„Be disruptive!“: Interview with Tim Cannon

What is your advice for start-ups in the healthcare sector?

In a recent interview for MISC Magazine’s article entitled “Hacking the Body to Hack the System: What Healthcare can Learn from a Biohacker”, my colleague Ryan O’Shea (who will also be a part of M.E.S.H with me) brought up the great point that the medical industry is focused on bringing people are considered (by an arbitrary definition) “sick” or “disabled” up to an equally arbitrary standard of “normal”, but the industry doesn’t show much of an interest in making already “healthy” humans better. We need to fix that, but it may happen naturally.

The truly disruptive innovations in the medical industry will likely focus on preventative medicine or regenerative technology, which will end up being one and the same. For example, prosthetic limbs and artificial organs are already amazing tools, but perfecting these devices will change everything. We’ll get to a point that artificial body parts are better than currently existing ones, meaning that prosthetics may have more strength or flexibility than typical limbs, or that a healthy human could elect to replace their perfectly functional heart with an artificial version that will eliminate the risk of a heart attack. In this way, regenerative technology designed to bring the “sick” up to “normal” will become preventative medicine that augments human capabilities and keeps some medical emergencies from arising in the first place.

This is what I see as the evolution of the medical field, but we won’t get there without the hard work and dedication of the healthcare start-ups of today. My advice to them is to use all of your resources. The X Prize and crowdsourcing prove that communities can team up to solve grand challenges, so don’t feel that you have to go it alone. While proprietary practices and intellectual capital is very important, especially with investors and in capitalistic systems, don’t forget that this is the business of helping people. If collaboration and open source work makes sense, do it. Break the rules. Don’t let the limits of others hold you back. Find people that share your vision and stick with them. Failure is just feedback; it’s data. Always use it to help you rather than giving up.

Jason Silva recently launched his #RedefineBillionare campaign to change the definition of “billionaire” from someone having a million dollars to someone positively impacting a billion people. These definitions are not mutually exclusive – in fact I think they often could go hand in hand. It would be wise for any company to strive for both, but I think we all know which one is more important. Don’t lose sight of that.

Quantify yourself: What’s your next big step to improve the human body?

The biggest next steps in improving the human body are definitely in quantification and feedback. An example of this is a a device called “Circadia” that my team is designing, the first early test version of which was implanted in my left forearm in 2013. It constantly took my temperature and sent this information to my phone.

Future versions of this would be much smaller, and be able to track much more data. Imagine a small implant constantly monitoring your heart rate, blood pressure, blood glucose levels, blood oxygen levels, calories burned, temperature, etc. This data could be logged in real time, shared with a doctor, or even used to automatically contact emergency services in the event of an problem.

By pairing with your phone and utilizing pattern recognition and AI, these devices could help you live a better life. They could identify the external conditions that cause stress (location, time of day, etc.) and recommend that you take a walk or use breathing techniques. They can suggest dietary changes or lifestyle changes, using all of this data to keep users happy and healthy. This is what we are working to build, and we welcome any of you to work on this as well and join us on this journey.

Thinking of tomorrow: Which subdermal implants should be the first to find their way under mainstream’s skin?

People are very squeamish about implants. Many people only get them as a last resort medical intervention, but that will soon changes. Wearable technology and cell phones are ubiquitous, so much so that some academics and philosophers already consider us a species of “cyborgs”. The logical next step is putting these wearables under the skin, turning them into a new category of devices sometimes referred to as “invisibles”.

The body mod community is already blazing trails in this regard. Tattoos and piercings have given way to shaped silicone implants and other augmentations. The first implanted technological devices seeing public adoption will likely be fashion and aesthetically motivated, such as Grindhouse’s Northstar implant which consists of a silicon shape embedded with LED lights that shine through the skin. Once these early adopters prove that the technology is safe, the public at large will begin electing to get some of the health meters. Before long, the public will be accepting of what we already see is the future – implementing technology into the human body to make us more connected, more capable, and more conscious. It’s an exciting time, and we’re thrilled to be a part of this coming wave of tech start-ups that will make this a reality.



Daredevils wanted: Pitch & win at M.E.S.H Camp

Show some guts and show up on M.E.S.H stage! Present your startup idea to investors and healthcare experts and fight for your transfusion of up to 3.000€. DocCheck Guano awards the winners of the pitch competition with cash and glory. But hurry up, comrades, only limited pitching possibilities available.

