Digital Health: The Cat's Meow

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Shippo is a system comprised of a smartphone-based app plus body-worn sensors plus, shall we say, a health appliance; together the system reads brain waves and heart beats and then uniquely applies those inputs to improve one’s ability to communicate emotions and intentions. Oh, I forgot to mention, the health appliance is a tail. Yes, you heard me, a tail. By Lisa Suennen (Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Psilos Group)

While I fully acknowledge that there are some great technologies and great apps and even great business cases for the use of digital health products, a large number of the digital health ideas currently being touted as the cure for what ails our healthcare system are far from the cat’s meow (foreshadowing alert).

Too often, entrepreneurs come to investors with products that are cool but are not really broad enough to be businesses. Also common are digital health-focused service ideas that have great concepts behind them but which are barking up the wrong tree when it comes to a business model (foreshadowing alert). While I admit there is more than one way to skin a cat (and, again), it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there (yep) and if one is going to create real value from an investment in the digital health field, we are going to need some new tricks.

Enter into my consciousness one of the best new tricks I have seen yet. I read about it in the Huffington Post upon a tip from my best friend, who knows I am on a quest to find something better than what the cat would typically drag in (now I can’t stop myself). Neuroware is a company that has figured out how to combine body sensors with the requisite iPhone in order to improve human communication and greatly expand positive social interaction. Ready for it? Meet Neuroware’s new product, the Shippo.

Shippo is a system comprised of a smartphone-based app plus body-worn sensors plus, shall we say, a health appliance; together the system reads brain waves and heart beats and then uniquely applies those inputs to improve one’s ability to communicate emotions and intentions. Oh, I forgot to mention, the health appliance is a tail. Yes, you heard me, a tail.

I mean a wagging, fluffy kitty/doggy tail that is attached to your rear end (or the clothing covering it anyway) and is simultaneously connected via iPhone to the aforementioned digital brain wave/heart wave sensors so your detected mood can direct the tail to wag. If you’re happy or excited it wags fast, if you’re sad it sits dormant; there are in-between modes signifying different states of mind. If you have a pet, you get the idea.

» Read the full post at Venture Valkyrie.