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Startup Demo: 7EDU, Jun Lu @ F50 Global Capital Summit 2020


Startup Showcase: 7EDU Presenter: Jun Liu, CEO & Founder

SVE Elevate Stage, F50 Global Capital Summit Spring 2020

7EDU’s primary mission is to deliver the most effective quality of education to every single one of our students. We believe that every individual learns differently – thus, our educators understand that personalizing every student’s learning experience is the key to unlock their unique academic potential. Furthermore, 7EDU Impact Academy has embraced technological advances with adaptive teaching principles since its conception in 2014 & has delivered tremendous breakthroughs in the academic achievements of those we service. By consistently nurturing young minds to unearth their hidden potential while maintaining its position as a leader in educational technology, 7EDU Impact Academy promises to continue advancing its teaching methodology to accommodate for modern learning environments and to provide unique, personalized learning experiences designed for students to reach their highest goals in academics. For more information, please visit our website at https://www.7edu.online.

About Jun Liu

Founder and CEO of 7EDU, MBA in Social Entrepreneurship As the founder of 7EDU Impact Academy, Jun expresses her passion for education through her positive attitude and unshakeable belief in every student’s potential for academic achievement, regardless of the circumstance. Before starting 7EDU, Jun witnessed first-hand the tremendous weaknesses in traditional K-12 programs, particularly the lack of technological integration; thus, it is her belief that the application of new & emerging technology in combination with personalized teaching methodology is key to the future of academia. By combining adaptive teaching principles with advances in machine learning, Jun founded 7EDU Impact Academy in 2015 to redefine the educator’s philosophical approach to teaching by leveraging modern technology to personalize every learning experience for each student’s unique definition of success. Jun believes that every student learns differently, and that technology allows for educators to accommodate for all learning styles on a case-by-case basis.

SVE Global Demo & Elevate Track

is meant for entrepreneurs, founders, mentors, accelerators and investors. The track will provide a platform for early startups to present their idea to a global panel of judges, bootcamp sessions by reputed mentors, F50 Elevate Cohort Startup presentations and presentations by some of the highly successful startups. This the best opportunity for startup enthusiasts to learn from founder presentations and insights from industry leaders and investors. About the Global Capital Summit® (GCS): The Global Capital Summit® (GCS) is organized by F50, and co-hosted with F50 Elevate accelerator, the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, UCSF Entrepreneurship Center, and Silicon Valley Entrepreneur community. As the flagship event for the startup venture ecosystem, GCS finds and connects the next generation of world-changing tech innovators with partnerships to power their long-term impact, especially the ones that improve the living of humanity. The summit will feature 60+ extraordinary products and innovations, and over 700 attendees from world-leading corporations and the global investment ecosystem. The attendees are corporate executives, Angel investors, VCs, and a group of high-potential local founders.

Daniel Kraft Keynote: Future of Medicine and HealthTech @ F50 Global Capital Summit


Keynote speech at F50 Global Capital Summit Spring 2020

Daniel Kraft, Chair of Medicine, Singularity Exponential


Daniel Kraft is a Stanford and Harvard trained physician-scientist, inventor, entrepreneur, and innovator. With over 25 years of experience in clinical practice, biomedical research and healthcare innovation, Kraft has served as Faculty Chair for Medicine at Singularity University since SU’s inception, and founded and is chair of Exponential Medicine, a program that explores convergent, rapidly developing technologies and their potential in biomedicine and healthcare. Following undergraduate degrees from Brown University and medical school at Stanford, Daniel was Board Certified in both Internal Medicine & Pediatrics after completing a Harvard residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital & Boston Children’s Hospital, and fellowships in hematology, oncology and bone marrow transplantation at Stanford. He has multiple patents on medical device, immunology and stem cell related patents through faculty positions with Stanford University School of Medicine and as clinical faculty for the pediatric bone marrow transplantation service at University of California, San Francisco.

Daniel was selected as a fellow of the inaugural 2016 class of the Aspen Institute Health Innovators Fellowship and is a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Daniel’s academic research has focused on: stem cell biology and regenerative medicine, stem cell derived immunotherapies for cancer, bioengineering human T-cell differentiation, and humanized animal models. Clinical work focuses on: bone marrow / hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for malignant and non-malignant diseases in adults and children, medical devices to enable stem cell based regenerative medicine, including marrow derived stem cell harvesting, processing and delivery. He also implemented the first text-paging system at Stanford Hospital. Dr. Kraft recently founded IntelliMedicine, focused on enabling connected, data driven, and integrated personalized medicine. He is also the inventor of the MarrowMiner, an FDA approved device for the minimally invasive harvest of bone marrow, and founded RegenMed Systems, a company developing technologies to enable adult stem cell based regenerative therapies. Daniel is an avid pilot and has served in the Massachusetts and California Air National Guard as an officer and flight surgeon with F-15 & F-16 fighter Squadrons. He has conducted research on aerospace medicine that was published with NASA, with whom he was a finalist for astronaut selection.

Other professional activities:
Founder, IntelliMedicine & RegenMed Systems
Inventor of the FDA approved MarrowMiner
Adviser to the X PRIZE Foundation (Life Sciences), helped conceive and design the Medical Tricorder XPRIZE, and is Bold Innovator for Cancer XPRIZE.
Adviser to Rock Health, Qualcomm Life, Nokia and several life sciences and Healthcare-IT startups
Kauffman Fellow

Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry, Brown University
Medical Doctor, Stanford University School of Medicine
Residency: Harvard Combined Residency in Internal Medicine & Pediatrics
Fellowships: Stanford, Hematology/Oncology & Bone Marrow Transplantation

F50 Global Capital Summit 2020 attracted 20,000 visitors on Youtube


F50 Global Capital Summit 2020 a Great Success!

20,000 Viewers


200,000 impressions

over the last week across our 3 channels, the F50 YouTube ChannelSVE’s YouTube Channel, and NewsBytes!
and media platforms such as LinkedInSVE.io and our Newsletter.

Big thanks the F50 Global Committee members and all the great speakers! 

Keynote and Featured Presentations

Nearly 100 vidoes! More videos of the roundtable session are coming!

Be sure to like, comment and share the videos, and subscribe to the F50 YouTube channel for more content

Search for a video with F50 + Speaker | Session Name

Upcoming F50 | SVE Session

F50 Global Insights Roundtable July 15

SVE Demo July 22

Replay: VIP Speaker Roundtable Youtube @ F50 Global Capital Summit Spring 2020 – June 16


