Investing in Medical Data

Very thoughtful article on investing in medical data.

Fifteen years ago, I indentified data businesses as good place for venture capital investing. Being located in New York, I found investing in core technology to be hard. Data businesses had similar return characteristics and there were a lot more of them in places I could get to easily.

And I identified three areas that I thought were particularly interesting; financial data, marketing data, and medical data.


But HIPAA has set the rules. And my experience in the marketing data world suggests that once the rules are set, the data starts to flow. The absence of rules is a bigger deterrent to data moving because nobody wants to do anything wrong. Now with the rules set, data is going to flow.

Very thoughtful. I aspire to be this articulate about our investment thinking.

Steve Case's Healthcare Investment Theses

Interesting article in Sunday’s NY Times re Steve Case and areas of interest for healthcare investing:

* Online reviews and rankings of doctors and hospitals.
* Information and breaking news about medical ailments and treatments.
* Software and tools that let people manage their medical records online.
* Health “concierges” or “coaches” who help patients navigate the medical system.
* Walk-in medical clinics where, say, in 15 minutes and for $39, you can discover whether your child has an ear infection.

Near and dear to my heart.

Hiking Progress

I’ve done a good job since rededicating myself to exercise — getting out on the trails 2 or 3 times a week. And I am still having fun.

On the downside, I fell and broke a rib Sunday. Ouch. Doesn’t prevent me from hiking but quite painful. Basically a rookie mistake — climbed onto a moss-covered fallen log and my feet flew out from under me. I have crappy instincts yet when it comes to the woodlands. As a kid I spent all my summers on the rocky shores of georgian bay, and to this day I am pretty good at scrambling along rocky, slippery shorelines — I have great instincts when it comes to mossy, slippery, unstable rocks. I have none of those instincts for woodlands terrain.

Small exercise victory this AM

So sometimes I just don’t have time to get to a trailhead, like this AM. In the past I would have just blown off exercising in the face of a tiny hurdle like this.

But this morning I parked the store at the grocery in factoria (my true destination) and hoofed it up the office and apartment-encrusted hills above factoria. Not very picturesque but it got my blood flowing. And the crisp windy air felt great. Glad I did it.

Today's Hike — 5/20

Back to Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park (for the second time this week) for Today’s hike. BTW, online maps for the park can be found at the King County GIS Center. Earlier this week we parked at the Anti-Aircraft Peak Trailhead, the Shangri-La trail from that point is a quite pretty tree-lined over-grown roadway, culminating in some huge lightly-treed bowls full of ferns and other ground cover — gorgeous. The trail leads steadily down so you’ll have a bit of a walk back to the trailhead.

This morning started at the Wilderness Creek Trailhead on the SE side of the park. A relative low point, the trail from here is a great cardio workout, steadily up with a lot of switchbacks. I ran out of time and didn’t quite make it to the top of Wildnerness Peak, you should be able to get from trailhead to top in an hour or hour and 15 minutes.

Next up: I think I’ll try the neighboring Squak Mountain trails.

Getting serious about exercise

I had my annual physical this week (man I am glad we signed up for MD Squared) and while I am generally healthy, I weigh 3 pounds more than last year. Maybe not a big deal, but I already weigh too much, and if I extrapolate 3 pounds a year — well this is what’s going to kill me.

A big reason for this is that I basically don’t exercise as I find it boring (I guess an early death will be even more boring!). So I need to remedy this. And I need a goal that I care about.

So I’m dusting off a goal that I set four years ago and have made no progress towards — backpacking significant portions of the pacific crest trail. I need to get in good enough shape to carry a 60-70 pound pack for 5-6 hours a day, for 10-15 days, through up and down terrain, and still have the energy to cook, set up camp, etc.

Step one — get comfortable hiking extended periods of time through tough terrain. I got new boots at rei — some zamberlans — and went on a 2 hour hike this morning to start to break in the boots and get my feet toughened up — Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park is close to home, has 36 miles of trails with a mix of inclines, and has a Nike missile site! Found my first blister-prone spot.

I’m going to keep this up. I’ll spend the rest of this summer getting into a regimen that I can sustain — the most important short term goal is accomodate excercise in a sustainable way into my schedule, if I am not still on a program in 3 months I am in trouble.


Been quiet for a while, had a killer bronchitis/flu thing. Lost a week plus to fighting this thing. Don’t get it. Probably worsened by the fact that, 15 years ago, I inhaled an aspirin tablet and had to endure 4 bronchoscopies, a hospital stay, and numerous other indignities, and now have a permananently scarred area in my upper lungs. Ask me for the full story sometime, it has its hilarious moments.

Full Body CT Scan

I’m unfortunately at the age at which I need to worry a little more about heart disease and other issues. This week I went to Health-Scan and had a full-body CT scan. What amazing technology, what a great experience — walk thru your entire body organ by organ, artery by artery. I’m glad to report my arteries are clean as a whistle and everything else looks good too!