Don’t be cowards – pitch! How?

1. Apply for pitch session
2. 11 start-ups will be selected – cross your fingers!
3. Approx. 5 days before the event, you will be informed whether or not you are selected for the pitch competition.

All healthcare start-ups can apply to the pitch sessions.


Call for start-ups: 6.000€ prize money

You wanna present your health start-up concept – and win 1.000€, 2.000€ or 3.000€ to realize it?
Apply for the M.E.S.H 2015 Pitch Competition and convince our jury!

Goal: Pitch your start-up in 5 minutes. Be ready for a 2 minute Q&A round.
Needed: A presentation. A voice. And your will to combat.

1. Apply for pitch session here
2. 11 start-ups will be selected – cross your fingers!
3. Approx. 5 days before the event, all applicants will be informed whether they are selected for the pitch competition or not

The jurys’ selection criteria consist of customers/market, product, timing, competition, finance and team.

All healthcare start-ups can apply to the pitch sessions.


M.E.S.H Camp 2015: Early bird tickets available now!

Last year, M.E.S.H had its debut and it was a huge success: 150 participants, 20 mentors, 12 startup pitches, 10 international speakers, and loads of fun.Anyone who’s ever tried to launch a startup knows how hard it is. It takes all you’ve got to succeed. DocCheck Guano AG together with its sponsors organises a 1.5 day hospital camp event for startups in the health sector that will get you in shape. Whether you’re a greenhorn or an old campaigner – any kind of healthcare startup will get a treatment at M.E.S.H 2015.

The M.E.S.H Camp will be set on a small clearing in a forest, just five kilometers from Berlin-Tegel airport. Inside and outside the tents you will receive individual diagnosis and plans to cure your startup scars and learn about healthcare issues.Network with potential investors and other healthcare startups around an open-fire barbecue, take part in team challenges to get to know each other, and enjoy the all-natural atmosphere. Camp beds are provided for all participants.

Startups, Investors, Corporates, Consultants – get your early bird tickets now!

We’ll keep you informed!



Summer mixer with DocCheck Guano

Save the Date: Wednesday, 24th June

Fire your imagination: The cold startup cuisine is hard to stomach, so why not dig into something hot and inspiring? Visit our food truck and enjoy some delicious seeding bites. Guano and DocCheck will be at the Berlin Health 2.0 summer party, right at the heart of Kreuzberg, in the courtyard of IXDS. We will serve you some crisp ideas on a paper plate to help you to bring forward your startup.

Health 2.0 Berlin invites you to a special summer event. We are meeting for a night of networking with our friends from Guano and DocCheck who will be sending a food truck with currywurst and drinks.

At the summer mixer, you will also have the opportunity to showcase your startup, present your services or share your ideas with the community. Whether you are a digital health startup, a company, consultancy or individual, you are welcome to bring a banner, roll-up, an idea sketch, prototype or anything that you would like to talk about with other digital health innovators. We call this Roll-up Roller Coaster. Make sure you bring a bunch of business cards as well.

Join us at the summer mixer to get to know other digital health innovators, connect with old friends, meet new ones, discuss the healthtech scene in Berlin, or just to have a currywurst.

More information here.


Save the date: Next M.E.S.H. offensive in September!

Soldiers at the ready! On 9 and 10 September 2015, group leader DocCheck Guano is hosting the M.E.S.H. Camp for the second time. This year’s member of the healthcare division is biohacker Tim Cannon. His mission: the fusion of humans and technology. His approach: developments that get under your skin…

Get ready for roll call! Our speakers, workshops, pitches, private sessions and complete knowhow from investors and experts will provide you with the right equipment for your return to the entrepreneur front. Healthcare start-ups from all over Europe meet in the M.E.S.H. camp to make sure they receive capital injections and information infusions. Also included: networking by the campfire until the small hours.

We’ll keep you informed!


Meet Tim Cannon live. Find out more about him here.



innovate.healthcare Hackathon

innovate.healthcare is a Hackathon for people willing to disrupt the healthcare industry with progressive ideas and creative thinking.
Here, you are given the opportunity to work on a real world challenge which is curated from submissions from individuals and industry partners. You can rely on a strong team of coaches during the event helping your team to create a serious business after the weekend.

Guano bird Christian Angele is part of the Hackathon jury, Guano is sponsor.