Oana Marcu, PhD, Scientist
Nikolai Oreshkin, Managing Partner, Elysium Venture Capital
David Cao, Founder & CEO, F50
Invitation Videos
Welcome: David Cao, Founder & CEO, F50
Global Economics Roundtable:
Sean Randolph, Sr. Director, Bay Area Council Economic Institute
Dr. Bechara Couchair, SVP and Chief Health Officer at Kaiser Permanente
Brenda Santoro, Head of Global Trade, SVB
Vish Mishra, Member of General Partner and Venture Director, Clearstone Venture Partners
Life Science/Healthcare Investing Trends: Has Anything Changed? Roundtable:
Stephanie Marrus, Managing Director, Entrepreneurship Center, UCSF
Jak Knowles, MD, VP Venture Investments, Health, Leaps by Bayer
Bob More, MBA, Managing Director, Alta Partners
Robert Blajez, PhD, Partner, Mission Bay Capital
Networking Roundtable
Breakthroughs in Intelligent Surgery by Hunniwell Lake Ventures Roundtable:
Daniel Teo, Founding Partner, Hunniwell Lake Ventures
Tak Chung, Principal, NEA (Medical Devices)
David Uffer, Senior Partner (Medtech), Alira Health
Medical Devices Roundtable:
Dr. Xiang Qian, Medical Director, International Medical Services-Stanford Health Care
Peter Lu, Chongshan Capital
John Ashley, CEO DurVena, Inc., EIR Hunniwell Lake Ventures
Prathamesh Prabhudesai, Physician and Co-founder of SafeBVM Corp
Legal Roundtable by Haynes and Boone LLP:
Roger Royse, Partner, Haynes and Boone
Virginia Slutu, Counsel, Haynes and Boone
Jason Novak, Partner, Haynes and Boone
Roger Kuan, Partner, Haynes and Boone
MC: Oana Marcu, PhD
Welcome MC
Entrepreneur Roundtable: Starting a Life Science/Healthcare Business: The Joys and Challenges
Christy Sheehy, PhD, CEO/Founder, C. Light Technologies
Yug Varma, PhD, CEO/Cofounder, Phi Therapeutics
Sangeeta Agarawal, MS, CEO/Founder, Helpsy Health
Stephanie Marrus, Managing Director, Entrepreneurship Center, UCSF
AI in HealthTech Roundtable:
Lu Zhang, Founder & Managing Partner, Fusion Fund,
Dr. Uli K. Chettipally, MD., MPH., Founder & President, InnoMD
Amit Saha, Research Engineer, Advisor, Stanford University School of Medicine, Lumenci
Investment (Ventures, Angels, PEs) Roundtable:
Canice Wu, Venture Partner, F50 Elevate,
Peter Rosenthal, Partner Mighty Capital
Daniel Teo, Founding Partner, Hunniwell Lake Ventures
Charles Sidman, Managing Partner, MBA, PhD, ECS Capital Partners
Orrin Ailloni-Charas, MD, MBA, Managing Partner at Global Health Impact Fund
Networking Roundtable
Angel Network Roundtable:
Super Angel Roundtable:
James Sowers, Angel Investor, PopUp Ventures
R. Paul Singh, Tie Angels, Tie
Randy Williams, Keiretsu Forum
Steve Lau, Founder, Eagles Fund
Moderator: David Cao, CEO, F50
VIP Virtual Reception
Meet the Global Committee Members:
David Cao, CEO, F50
Oana Marcu Ph.D, Scientist
Stephanie Marrus, Managing Director, Entrepreneurship Center, UCSF
Keith Teare
Daniel Teo
Dr. Ossama
Steve Lau

And more **

The Infinite Game: Elevating HealthTech Innovation – Welcome Speech by David Cao @ F50 Global Capital Summit 2020


Welcome Speech script

Good morning, good afternoon, good evening. It is my great honor and privilege to be here, on behalf of the four core hosting organizations, and 22 Global committee members to welcome all of you from around the world to join us for the fifth F50 global capital summit online. This event is curated together by a group of volunteer committee members including investors, entrepreneurs, and medical doctors word wide. Together with helpers, mentors, around the world. We attracted nearly 100 speakers worldwide, I’m super excited that, for the first time, I am here, from youtube to welcome you.

This year’s event was organized during an unprecedented time, a global pandemic. The pandemic has had great impacts, and brought on challenges to our healthcare systems as well as to our society. I, as an entrepreneur and investor, share the same view, along with many entrepreneurs and investors in the ecosystem, that there are many areas in which we as entrepreneurs and investors can use technology innovation and entrepreneurship to help the healthcare systems to be more effective in responding the current and the future pandemic, and needs our scienty

My parents worked in the healthcare system, in a small hospital in a small town in China. So I grew up in a faculty house there. However, at the age of sixty, my mom passed away due to diabetes and brain tumor. At that time I knew nearly nothing about the disease. And it wasn’t until I grew older and became less healthy, that I started spending more effort learning about and understanding aging and diseases. There’s a lot I have learned in the last 10 years. And I have become a big fan of standing meditation, integrated medicine, oriental medicine. I also realized that the diabetes that caused my mother’s death is one of the common chronic diseases caused by aging and living conditions.

With a master degree in computer science, as well as being an entrepreneur and community organizer, I have been always thinking, How can I help with healthcare innovation?

Lets start with F50. I started F50 6 years ago.

F50’s mission is to find and connect with world change entrepreneurs and connect them with global partnership and capital.  Last few years. F50 had presented over 50 health tech companies on the platform. And I invested in three of them.  I hope to help more entrepreneurs in the healthtech space.  Last year we launched the F50 Elevate elevate platform. And among the seven companies who have participated in Elevate, four of them are health tech companies. This year, we anticipate 90 to 90% of the Elevate companies will be house tech companies.

Also, 13 years ago, I created a community named SIlicon Valley Entrepreneurs and Startups,to help other grassroot entrepreneurs like myself. It  became the largest grassroot community in silicon valley few years ago. The SVE Demo by SVE is the largest and oldest community demo event in SV, SVE  hosted demo events in Google, Microsoft, and many other places, Draper University, we had to partner with a dozen Angel networks in the bay area. We started shifting the focus of the SVE demo to health tech and organized more than 5 healthtech focused demo events.

The question is, can we do more? Is it enough?  The pandemic actually forces everybody to rethink priorities. I saw the value in health tech innovation which leads us to see the many more opportunities and areas—with technology innovation and entrepreneurship—that can be addressed. I see healtech innovation as an infinite game, we will need to continue our effort.

This society needs to be better prepared for two things. Number one, preparation and reaction to disasters like a tsunami, earthquake, or another pandemic. Secondly, we must make health technology solutions, far more affordable for billions of people worldwide, especially for people under poverty.

Because of the pandemic, we also realize that the health of an individual is very important in fighting with the COVID. I believe that we together as a society have invested a lot of money to save people’s lives, as well as to cure disease which we need to continue.

Fundamentally, because of the pandemic, it forces us to think a level up, the nex area level can increase innovation to prevent the disease, before they need to be cured,  can we make people healthier with stronger immune systems? with earlier detection and diagnostics, lifestyle changes, and integrated medicine?

Ultimately, we should be looking for is that can we use our innovation to make people feel better, improve wellness, happiness and make people stronger

As you can see, this is an infinite game, We always need to continue. For my parents, to the next generation of entrepreneurs and investors, and never ends.  The global committee that was created  in response to this pandemic. We will do more beyond this summit. This year will continue to attract more leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, and medical doctors to join the F50 global committee. We will invite more industry leaders to join us on our F50 Global Insights  channel every month to share their thoughts.. We want to work together as a community to help entrepreneurs and medical doctors in need. So, more innovations, more technology innovations can be empowered to support our society

For the next three days, join us on zoom. Join us on our YouTube channel to listen to leaders worldwide. We are expecting hundreds of thousands of people to watch these videos and millions of people worldwide will be able to see our message. I am sure you can find inspiration, knowledge, ideas, or solutions, as we come together for the infinite game of elevating health tech innovation.

For my first welcome speech on youtube, I want to invite all of you to join us together for elevating health tech innovation as an infinity game for our society together. Thank you.Published by Google DriveReport Abuse

10 reasons to join 100+ speakers at F50 Global Capital Summit 2020


June 15-17

Zoom | F50 Youtube | SVE Youtube

NewBytes | Global Mentor Board | Flutin

The Fifth annual F50 Global Capital Summit will take place as a live stream on the Internet June 15-17, 2020 with the theme of “Elevating HealthTech Innovation”. The live-streaming of the F50 Global Capital Summit Spring 2020 will run from 1PM June 15 to 4pm PDT June 17, 2020 on different tracks in the U.S., China, India.

Join the interactive session on zoom

Watch free online:  F50 Youtube | SVE Youtube

Watch from our partner app: NewsBytes | Flutin

10 Reasons to Join

1. Global Production with the support of four co-hosts, and 7 partnering organizations

Including the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, The UCSF Entrepreneurship Center, Global Mentor Board and the SVE Silicon Valley Entrepreneur Community Capital Summit Spring Forum. 

2. Significant Global Reach to 100M Users Worldwide through 6 Public Video Distribution Channels:

  • The F50 Global Insights YouTube Channel
  • SVE Startup Story YouTube & Meetup Channel
  • NewsBytes: India’s No3 news app, 15M DAU
  • Global Mentor Board: 6M executive members
  • Netease: largest media company in China
  • Flutin: video platform with 100M viewers.

