Random Musings on Healthcare After 60 Days of Meeting with Healthcare/Pharma Folks

Kumar Thangudu

January 16, 2016

Notes on Digital Methodology
In the last 2 months, I added about 300 people in the healthcare/biopharma world on LinkedIn and connected with about 60 of them.

I had my assistant add people on LinkedIn with custom templated messaged. I followed up with them using mixmax and got them booked on my calendar.

Schlepping in Healthcare
I sat outside the JPM Healthcare conference in San Francisco, I wasn’t invited, and stopped anyone who would talk to me. I learned a lot from a ton of people in suits.

The line “I couldn’t help but overhearing” is a very useful line, even if deceptively positioned at trying to learn how the game works. One gentleman and his cohort of hedge fund managers offered to buy me drinks in Union Square, he liked the tactic.

Please comment, I might be wrong. 
I think it’s important to publish these observations and thoughts to find out where my gut instincts are completely wrong. I think challenging our gut is one of the most important things we can do.

Are these new innovations and technologies all that useful or or do they just a high level of appeal and positive cash flow?  
Consumer Genetic tests, Patient recorded outcomes, gathering your medical records, and attacking heart disease/diabetes are all seemingly “meh/okay” problems.

Consumer Genetic Tests

23andme is a money making business, but it’s unclear if they provide true raw unadulterated value to the world of doctors/clinicians/pharma or if it’s just the fantasy of a group of EECS-Physics folks in Silicon Valley with a good selling prop to consumers — “compare your genetic records to a corpus of white males.” ….in other words, good intentions with no positive outcome, similar to venture backed nootropics.

It’s unclear whether anything good will come of the data. 

Patient Recorded Outcomes (PRO) 

Patient recorded outcomes are susceptible to Hawthorne effect. Adherence to drugs is a fundamentally difficult problem and I don’t think humanity will solve it until we come up with a handheld pharmacokinetic test, but who knows.

I was told by an Israeli MD/Entrepreneur that for behavioral health problems, making calls to the patients yields higher honesty rates on PROs. 

Gathering Your Medical Records

Gathering your medical records and formatting them is soon going to become a very quickly commoditized industry.

I can name several companies that are doing it now. All of them very cool. I’m in the process of finding out if they can pull in genetic test data.


  • ManaHealth 
  • HumanAPI 
  • BloomAPI 
  • PicnicHealth 
  • NuskiHealth 
  • GorillaHealth 
Heart Disease & Diabetes

Heart disease and diabetes are mostly preventable pathologies/disease states.

The low cost- high impact antidote consists of diet and environmental changes. (Type 2 Diabetes makes up 9/10 cases and is completely preventable.)

That being said, there’s still a large addressable group of the market that is still victim to a flawed USDA pyramid that deserve high impact low cost treatment options. 

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