Tech Tonics show

Tech Tonics

Summary: Tech Tonics, the Podcast, is a twice-monthly program focused on the people and passion at the intersection of technology and health. Hosted by Lisa Suennen and David Shaywitz (the co-authors of “Tech Tonics: Can Passionate Entrepreneurs Heal Healthcare With Technology?”) the show draws on their experience in business, medicine, and health-IT. The Tech Tonics podcast seeks to bring the people in the digital health field to life and, ideally, elevate humanism in a healthcare world captivated by technology. “We deeply believe in what Robert Coles, an inspiration to us both, has termed ‘the call of stories,’” Shaywitz says. Adds Suennen, “Our aspiration is to bring the spirit of Coles and Michael Lewis to the world of digital health.” Together, Suennen and Shaywitz engage a range of intriguing guests in discussions that enable listeners to appreciate the stories behind the startups and the people behind the passion. Lisa Suennen is the Managing Partner of Venture Valkyrie Consulting, LLC, a firm that provides advisory services to corporate and independent venture capital funds and to large and small companies around investment and product strategy, innovation spin-outs, market development, partnerships and financing. She is currently a member of the Qualcomm Life Advisory Board, the Sanofi Integrated Care Advisory Board, the Dignity Health Foundation Board, and an Advisor to the California Health Care Foundation Innovation Fund and a member of several private company Boards of Directors. Dr. David Shaywitz is the Chief Medical Officer of DNAnexus, a company that makes it easier to work with genomic data using advanced bioinformatics and scalable compute systems based on the cloud. He received his M.D. from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health, Science, and Technology at Harvard Medical School, and his Ph.D. from the Department of Biology at MIT. He trained in internal medicine and endocrinology at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and conducted his post-doctoral research in Doug Melton’s lab at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. Tech Tonics, the Podcast is produced by Jason Lopez and syndicated by Connected Social Media. You can also find out more at and

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 Tech Tonics: iRhythm’s Uday Kumar… What Makes Him Tick | File Type: | Duration: Unknown

The medical device company iRhythm has been described as that rarest of all breeds – a digital health company with an actual, viable business model behind it. On today’s Tech Tonics podcast, we’re delighted to welcome Uday Kumar, the cardiologist and serial entrepreneur who started the company in his apartment, and learn what makes him […]

 Tech Tonics: Data Scientist Eric Perakslis, “I Build Stuff.” | File Type: | Duration: Unknown

“I build stuff” is how data scientist Eric Perakslis modestly describes his breathless career, a journey that’s taken him from industry to academia and back again, with a brief stop at the FDA. Eric’s first job after college was at a small combinatorial chemistry startup in Boston, but he was soon recruited to J&J, where […]

 Tech Tonics: Jan Bruce and the Science of Resilience | File Type: | Duration: Unknown

When you ask Jan Bruce where she grew up, she says “in the media business.” Jan worked early on in the magazine and then digital media sectors, backing into the health and wellness category through opportunity. She planned a career as editor and publisher but always found herself gravitating to selling the advertising rather than […]

 Tech Tonics: Jess Mega of Verily Actually Is Making the World a Better Place | File Type: | Duration: Unknown

Jessica Mega, an accomplished cardiologist and now Chief Medical Officer at Alphabet’s Verily (formerly Google Life Sciences), says she joined the venerable Silicon Valley company to help patients. According to Jess, physicians who love patients need to lean into the tech world because great tech that doesn’t actually change care doesn’t have much of a […]

 Tech Tonics: Deborah Kilpatrick – Calling Audibles | File Type: | Duration: Unknown

Deborah Kilpatrick grew up on a family farm in rural Georgia; her dad was a teacher and football coach; she describes life in her town as “very Friday Night Lights.” With a passion for math and science, Deb decided to becoming a Ramblin’ Wreck at Georgia Tech, continuing on there for a masters and PhD […]