3. Two Days, 3 Stages, 3 sub tracks, Global Content from 100+ Speakers, 60+ Speaking Sessions

3. 22 Global Committee members 

4. 8 Keynote Speakers

5. Great Speakers from Top Hospitals, Universities, and Healthtech Innovation Corporations

  • Stanford School of Medicine
  • UCSF, Entrepreneur Center
  • Stanford Hospital
  • Barts Medical School
  • Health Connections Mendip
  • Pathology at Stanford University School of Medicine
  • Frome Medical Practice & Compassionate Frome Project
  • Singularity University & Exponential Medicine
  • PsychoBiology Brain Program Ben-Gurion University
  • Leaps by Bayer
  • Neurology and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine
  • Kaiser Permanente Corporate Ventures
  • Stanford HealthCare Caregiver Center
  • UC Davis, Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department
  • International Medical Services-Stanford Health Care

Medical Innovation Organizations

  • Helpsy Health
  • InnoMD
  • PharmaFlow Ltd
  • Healthgrid
  • Hims & Hers
  • Global Health Impact Fund
  • StartUp Health
  • Healthtech Women

6. Interact with Most Active Silicon Valley Angel Networks

  • Keiretsu Forum
  • Sand Hill Angels
  • Bay Angels
  • US Angels
  • Band of Angels
  • Stanford Angels
  • Life Science Angels
  • North Bay Angels
  • Ivory & Gold Fund
  • Sacramento Angels
  • TiE Angels

7. Interactive Roundtable Discussions with Speakers and VIP’s (VIP only) 

Two days of intense discussion surrounding topics such as global economics, life science and healthcare investing trends, surgical devices, AI’s role in healthtech, investment, angel networks, the future of healthcare, integrated medicine, as well as opportunities to meet the the F50 Global Committee members. 

Roundtable speakers come from many different backgrounds including doctors, inventors, directors, investors (including Angel investors), think tank experts, scientists and other professionals.

  • Global Economics
    • Sean Randolph, Sr. Director, Bay Area Council Economic Institute
    • Brenda Santoro, Head of Global Trade, SVB
    • Vish Mishra, Member of General Partner and Venture Director, Clearstone Venture Partners
  • Life Science/Healthcare Investing Trends
    • Stephanie Marrus, Managing Director, UCSF Entrepreneurship Center
    • Jak Knowles, MD, VP Venture Investments, Health, Leaps by Bayer
    • Bob More, MBA,  Managing Director, Alta Partners
    • Robert Blajez,  PhD, Partner, Mission Bay Capital
  • Surgical Devices by Hunniwell Lake Ventures
    • Daniel Teo, Founding Partner, Hunniwell Lake Ventures
  • AI in Healthtech
    • Lu Zhang, Founder & Managing Partner, Fusion Fund
    • Dr. Uli K. Chettipally, MD., MPH., Founder & President, InnoMD
  • Investment (Ventures, Angels, PE’s)
    • Canice Wu, Venture Partner, F50 Elevate, Hunniwell Lake Ventures
    • SC M, Partner Mighty Capital; Charles Sidman, Managing Partner, MBA, PhD, ECS Capital Partners
    • Orrin Ailloni-Charas, MD, MBA, Managing Partner at Global Health Impact Fund
  • Angel Network
    • Jordan Wahbeh, Managing Partner, Bay Angels
    • John Ricci, Founder US Angels
    • Henry Xue, Stanford Angels
    • Che Voigt, Board Chair North Bay Angels
    • Prathamesh Prabhudesai, Physician and Co-founder of SafeBVM Corp
  • Meet the F50 Global Committee Members
    • David Cao, CEO, F50
    • Oana Marcu Ph.D., Scientist, NASA SETI Institute
    • Stephanie Marrus, Managing Director, UCSF Entrepreneurship Center
  • Future of Healthcare
    • Hedley Reese, Managing Director, PharmaFlow Ltd
    • Dr. Minesh Khashu, Consultant Neonatologist & Prof of Perinatal Health, NHS & Bournemouth University
  • Integrated Medicine
    • Dr. Oana Marcu, Scientist, NASA SETI Institute
    • David Cao, CEO, F50
    • Dr. Hao Liu
    • Moderator: Anna Shen

8 Connect with Global Venture Investors

We bring together investors and industry leaders with over 100,000 participants including corporate executives, investors, professors, and doctors from different regions across the world.

  • Clearstone Venture
  • Eagle Fund
  • F50 Elevate
  • Rising Tide Fund
  • Fusion Fund Capital
  • Rising Tide VC
  • Hunniwell Lake Ventures
  • Mission Bay Capital
  • Draper Associates
  • Elysium Venture Capital
  • Jinhuifeng Capital
  • PopUp Ventures
  • Aurora Equity
  • Venture Investments at Bayer, Health, Leaps by Bayer
  • Chongshan Capital
  • Alta Partners
  • Garage Ventures
  • Advance Ventures
  • Ivory & Gold Fund
  • Act 5 Ventures LLC
  • Foundation Capital
  • Cisco, Global Infrastructure Funds
  • Kaiser Permanente Corporate Ventures
  • Lux Capital
  • BCG
  • Gradient Ventures
  • TEC Ventures
  • Awesm Ventures
  • TEC Ventures
  • Bullpen Capital
  • Mighty Capital
    Better Food Ventures
  • Merus Capital
  • ECS Capital Partner

10 Social impact

In the quest for increased awareness surrounding making an impact, F50 has invited representatives of nonprofits such as Namaste Direct and Bay Area Council Economic Institute to join us. Additionally, Markus Fromherz of Sand Hill Angels will deliver a keynote about climate action startups and investing.

About the F50 Global Capital Summit (GCS):

Global Capital Summit ™® is F50’s flagship conference, which is held twice a year. F50 is headquartered in Silicon Valley, USA, and was established in 2014. It is one of the more influential international investment platforms in the Silicon Valley region. The mission of F50 is to help outstanding entrepreneurs change the world. Committed to searching for excellent entrepreneurs and finding strategic partners and investors for them. For more information, please go to: http://f50.io/summit.

UCSF Entrepreneurship Center launched online Life science healthcare entrepreneurship course


UCSF Entrepreneurship Center just announced the global online life science/healthcare entrepreneurship course. The course is about starting and growing new ventures, with a special emphasis on companies that can scale. We feature Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, investors and experts as guest lecturers. This class will provide the information and the tools to help you create a winning business plan and investor pitch, and to understand the Silicon Valley mindset.

Preregister by June 10. #entrepreneurspirit #entrepreneurialmindset #entrepreneurship101 #entrepreneurship#entrepreneurshipeducation#startups #startupeducation

F50 Global Summit welcomes first group of speakers


Follow F50 on LinkedIn, #F50
F50 Global Capital Summit Spring 2020  The F50 Global Capital Summit® (GCS) is Silicon Valley’s largest international investor conference taking place online globally from June 16th to June 17th. The 5th annual summit is co-hosted by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, UCSF Entrepreneurship Center, Global Mentor Board, and SVE.
F50’s Global Committee is the advising board for the F50 Global Capital Summit. Its 22 members include investors, medical professionals, and media partners. The Committee members are calling on global investor communities to support innovations to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
Visit f50.io/summit for more information.