Find more here.


Startuppers introducing themselves: PharmAssistant

Team Logo_Vertical_1000px

1. How has your business been running in the last year?

We started our company in May, and since then we’ve been accomplishing all the milestones we’ve challenged ourselves to reach.
We’re developing a smart pill box, connected to a mobile app that alerts people when it’s time to take their medication.From validating the idea, testing the business model, creating and iterating the prototype we are currently testing it with a pharma company.

2. What has changed since Mesh Camp?
At Mesh Camp we had just arrived in Berlin to be part of Bayer’s acceleration program Grants4Apps. A lot has changed: from our solution that is more mature to our team that has grown, and the most important: our network of partners and clients has been consolidated.

3. Did you take some good ideas from the Mesh Camp into your daily work?
Mesh Camp has been really useful to improve our perception of the health industry in Germany and how it works. During the program we had the chance to talk to representatives of insurance companies and doctors. This has given us interesting insights to the subject and business area.

Besides this, it was super cool to see how you can take a topic that can be perceived as complex (and even boring) like healthcare and make it fun, entertaining and even informal but still providing the message in a straight and interesting way.

4. Are you connected with some people at Mesh Camp?
Since we have worked with them during the G4A acceleration program, we were already connected with Cortrium, Qompium and Parica Teams’, Christian Angele and Christoph Sollich (the pitch doctor).
Anyway, Mesh Camp is definitely a very good chance to meet people that understand your pains about growing a business. We met inspiring and driven people. For sure, Mesh is a great opportunity to see you LinkedIn network getting wider.

5. Is there any exciting story to tell?
We have lots of stories, for sure. Are you asking about Mesh Camp in particular? We can only say that it was a lot of fun, we met a lot of interesting people and we can definitely recommend it to the startups in the health space, wanting to know more about the German market.


Startuppers introducing themselves: Qompium

14_12_10_cardimoni-app_23 logo

1. How has your business been running in the last year?

It all went very fast for us. Last year, we were still finishing our master´s theses at the university of Hasselt in Belgium. One of them was about our app to detect atrial fibrillation, a heart rhythm disorder which to our surprise got accepted into Bayer’s Grants4Apps accelerator program. So over the summer we founded our company Qompium and moved to Berlin. Then, we worked for four month at the Bayer offices where it was sink or swim and where we learned a great deal.

2. What has changed since Mesh Camp?
A lot! Qompium was only two months old at the time, and since then we’ve grown tremendously. We’re still fine-tuning our business model, occasionally starting a new, and are constantly improving our technology. Additionally, we are now doing clinical trials in collaboration with our old university to validate our algorithms. When the Grants4Apps program ended in December, we moved back to Belgium and are now part of the iStart incubator program of iMinds.

3. Did you take some good ideas from the Mesh Camp into your daily work?
Getting to know other start-ups in the health tech area was an eye-opening experience for us. We met a lot of new people and were surprised to see the many innovative ideas. We still carry with us the insights we got from some of the discussions we had there.

4. Are you connected with some people at Mesh Camp?

Christian Angele

5. Is there any exciting story to tell?
We will never forget the awesome presentation by Florian on the healthcare structure of Germany. In true spirit of Mesh Camp, it was in full military style. The landscape of stakeholders was presented on a map and we were briefed on the plan for attack. The goal was to navigate the dangers such as insurers and regulatory approval to ultimately achieve victory by getting our product on the market.


That was M.E.S.H 2014!

How did participants of M.E.S.H 2014 like the event? Hear and see some speakers, startups as well as Frank Antwerpes, founder of the event.
As well: Watch some impressions of M.E.S.H camp life.
Videos and pictures online now: Check the new website!

About the event:
Anyone who’s ever tried to launch a start-up knows how hard it is. It takes all you’ve got to succeed. DocCheck Guano organised a 2-day hospital camp event for start-ups in the health sector in September 2014. Whether they were greenhorns or old campaigners – any kind of healthcare start-up got a treatment at MESH.

The MESH camp was set on a small clearing in a forest, just five kilometres from Berlin Tegel airport. Inside and outside the tents the brave fighters received individual diagnoses and plans to cure their start-up scars and learn about healthcare issues. They had the chance to network with possible investors and other healthcare start-ups around an open-fire barbecue, take part in team challenges to get to know each other, and enjoy the all-natural atmosphere. Camp beds included.

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