wellness industry evolving in the next 5 years? 10?
Unfortunately, how I think the healthcare industry should evolve is so far from how I think it will evolve! How it should evolve:
- A complete shift of focus to research, products, services, compensations and regulatory enforcement aimed at prevention, and away from treatment and drug development.
- Shift of focus from treating symptoms, to treating the disease, the cause and the whole person.
- Shift of focus from helping doctors and hospitals to helping patients! Let me explain what I mean through an example: imagine if the auto industry put their main focus on making their mechanics and service departments more efficient in handling recalls and repairs, as opposed to ensuring that their cars never breakdown. Well, that is exactly how our healthcare industry, academic institutions, NIH … operate. Unfortunately in our current healthcare world, the ideal business scenario for big pharma, medical device companies, and even providers and universities is one where everyone is sick and everyone is receiving ongoing treatment!