F50 Global Committee Honored Members

Confirmed speakers (order by first name)

  • Bill Reichert,Garage Venture,Managing Director
  • Braj Agrawal, MD, Physician (Neurologist), Investor, Author, Chair IGS2020 at UCSF, Asst Prof Stanford
  • Brian Modoff, EVP, Qualcomm
  • Canice Wu, Vlocity, Head of Insurance Practice
  • Che Voigt,North Bay Angels,Board Chair
  • Daniel Kraft, Chair of Medicine, Singularity Exponential
  • David Cao, Partner, F50 | Hunnwell Lake Ventures
  • Dr. Daniel Teo, Founding Partner, Hunniwell Lake Ventures
  • Dr. Guoliang Yu,Crown Biosicence,Executive Chairman
  • Dr. Heldley Rees,Poole Hospital (NHS)
  • Dr. Mang Yu,Stanford University
  • Dr. Minesh Khashu M.B.B.S, MD, FRCPCH, FRSA, Q Fellow (Health Foundation & NHSI), Consultant Neonatologist, Poole Hospital NHS
  • Dr. Oana Marcu, Scientist, SETI(NASA)
  • Dr. Ossama Hassanein, Chairman, Rising Tide Fund
  • Dr. Patrick Carroll, CMO, HIMS/HERS; Former Chief Medical Officer at Walgreens
  • Dr. Sean Randolph, Sr. Director, Bay Area Council Institute
  • Dr. Shafi Ahmed,”Professor, Associate Dean”,Barts Medical School
  • Dr. Shiyi Chen, Fudan University
  • Dr. Uli K. Chettipally, MD., MPH., Founder & President InnoMD
  • Dr. Xiang Qian, Medical Director, International Medical Services,Stanford Health Care
  • Gary Goldman MD, DDS, Sutter Enterprise Physician Informatics Lead
  • Haiping Hu, Chairman, Global Mentor Board
  • Henry Xue,Stanford Angels
  • James Sowers, Angel investor, PopUp Ventures, Forbes top 50 Angel Investor
  • Jinbo Liu, President, Netease USA
  • Jordan Wahbeh,Bay Angels,Managing Partner
  • Keith Teare, Angel Investor
  • Lu Zhang, Founding Partner, Fusion Capital
  • Nikolai Oreshkin,Elysium Venture Capital,Managing Partner
  • Orrin Ailloni-Charas, MD, MBA, Managing Partner at Global Health Impact Fund
  • Paul Singh, Angel Investor, Board Member, Tie
  • Pavan Kumar, Partner, F50 Elevate
  • Philipe Kahn, Inventor, Founder of FullPower, LightSurf, Starfish,Borland Soft
  • Robert Taylor, Google Health
  • Randy Williams,Keiretsu Forum,CEO/Founder
  • Richard Fang,Hunniwell Lake Ventures,Founding Partner
  • Roger Royse, Partner,Hayne Boone
  • Roger Sanford Cofounder, Healthgrid
  • Sean Randolph, Senior Director, Bay Area Council Economic Institute
  • Stephaine Marrus, Managing Director, UCSF Entrepreneur Center
  • Steve Lau, Founding Partner, Eagle Fund
  • Thomas C. Südhof, Nobel Laureate, 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
  • Vish Mishra, Managing Director, Bluevine Capital, Former President, TieSV
  • Wei Zhou,Centrillion,CEO

Buy TicketsInvestor, Healthcare Professional RSVP (Free)
GCS Spring 2020 Content Preview

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How Edge Computing Will Accelerate the Data Revolution in Healthcare


Lu Zhang

By Lu Zhang Founder & Managing Partner of Fusion Fund | Forbes 30 under 30 | F50 Global Committee

Digitization in healthcare is arriving so fast that it’s hard to keep track. In fact, venture capitalists poured $5.1 billion of funding into digital health companies in the first half of 2019, with the largest sums going to analytics, telemedicine, and mobile apps. Investment priorities have shifted in the second half of 2019 to aspects like digital mental health and data-driven personalization. However, no matter where investment dollars are going, all aspects of digital healthcare have one thing in common: the need for ample processing power.

If digital healthcare is going to fulfill expectations, it must be able to provide instant feedback on massive datasets. Currently, huge files like medical images are sent to the cloud for analysis. Moving the information back and forth creates latency issues; this translates to doctors having to wait longer for pertinent information. If the healthcare industry can’t overcome these issues, digitization will have a minor impact.

Fortunately, edge computing offers the computing power and instant feedback providers need, and it can be integrated directly into many of the technologies moving toward the market. With the lightning-fast processing speeds offered by edge computing, physicians and other health professionals get immediate access to the insights they need so patients don’t have to wait for care to continue. It’s the ideal situation for everyone, but it all depends on whether the industry embraces edge computing.

The Future of Edge Computing

Thus far, the industry has not been averse to edge computing specifically; the aversion applies to healthcare tech in general. Healthcare is a traditional sector that’s resistant to change, particularly around transformative technologies.

Being cautious about immature technologies makes sense. However, edge computing is beyond that point — so much so that it integrates with other technologies and processes quite easily. Similarly, having the capabilities of edge computing makes it easier to implement and integrate all other tech associated with digital healthcare.

Take a cancer diagnosis, for example. New types of testing collect large amounts of data to improve the diagnosis. With edge computing, oncologists can get the analysis back immediately, along with highly detailed medical images. A process that used to take hours or days may take just minutes, thanks to the superior processing power inside each provider’s office (instead of in a distant cloud).

In that way, edge computers are like accelerators, and they’re becoming accessible at exactly the right time. Consider Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital, a smart hospital currently under construction (to the tune of $1.6 billion) in Toronto. Multiple systems within the facility will communicate with each other, and medical technology will be linked and synced. All of this will inevitably generate tons of data, and managing it will be impossible without edge computing (as will most healthcare initiatives dependent on large amounts of data).

Some may object to the advancement of this technology, suggesting that edge computing will kill jobs for professionals who analyze health data, but those fears are unfounded. Ultimately, edge computing is about enabling and empowering human caregivers, and it does that in a way no human can replicate: by quickly turning massive amounts of data into something digestible.

Preparing to Leverage Edge Computing

It’s important to understand that edge computing is simply a means to an end. The capabilities of edge computing are not what matters. The capabilities of present and future medical tech combined with edge computing are more important. Having enough processing power to manage huge data volumes allows this tech to produce incredible outputs — diagnoses, medical images, drug discovery, and more — in far less time.

It will still be some time before edge computing becomes ubiquitous. There are still issues around affordability and accessibility, but they’re likely to resolve quickly once the healthcare industry rallies around this technology. To varying degrees, most healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies, and biotech developers realize they have a looming problem in terms of data volumes.

Healthcare data is full of value, but there aren’t enough data scientists to extract it. As the industry increasingly relies on leveraging data, expect edge computing to advance rapidly. Even if a provider or company is not the direct user of this computing technology, everyone benefits from its presence in the industry. Therefore, it’s likely to be omnipresent 20 years from now.

At that point, healthcare will look drastically different — medical devices and smart sensors will be capable of collecting information about our health around the clock. Technology empowered by edge computing will analyze that data, then alert patients and doctors as soon as an issue appears. It’s a paradigm shift for medicine that could save lives and extend life spans.

To safely explore the solar system and beyond, spaceships need to go faster – nuclear-powered rockets may be the answer


With dreams of Mars on the minds of both NASA and Elon Musk, long-distance crewed missions through space are coming. But you might be surprised to learn that modern rockets don’t go all that much faster than the rockets of the past.

There are a lot of reasons that a faster spaceship is a better one, and nuclear-powered rockets are a way to do this. They offer many benefits over traditional fuel-burning rockets or modern solar-powered electric rockets, but there have been only eight U.S. space launches carrying nuclear reactors in the last 40 years.

However, last year the laws regulating nuclear space flights changed and work has already begun on this next generation of rockets.

Why the need for speed?

The first step of a space journey involves the use of launch rockets to get a ship into orbit. These are the large fuel-burning engines people imagine when they think of rocket launches and are not likely to go away in the foreseeable future due to the constraints of gravity.

It is once a ship reaches space that things get interesting. To escape Earth’s gravity and reach deep space destinations, ships need additional acceleration. This is where nuclear systems come into play. If astronauts want to explore anything farther than the Moon and perhaps Mars, they are going to need to be going very very fast. Space is massive, and everything is far away.

There are two reasons faster rockets are better for long-distance space travel: safety and time.

Astronauts on a trip to Mars would be exposed to very high levels of radiation which can cause serious long-term health problems such as cancer and sterility. Radiation shielding can help, but it is extremely heavy, and the longer the mission, the more shielding is needed. A better way to reduce radiation exposure is to simply get where you are going quicker.

But human safety isn’t the only benefit. As space agencies probe farther out into space, it is important to get data from unmanned missions as soon as possible. It took Voyager-2 12 years just to reach Neptune, where it snapped some incredible photos as it flew by. If Voyager-2 had a faster propulsion system, astronomers could have had those photos and the information they contained years earlier.

Speed is good. But why are nuclear systems faster?