 Tech Tonics: The Intersection of Medicine and Marijuana | File Type: | Duration: Unknown

Reports suggest that today there are between 1.2 to 2.6 million legal medical marijuana users in the U.S. But as we know, there is great controversy about medical marijuana as a “legitimate” medical intervention due to its history as an illegal substance and the lack of a large body of clinical trial evidence. And yet, […]

 Tech Tonics: Chris Benko, From Fortune 100 to Fortune Seeker | File Type: | Duration: Unknown

Chris Benko first joined Merck when he was but a lad of eighteen, rising through the ranks in HR and talent management to become one of the youngest VPs in the history of the organization, at the age of 34. But instead of continuing his ascending career into the senior ranks of biopharma, Chris opted […]

 Tech Tonics: Susannah Fox, Learning from MacGyver Patients | File Type: | Duration: Unknown

Susannah Fox eloquently described her job as U.S. HHS Chief Technology Officer – a role which just came to an end in the transition to a new administration – as “helping Health and Human Service (HHS) leadership harness the power of data, technology, and innovation to improve the health and welfare of the nation.” It […]

 Tech Tonics: Sridhar Iyengar on IoT Meets Life Science Research | File Type: | Duration: Unknown

Many entrepreneurs and investors on our podcast advise would-be innovators to focus on the problem to be solved, rather than become wrapped up in a particular technology. “Your solution,” VC Dave McClure famously warned entrepreneurs, “Is not my problem.” On the other hand, many scientists – and students of science – have emphasized the pivotal […]

 Tech Tonics: Rasu Shrestha – Living Inside the Culture Clash | File Type: | Duration: Unknown

Rasu Shrestha, MD, is one of those doctors who found his way from medicine to technology. As he puts it, he rolled downhill from his birthplace in Kathmandu, Nepal, across many continents and into medical school in India. But Rasu kept rolling, finding his way to London, Los Angeles and then Pittsburgh where he now […]

 Tech Tonics: Vishal Gulati, VC and Agitator By Nature | File Type: | Duration: Unknown

Vishal Gulati says he was “genetically predisposed to be a doctor.” But as it turns out, he was born to be a pioneer in open data, digital health and global venture capital. During his medical training, Vishal realized that the practice of one doctor seeing one patient at a time just wasn’t scalable. Rather than […]

 Tech Tonics: Taha Kass-Hout – OpenFDA, Open Mind, Open Heart | File Type: | Duration: Unknown

A cardiologist by training and a data scientist long before it was sexy, Dr. Taha Kass-Hout demonstrates the outsized impact possible when heart, vision, and passion meet commitment to government service, and beyond. Originally from Syria, Taha discovered his love of computers and programming at a very early age. The son of an architect, he […]

 Tech Tonics: The Most Interesting Man in Silicon Valley | File Type: | Duration: Unknown

Jazz musician, cardiologist, geneticist, engineer, entrepreneur, referee of kids soccer: our guest today, Stanford’s Euan Ashley, does it all, and just might be the most interesting man in Silicon Valley. Scotsman by birth, doctor by destiny, and a technologist by choice, Euan has pursued an integrative career that merges medicine and data, and is a […]

 Tech Tonics: Jody Holtzman of AARP – Innovation is Not Only for the Young | File Type: | Duration: Unknown

Jody Holtzman, Senior Vice President of Market Innovation at AARP, has a favorite quote, which is Thomas Edison’s, “…there are no rules here – – we’re trying to accomplish something.” He has certainly brought that idea to life as he has built an ever-increasing awareness of the business opportunity afforded to entrepreneurs by serving the […]

 Tech Tonics: Speaking Health Care in Spanish with Abner Mason | File Type: | Duration: Unknown

The U.S. healthcare system was designed primarily based on our understanding of the biological and social needs of white men. Of course, our current experience tells us that society is far more complex and that the system must recognize and respond to a diversity of gender, culture, language and other biopsychosocial factors to be truly […]


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