The Saturn V rocket was 363 feet tall and mostly just a gas tank.
Mike Jetzer/heroicrelics.org, CC BY-NC-ND

Systems of today

Once a ship has escaped Earth’s gravity, there are three important aspects to consider when comparing any propulsion system:

  • Thrust – how fast a system can accelerate a ship
  • Mass efficiency – how much thrust a system can produce for a given amount of fuel
  • Energy density – how much energy a given amount of fuel can produce

Today, the most common propulsion systems in use are chemical propulsion – that is, regular fuel-burning rockets – and solar-powered electric propulsion systems.

Chemical propulsion systems provide a lot of thrust, but chemical rockets aren’t particularly efficient, and rocket fuel isn’t that energy-dense. The Saturn V rocket that took astronauts to the Moon produced 35 million Newtons of force at liftoff and carried 950,000 gallons of fuel. While most of the fuel was used in getting the rocket into orbit, the limitations are apparent: It takes a lot of heavy fuel to get anywhere.

Electric propulsion systems generate thrust using electricity produced from solar panels. The most common way to do this is to use an electrical field to accelerate ions, such as in the Hall thruster. These devices are commonly used to power satellites and can have more than five times higher mass efficiency than chemical systems. But they produce much less thrust – about three Newtons, or only enough to accelerate a car from 0-60 mph in about two and a half hours. The energy source – the Sun – is essentially infinite but becomes less useful the farther away from the Sun the ship gets.

One of the reasons nuclear-powered rockets are promising is because they offer incredible energy density. The uranium fuel used in nuclear reactors has an energy density that is 4 million times higher than hydrazine, a typical chemical rocket propellant. It is much easier to get a small amount of uranium to space than hundreds of thousands of gallons of fuel.

So what about thrust and mass efficiency?

The first nuclear thermal rocket was built in 1967 and is seen in the background. In the foreground is the protective casing that would hold the reactor.

Two options for nuclear

Engineers have designed two main types of nuclear systems for space travel.

The first is called nuclear thermal propulsion. These systems are very powerful and moderately efficient. They use a small nuclear fission reactor – similar to those found in nuclear submarines – to heat a gas, such as hydrogen, and that gas is then accelerated through a rocket nozzle to provide thrust. Engineers from NASA estimate that a mission to Mars powered by nuclear thermal propulsion would be 20%-25% shorter than a trip on a chemical-powered rocket.

Nuclear thermal propulsion systems are more than twice as efficient as chemical propulsion systems – meaning they generate twice as much thrust using the same amount of propellant mass – and can deliver 100,000 Newtons of thrust. That’s enough force to get a car from 0-60 mph in about a quarter of a second.

The second nuclear-based rocket system is called nuclear electric propulsion. No nuclear electric systems have been built yet, but the idea is to use a high-power fission reactor to generate electricity that would then power an electrical propulsion system like a Hall thruster. This would be very efficient, about three times better than a nuclear thermal propulsion system. Since the nuclear reactor could create a lot of power, many individual electric thrusters could be operated simultaneously to generate a good amount of thrust.

Nuclear electric systems would be the best choice for extremely long-range missions because they don’t require solar energy, have very high efficiency and can give relatively high thrust. But while nuclear electric rockets are extremely promising, there are still a lot of technical problems to solve before they are put into use.

An artist’s impression of what a nuclear thermal ship built to take humans to Mars could look like.
John Frassanito & Associates/Wikipedia

Why aren’t there nuclear powered rockets yet?

Nuclear thermal propulsion systems have been studied since the 1960s but have not yet flown in space.

Regulations first imposed in the U.S. in the 1970s essentially required case-by-case examination and approval of any nuclear space project from multiple government agencies and explicit approval from the president. Along with a lack of funding for nuclear rocket system research, this environment prevented further improvement of nuclear reactors for use in space.

That all changed when the Trump administration issued a presidential memorandum in August 2019. While upholding the need to keep nuclear launches as safe as possible, the new directive allows for nuclear missions with lower amounts of nuclear material to skip the multi-agency approval process. Only the sponsoring agency, like NASA, for example, needs to certify that the mission meets safety recommendations. Larger nuclear missions would go through the same process as before.

Along with this revision of regulations, NASA received US$100 million in the 2019 budget to develop nuclear thermal propulsion. DARPA is also developing a space nuclear thermal propulsion system to enable national security operations beyond Earth orbit.

After 60 years of stagnation, it’s possible a nuclear-powered rocket will be heading to space within a decade. This exciting achievement will usher in a new era of space exploration. People will go to Mars and science experiments will make new discoveries all across our solar system and beyond.

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Rapid home-based coronavirus tests are coming together in research labs — we’re working on analyzing spit using advanced CRISPR gene editing techniques


A desperately needed tool to curb the COVID-19 pandemic is an inexpensive home-based rapid testing kit that can detect the coronavirus without needing to go to the hospital.

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a few home sample collection kits but a number of researchers, including myself, are using the gene-editing technique known as CRISPR to make home tests. If they work, these tests could be very accurate and give people an answer in about an hour.

I am a biomolecular scientist with training in pharmaceutical sciences and biomedical engineering and my lab focuses on developing next-generation of technologies for detecting and treating cancer, genetic and infectious diseases.

The COVID-19 disease is caused by a coronavirus named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Unlike humans which carry their genetic material encoded in DNA, the coronavirus encodes theirs in a related molecule called RNA.

My research group recently engineered a sensitive CRISPR-based technology, that we named CRISPR-ENHANCE, and used it to create a rapid test for SARS-CoV-2 RNA. Our assay works like a pregnancy test and shows two purple colored lines if the sample is positive for the virus. Using our technology, I envision developing a test kit that would allow rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in saliva within 45-60 minutes at home without needing any expensive equipment.

Current landscape of coronavirus testing

The FDA recently gave a green light to a couple of sample collection kits from LabCorp and Everywell under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) that would allow people to ship out the nasal swab samples for analysis. Patients can take a swab of their nose, ship the samples to a lab, and wait for a few days to get the results back.

Although not an at-home testing kit, the test allows the samples to be shipped directly to a lab for detecting SARS-CoV-2 RNA. There they use a technique called reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), which converts the viral RNA into DNA so that it can be easily multiplied and detected.

Although most FDA-approved tests are based on detecting SARS-CoV-2 RNA at an early stage, before symptoms even appear, such tests can only be performed in a laboratory setting with expensive equipment and can take multiple days to get the results.

Several antibody testing kits have been approved by the FDA that use a paper-based lateral flow strip, also similar to an at-home pregnancy testing strip, for detecting antibodies called IgM and IgG. Almost all SARS-CoV-2 infected patients make antibodies within 19 days of onset of symptoms and then the body continues to make detectable antibodies for several weeks to months even after symptoms fades away. Therefore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using antibody tests for detecting past infections.

However, the coronavirus is usually very active and contagious in the first week of infection and peaks on the day of onset of symptoms. Therefore, to prevent the spread of coronavirus, it is extremely important to detect coronavirus early to block the spread.

The antibody testing can be great for detecting past infections but they cannot reliably detect current or early infections. The delayed appearance and patient-to-patient variability of antibodies in a blood test further complicates the COVID-19 diagnosis with antibody testing kits.

In addition, the variability between different antibody testing methods have raised doubts about the reliability of these test kits.

Therefore, the National Institutes of Health recently announced a Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) which offers up to US$500 million in funding for ramping up the technologies that detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

In the Netherlands, this strip tests blood samples for antibodies against the coronavirus. Right now the test costs 70 euros.
Robin Utretcht/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images, CC BY-SA

How CRISPR-based diagnostics work

Most people know of CRISPR/Cas systems as a famous gene-editing technology that can precisely edit DNA. Researchers engineer a “guide” RNA molecule with a target genetic sequence that serves like a GPS and zooms in on a location on the DNA where a Cas protein, a pair of molecular scissors, can cut at the desired location.

Scientists in the labs of Feng Zhang at MIT, Jennifer Doudna at UC Berkeley and others discovered several newer versions of CRISPR/Cas systems, including ones using the proteins Cas12a and Cas13a-d, which get crazy cutting once they find their match.

My colleagues and I have used this Cas12a-based CRISPR technique to detect the coronavirus.

The coronavirus RNA activates CRISPR/Cas, transforming a pair of controlled molecular scissors into an unstoppable chainsaw. When the the CRISPR/Cas enzyme activates, we know that the genetic sequence of the coronavirus is present in the saliva sample. To make the signal of the coronavirus stronger in the testing kit, we add millions of synthetic “reporter molecules” which are also chopped up by the CRISPR/Cas mechanism. This means that within minutes we can detect detect the presence of coronavirus.

Under EAU, the FDA recently approved the first CRISPR-based SARS-CoV-2 RNA testing kit from Sherlock Biosciences for testing nasal swabs in a lab. Although not yet approved for at-home testing, this is a big leap toward the development of CRISPR-based diagnostics.

While similar CRISPR-based test kits are in development including one from Mammoth Biosciences and others, our CRISPR-ENHANCE technology relies on engineered CRISPR RNAs that increases the speed of Cas12a “chainsaw” by between three- and four-fold.

This technique dramatically enhances the sensitivity of detection. Our system can detect fewer virus in a clinical sample faster with a clear visual readout. We are in the process of clinically validating the CRISPR-ENHANCE technology for SARS-CoV-2 RNA detection.

Increasing the speed of CRISPR diagnostics

Standard collection method for detecting respiratory viruses in the clinic is the nasal swab. However, coronaviruses have been detected at comparable levels in saliva so some researchers are now turning to saliva for diagnostic testing.

Collecting saliva is not only less invasive than the nasal swabs but also contains more virus, which makes it easier to detect with RT-PCR. In fact, an at-home saliva collection kit just received a green light by the FDA on May 8, 2020. In our validation study we will be internally comparing our test between the nasal swabs and saliva for FDA approval.

We are developing a six-step procedure for home-based testing for saliva along with the nasal swabs. Here is how it would work with saliva.

Spit into a sample collection tube that contains dry chemical reagents that will begin to react with your saliva when you drop the closed tube into the warm water for 30 minutes.

The heat helps the chemicals break up the virus particle and expose the virus’s genetic material – RNA. The RT-PCR reagents basically multiply the viral RNA creating billions of copies, which are more easily detected.

After 30 minutes, transfer the contents of the collection tube to a second tube containing dried CRISPR components and leave it at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.

Only if CRISPR/Cas finds the specific coronavirus RNA, will it become active and chop up the synthetic reporter molecules that are engineered and added to this second tube. This part happens in just six minutes.

We then drop a paper strip into the second tube. Within 30 seconds one or two purple bands reveal the results.

The health care provider can then direct the individual to either quarantine, isolate and/or recommend further testing such as antibody-based tests. In our study, currently under peer review, we demonstrated that the ENHANCE technology itself is versatile and can also be adopted for detecting a range of targets including HIV, HCV and prostate cancer.

While there are several labs and companies are rushing to develop similar CRISPR-based coronavirus detection kits for saliva testing, we believe our approach offers the fastest detection. We hope to bring the cost of the kit down to between $1 and $2 so that developing countries can also afford a rapid and reliable coronavirus testing kit.

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Fundraising During COVID-19: How to Pitch Your Startup via Zoom


Author Edith Yeung: Partner, Race Capital, 500 Startups

Fundraising via Zoom is both an art and science. Inspired by Seth Godin’s Zoom call tips, here is my take on how to pitch your startup via Zoom.

Before the call 

  • Do not Zoom and drive, walk or pitch outdoors on mobile. 
  • Fix your hair and put on a clean shirt from the waist up at least (WSJ). 
  • Always set an agenda and share your pitch deck ahead of time. 
  • Prepare all the follow up materials (presentation, demo script, etc) ahead of time. 
  • Invest in a good wifi. Poor bandwidth leaves a poor impression. 
  • Find a quiet indoor Zoom meeting place where you won’t be interrupted (if possible). Turn off desktop notifications (especially messaging services). 
  • Only invite team members to join if they can contribute.  Less is more. 
  • In the Zoom Video Settings dialog, click ​​Touch up my appearance​​. Yes you will look nicer. 

During the call

  • Turn on your camera. Pitching on audio-only mode while your investors are on camera. It’s weird.
  • Avoid sitting with the window behind you. Investors do not want to talk to Darth Vader. 
  • Avoid funny virtual backgrounds.  Ideally show your real work setting (if not too messy). 
  • Set your camera at eye level. The screen should be mostly on your face. 
  • At the beginning of the call: 
    • Let your audience know your children, dogs or significant others may make some unavoidable noise. 
    • Set the agenda for the next 30 or 60 minutes. 
    • Typical pitch agenda: 
      • Introduce yourself and your team members. 
      • Ask investors to introduce themselves and their fund. 
      • Screen share, walk through your deck and show product demo (if available). 
      • Be ready to answer how COVID-19 impacts your business – good or bad. 
      • When you are done walking through the deck, stop screen sharing. 
    • At the end of the call: 
      • Thank investors for their time. 
      • Clarify their investment decision making process. 
      • Clarify next steps 
    • Talk slowly. 
    • Coordinate who will answer which questions. Never great when your team members are talking over each other. 

After the call

  • Write a short follow up email to recap your key points and action items within 24 hours.

Original article published on Edith’s blog

Reversing History, Indian Health Service Seeks Traditional Healers


Cheryl Morales started the medicinal garden at the Aaniiih Nakoda College demonstration farm with only four plants: yarrow, echinacea, plantain and licorice root.

After 10 years, the campus garden within the Fort Belknap reservation in northern Montana now holds more than 60 species that take up almost 30,000 square feet. Morales adds new plants annually. This year, she is testing Oregon grape root and breadroot.

Such plants have been used as medicines for generations by the Assiniboine and Gros Ventre tribes who live on the reservation. Echinacea is used to help boost the immune system. Valerian produces a strong sedative that can address nervousness, tension and stress. Licorice root acts as an antihistamine, which treats allergy symptoms.

Students in Morales’ ethnobotany class track plants’ growth by documenting greenhouse environmental conditions, sunrise and sunset times, moon phases and other observations.(Courtesy of Native News/Skylar Rispen)

Like many people in the Fort Belknap community, Morales, 60, is working to teach herself and others the traditional Indigenous health knowledge that was largely lost because of federal policies.

“Our ancestors, did they know they were scientists? No. They were just taking care of their body, taking care of their people,” said Morales, who teaches ethnobotany at the college. “All this knowledge, they knew it. They handed it down, and for years and centuries. We took it for granted. And here we are trying to teach ourselves, trying to learn.”

Now the Indian Health Service, a federally funded and treaty-promised health care service, is also starting to embrace such knowledge. The Fort Belknap IHS hospital is seeking job applicants for two traditional practitioner positions, offering up to $68,000 a year. While the health service has filled similar positions across the Navajo Nation in the past 15 years, these would be the first IHS positions of their kind in Montana.

The move is surprising because the federal government would essentially be paying for medicine men, or women, to help treat IHS patients, despite punishing and maligning such expertise for generations.

But, perhaps in a sign of how much trust needs to be rebuilt and knowledge regained, the IHS has yet to fill either position, despite posting the listings twice since late 2019.

Still, the job announcement itself is causing ripples elsewhere in the state.

D’Shane Barnett, executive director of the Missoula Urban Indian Health Center, said he was able to use the Fort Belknap job listing to create a similar position. The center, which receives funding from IHS but is run independently, created a job description for a part-time traditional healer in late March.

Traditional healers at an IHS hospital or an urban Indian clinic could work with illnesses or problems that affect the community in a way that Western-based clinicians might not, Barnett said. Diseases like diabetes and heart disease, as well as problems like domestic violence, require lifestyle changes, not only a clinical solution, he said.

Preserving Traditional Knowledge

Because traditional healers were forced to go underground in the past, and the community is protective of traditional health knowledge, it can be difficult to determine the qualifications of traditional healers. They are not certified or licensed positions, like those held by other health workers.

Yet the two IHS traditional healers would need to fill many roles to help with physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs of the Fort Belknap community of 7,000 enrolled tribal members. They would educate hospital workers about traditional health practices and cultural sensitivity, connect patients with resources, and use traditional native diagnostic and treatment procedures like ceremonies, blessings and sweats.

“As an advocate and liaison between patients and providers, their work will enhance communication and understanding of the culture and lifeways of the local community,” IHS spokesperson Marshall Cohen wrote in an email.

This marks a turnaround from the federal government’s history with traditional tribal practices. In 1883, the commissioner of Indian Affairs set up the Courts of Indian Offenses on reservations across the country. The office regularly issued rules prohibiting religious dances, ceremonies and practices of medicine men until 1921 and continued to enforce them through the 1970s.

At Fort Belknap, many medicine people and spiritual leaders were forced underground to avoid punishment, and many families chose not to teach traditional knowledge to their children. Materials used for religious ceremonies were confiscated, and people were taken to jail and sometimes killed if found to be taking part in any of the activities the commissioner’s office deemed illegal.

It wasn’t until the American Indian Religious Freedom Act in 1978 that the federal government acknowledged the right of American Indian tribes to practice their religions, speak their languages, visit their sacred sites and use their traditional health practices. But the clampdown took a toll on knowledge passed down for generations by the Assiniboine and Gros Ventre tribes at Fort Belknap.

Previously, around 15 spiritual leaders or medicine men or women would have served simultaneously at Fort Belknap, each with specific knowledge, said Minerva Allen, 86, an Assiniboine elder who learned how to use plants from her grandmother. Today, there are four traditional medicine specialists at Fort Belknap; three are Gros Ventre spiritual leaders and one is Assiniboine.

Still, the Fort Belknap tribes have fought hard to hold on to what remains of that knowledge.

“For over 180 years, they’ve been trying to blend us in the melting pot of America and make citizens out of us, but we have held on to our own culture, and we have our own identity,” said John Allen, 67, the Assiniboine spiritual leader with medicinal knowledge, who is also Minerva Allen’s son.

He has treated people with physical, mental and spiritual ailments for over 30 years. Today, he estimated about a quarter of the people living on the reservation use traditional spiritual and health practices.

Reconnecting To Traditional Medicine

Morales said having a traditional healer at the hospital would help community members better understand their overall health.

“This would connect them spiritually and reunite that link with our past that has been missing from our culture and traditions,” Morales said.

She knows firsthand about that missing link. Growing up, Morales knew her great-grandmother Melvina Horn was a well-known Assiniboine plant expert, but Morales’ grandparents were afraid that the government would punish their family for learning about cultural and religious traditions or using traditional medicine.

Morales remembers how Horn would pick some peppermint to make tea for her aunt when she was sick with a cold. That was the extent of Morales’ medicinal plant knowledge before she attended a National Science Foundation presentation in 2009 in Washington, D.C., on medicinal plants that grow in the Dakotas. Morales found that many of these plants also grew in Montana.

“I was very impressed,” she said. “And I wanted to learn more and more and more.”

Today Morales uses herbs in teas and creams for many ailments such as colds, allergies, skin irritations and joint pain. She and her husband are drinking tea with elderberries to boost the immune system during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is also testing combinations of plants such as lemon balm, hops, lavender, rosemary and skullcap to help with anxiety and stress.

She teaches students in the college’s Native American Studies and Allied Health associate degree programs the lost traditional and cultural ways their people used the plants.

“It helps them to understand their people, how they used it, what they used it for, and gives them a better understanding of who they are,” Morales said. “Medicine, plants, it’s part of us.”

She also lets students take home dried plants. One year, a student brought some home to her grandfather. As soon as the student made him some tea, she told Morales, he started to share stories about plants and his family.

“Having that medicinal tea from plants just woke him up, just brought memories flooding back, and she was really happy. She hadn’t seen her grandfather so excited about something,” Morales said. “And this was over a cup of tea.”

This story package was produced by students in the Montana Native News Honors Project, a capstone course at the University of Montana School of Journalism. The complete project is available at http://nativenews.jour.umt.edu.

Source: by [#item_author] from Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit news service covering health issues. It is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, which is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. More Read More

Entrepreneurs in Global Lockdown – Stephaine Marrus

Stephanie Marrus

WRITTEN BY Stephanie Marrus Managing Director, Entrepreneurship at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), member of F50 Global Committee

The entrepreneurial ecosystem around the world is sequestered. In Madrid, an investor and entrepreneurship program director at the prestigious IE Business School has been locked in her apartment except for food acquisition trips, until now prohibited from walking around the block. The rules loosened this week; she is now able to venture outside twice a day at assigned times with government permission. In Rabat Morocco, the CEO of a renowned think tank must ask the government for a QR code to leave his house. He is admitted to a store only when the code is verified. In Paris, the startup manager for Institut Pasteur uses a computer-based permission system to go grocery shopping or ride the Metro. The same is true in Moscow for the dean of a major bank’s corporate university. Conferences are postponed or cancelled, trips to Silicon Valley to absorb the startup culture unimaginable and in person pitches to investors cancelled.

What’s happening to entrepreneurship in an environment where we are consumed with finding and acquiring food for 21 meals a week, worrying about the virus and adjusting to working at home with family distractions?

Entrepreneurship persists. Conferences are still happening, online. Entrepreneurs are pitching, online. Venture capitalists are actively seeking new investments to put their existing funds to work. Some investors are keeping “dry powder” for their existing portfolio companies that are more likely than ever to need it. Entrepreneurs are working hard to get traction before their “cash out” date, uncertain where the next funding infusion will come from. For many the cadence has picked up, not slowed.

While life is different, it hasn’t stopped. As head of a life sciences/healthcare entrepreneurship program in Silicon Valley, I need to be connected to all things startup as well as to stay on top of the Covid situation; some of my startups are directly addressing the crisis. So consider last Thursday’s schedule. I watched the final competition from UC Berkeley’s engineering entrepreneurship program; viewed a talk by the CEO of a therapeutic antibody company; judged startups for an angel group; monitored Covid news through UCSF’s School of Medicine Grand Rounds and attended an internal meeting to assess projects for translational funding. These four meetings would have normally required a trip to Berkeley followed by a trip to San Francisco, a total of three driving hours. Instead, I sat in my home office avoiding traffic, parking and bridge tolls. I make more time for online meetings and webinars. Research documents that we are spending extra hours working from home rather than in the office.

But here’s the downside. We are missing the intangible benefits of face-to-face human interaction. Would we have made better decisions judging scientific projects if we sat together in a room rather than connecting on video? Would we have learned more by interacting in person with the therapeutics company CEO than by submitting a question through a webinar chat box? Would an entrepreneur be more effective pitching in a conference room at an investor’s office than online, better able to read body language and establish rapport? Yes to all of the above. The richness of an in-person meeting cannot be completely replaced by technology. Networking and relationships are the currency of business.

The urgency of Covid has changed the entrepreneurial imperative. In the words of StartUp Health CEO, Managing Partner and Co- founder Steven Krein, “Companies are made in this time. There’s been a black and white shift in global entrepreneurship to operate in the Covid world. Companies are reimaging solutions in days and weeks.”

Entrepreneurs are by nature flexible and imaginative. We will survive global lockdown and continue to innovate.

Bay Area Council Economic Institute is co-hosting the Global Capital Summit 2020 to Elevate HealthTech Innovation


F50 announced that the Bay Area Council Economic Institute will cohost the 5th annual F50 Global Capital Summit® Spring 2020 (GCS), with the theme Elevating HealthTech Innovation on June 16-17.  The summit is one of Bay Area’s most sought after events for investors and industry leaders, connecting the next generation of world-changing innovators with strategic partners to power their long-term impact. The summit is calling global investor communities to support the innovations to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The summit is advised and curated by 20+ members of F50 Global Committee, a volunteer advising board. A public presentation including committee members is included here. The spread of the coronavirus has highlighted the imperative for new technologies and solutions in the health and medical area. Innovators, leaders and influencers in the startup ecosystem, like you, are vital to accelerating progress worldwide. This special summit is calling for action to fight with COVID-19.

The Bay Area Council Economic Institute (www.bayareaeconomy.org) is the leading think tank on the San Francisco/Silicon Valley Bay Area economy. Part of the Bay Area Council, the region’s oldest and largest business organization, it is led by a Board of Advisers composed of corporate executives, elected officials including the mayors of San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose, and the presidents and chancellors of the region’s major universities. The Economic Institute produces authoritative reports and convenes leaders on a wide range of issues in the Bay Area and California including housing, transportation, infrastructure, health care, science and technology, entrepreneurship and innovation, and global business.

Sean Randloph, a member of F50 Global Committee is a feature speaker for the summit and will lead the discussions for the Pandemic impact to the global economic during the summit.

Sean Randolph is Senior Director of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, a public-private partnership of business, labor, government and higher education that works to foster a competitive economy in California and the San Francisco Bay Area, including San Francisco, Oakland and Silicon Valley. The Economic Institute produces authoritative analyses on economic policy issues affecting the region and the state, including infrastructure, globalization, energy, science, and governance, and mobilizes California and Bay Area leaders around targeted policy initiatives. Dr. Randolph previously served as President & CEO of the Bay Area Economic Forum, which merged with the Bay Area Council in January 2008, and as director of international trade for the State of California, where he developed trade strategy and directed international business programs to stimulate exports and introduce California companies to overseas markets. Before service with the state, he was Managing Director of the RSR Pacific Group, an international business consulting firm specializing in Asia and Latin America, and before that served as International Director General of the Pacific Basin Economic Council, a 15-nation international organization of leading U.S., Asian and Latin American corporations. His professional career includes extensive experience in the U.S. Government, including the U.S. Congress staff, and the White House staff. From 1981–85 he served in the U.S. State Department, as officer for Asia on the Policy Planning Staff, as Special Adviser for Policy in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and as Deputy/Ambassador-at Large for Pacific Basin affairs. From 1985–88 he served as U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy for International Affairs, managing nuclear non-proliferation, energy research, and global oil and gas issues. Dr. Randolph holds a JD from the Georgetown University Law Center, a Ph.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Tufts and Harvard Universities), a B.S.F.S. from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, and studied at the London School of Economics. He currently serves on the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), which he chaired from 2005–2012, and on the State of California’s Public Infrastructure Advisory Commission (PIAC). He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar Association, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Pacific Council on International Policy, and serves on the Advisory Board of the University of San Francisco Center for the Pacific Rim, and the President’s Advisory Council of Excelsior College (New York). Dr. Randolph speaks frequently before business, government and university audiences, and writes for U.S. and international media on global, national, state and regional economic and policy issues.

As Congress Weighs COVID Liability Protections, States Shield Health Providers


Coronavirus patients and their families who believe a doctor, nurse, hospital or other provider made serious mistakes during their care may face a new hurdle if they try to file medical malpractice lawsuits.

Under pressure from health provider organizations, governors in Connecticut, Maryland, Illinois and several other states have ordered that most providers be shielded from civil – and, in some cases, criminal — lawsuits over medical treatment during the COVID-19 health emergency. In New York and New Jersey, immunity is now part of state law. In California, six hospital, physician and long-term care provider groups are pressing Gov. Gavin Newsom to also issue an order assuring immunity.

The efforts are attracting congressional attention as well and threatening to derail the next federal coronavirus stimulus package on Capitol Hill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is demanding that Congress include liability protections against COVID-related suits for businesses and health care providers. The contentious issue of legal liability claims in health care has divided congressional Republicans and Democrats for years.

“We are not going to let health care heroes emerge from this crisis facing a tidal wave of medical malpractice lawsuits so that trial lawyers can line their pockets,” the Kentucky Republican said in the Senate on Tuesday. “This will give our doctors, nurses and other health care providers a lot more security as they clock in every day and risk themselves to care for strangers.”

A coalition of 36 physician and hospital associations has appealed as well to congressional leaders for federal legislation.

Some legal experts and seniors’ advocates worry that the state immunity guarantees go too far, leaving patients with no way to hold providers accountable. Supporters argue that health care providers and facilities deserve protection from lawsuits as they battle a deadly virus during an unprecedented public health emergency.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, joined the movement last week, acknowledging that the COVID-19 epidemic has “required our health care providers to broaden their professional responsibilities and experiences like never before.” Like other governors, Wolf included in his order exceptions for the most egregious lapses in care involving intentional misconduct or extreme negligence.

“When you are asking nurses to work around-the-clock and the ICU has 2 1/2 times as many people than it was engineered for, well, my goodness, doesn’t this make common sense?” said Kenneth Raske, president and chief executive officer of the Greater New York Hospital Association, which represents more than 160 hospitals and health systems in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

The group helped draft New York’s immunity measure, said Raske. Supporters also include the American Medical Association, which urged the National Governors Association to use the New York law as a model for other states.

Immunity for providers during the COVID-19 emergency “is good for patients” because it encourages providers to work in extraordinarily tough conditions, said James Hodge, an Arizona State University law professor and regional director at the Network for Public Health Law.

It is an extension of the usual protection for a “good Samaritan” — the doctor or nurse who sees a car accident, for example, and stops to help the injured. The well-intentioned doctor doesn’t have the equipment and support of a hospital and shouldn’t be held to the same standards.

Similarly, some well-intentioned medical providers treating COVID-19 patients work with scarce supplies and overburdened staff and face other conditions often beyond their control.

Since some states offer no virus-related liability protection for long-term care providers — such as skilled nursing facilities, assisted living communities and continuing care retirement communities — during the current crisis, their trade associations are looking to the federal government instead.

“Long-term care workers and centers are on the front line of this pandemic response,” said Cristina Crawford, a spokesperson for the American Health Care Association, “and it is critical that states and the federal government provide the necessary liability protection.”

But Mairead Painter, director of Connecticut’s State Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, said the immunity guarantee could discourage nursing home residents and their families from filing complaints about abuse or neglect, or challenging their transfer to other homes as administrators try to separate residents who have the coronavirus from those without it.

“So they might sort of just let it fall to the wayside, and we don’t want them to do that,” she said.

As infection rates slowly decrease, providers should be expected to follow the usual standard of care, said Barry Furrow, director of Drexel University law school’s health law program in Philadelphia, who has studied hospital corporate negligence.

“These immunity statutes do too much, because now we’re settling back to a more normalized health care situation where we have a new disease vector, which we’re beginning to understand,” he said.

The immunity guarantee covers the duration of the COVID-19 emergency, which could continue for several more months, if not longer, Furrow said, so states are letting providers “off the hook.”

Despite the state immunity guarantees, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ordered state health inspectors to crack down on nursing homes that don’t follow infection-control requirements, and, starting May 8, required facilities to inform residents or their families by 5 p.m. the day after a new case of COVID-19 is confirmed. And officials in some parts of the country have begun criminal investigations of nursing homes suspected of endangering residents.

The mixed messages are most evident in New York, the coronavirus epicenter in the U.S., which has one of the nation’s most comprehensive COVID-19 shields against medical liability. It protects individual medical professionals as well as health care facilities from both civil and criminal lawsuits involving any patients, regardless of whether they had the virus. There’s an exception for egregious conduct, which Furrow said is a high bar and up to a jury to define.

“This sends a message to the nursing home inspectors to step back,” said Richard Mollot, executive director of the Long Term Care Community Coalition in New York City. “This is an insidious quieting of accountability just when it is needed the most.”

But Dani Lever, a spokesperson for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, said the immunity law “imposes no limitations on the ability of the state to investigate nursing homes.”

About 20% of the 27,450 confirmed and presumed coronavirus deaths in the state by Wednesday have occurred in nursing homes, prompting an investigation by Cuomo and Attorney General Letitia James. When Cuomo described the investigation, he was both sympathetic and critical of nursing homes.

“This is a crisis situation for nursing homes … through no fault of their own,” he said. “Mother Nature brought a virus and the virus attacks old people.” Nonetheless, he added, they must “do their job by the rules and regulations.”

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Source: by [#item_author] from Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit news service covering health issues. It is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, which is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. More Read More