The Digital Health Update by Paul Sonnier ⋅ Jul 22, 2017 ⋅ #284

I made this announcement to 57,242 members of the Digital Health group on LinkedIn. If you’re on LinkedIn, please do join the group, which allows you to opt in to receiving these announcements in addition to connecting with thousands of other global stakeholders in digital health. Note that I will continue to update this announcement up until sending out the final version via LinkedIn. I’m also now using Constant Contact to send an html and image-rich version of my announcements. You can subscribe to that version here.

The Digital Health Update by Paul Sonnier ⋅ Jul 22, 2017 ⋅ #284

Dear Group,

A major publisher is interested in a book I’ve proposed on digital health. As is often the case with new authors, they’ve asked for a pre-commitment from me on the number of copies that will be sold. As a social entrepreneur, I’m not in a position to do this, but they do offer a sponsored/branded custom print option. This means that a company or organization would have its logo and information displayed both on the cover and inside the book. Distribution (hard copy/print and digital) will be global, with the top addressable markets of the top professional fields — healthcare, pharma, medical devices, health & fitness, and IT — totaling tens of millions of readers. In addition to the B2B audience, this is also a consumer and student-friendly book, which means that total readership potential is in the hundreds of millions.

My mission is to educate and catalyze digital health, globally. If your company or organization shares this goal, please do reach out to me for more information on this keystone sponsorship opportunity. Note that, due to cost considerations, this is most likely a fit for a large corporation or nonprofit, not a startup or small organization with limited marketing budget.

I’ve published one issue of The Digital Health Newsletter since last week’s group announcement. I’ve copied and pasted the text from the newsletter below for better web-search (SEO) and archival purposes.

Also, please note that I’m seeking a direct role with a company or organization that would, ideally, complement and leverage all that I’ve built and am doing, including my keynote speaking, weekly newsletter, Digital Health LinkedIn group management/curation, and contributing editor role at Innovation and Tech Today. My professional bio is viewable here. Please contact me if you see a potential fit or would like to advertise in my announcements, newsletter, and website. Please do not contact me with partnering, equity-only, or commission-type offers.

The Digital Health Newsletter for July 15

Leading up to potential FDA approval, Novartis has received the unanimous  support of a federal advisory panel for its pioneering new gene therapy cancer drug. The drug is intended to treat relapsed B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (the most common type of childhood cancer) and works by harnessing the body’s immune cells to attack malignant cells. In testing, 83% of patients for whom chemotherapy did not work the first time — or who had recurrent cancer — saw partial or complete remission. Moreover, 79% of patients were still alive after 1 year as compared to the typical survival rate of just 16-30%.

A study published in JAMA confirms that women with the BRCA1 or BRCA2 inherited gene mutation do have an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer. These two genes code for proteins essential for cells to repair damaged DNA. The magnitude of risk was also found to be influenced by the location of the mutations within the genes and family history of cancer. According to  Montserrat García-Closas, MD, DrPH, deputy director of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG), a research program of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), “This study has confirmed estimates of the risk of developing cancer for women who are mutation carriers — that confirmation is reassuring for both women and the health care team who make important care decisions.”


Sixth-grader Gitanjali Rao said she was appalled by the fact that there wasn’t a fast, easy, and inexpensive solution to detect lead in drinking water. So she invented one.

Researchers have 3D-printed a soft artificial heart that works similar to a real one. The silicone ventricles that pump the blood may be less likely to damage blood.


Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle company Goop posted a blog post attempting to defend itself against Dr. Jen Gunter’s criticism of the health risks related to jade eggs for the vagina. Dr. Gunter responded in kind with a post of her own ” GOOP’s misogynistic, mansplaining hit job“, which includes this gem: “The editors at GOOP find me “strangely confident” in my “assertion that putting a crystal in your vagina for pelvic-floor strengthening exercises would put you in danger of getting Toxic Shock Syndrome—even though there is no study/case/report which links the two.” I am not strangely confident about vaginal health, I am appropriately confident because I am the expert. I did 4 years of medical school, a 5 year OB/GYN residency, a 1 year fellowship in infectious diseases, I am board certified in OB/GYN in 2 countries, I am board certified by the American Board of Pain Medicine and the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in Pain Medicine and I am appropriately styled Dr. Jen Gunter MD, FRCS(C), FACOG, DABPM, ABPM (pain). A woman with no medical training who tells women to walk around with a jade egg in their vaginas all day, a jade egg that they can recharge with the energy of the moon no less, is the strangely confident one.”

When Madalyn Parker sent an email to her coworkers indicating that she was taking sick days for mental health reasons, the response she received from her CEO was positive. As Parker told CNN, “I was absolutely touched. It brought tears to my eyes. It was surprising to be applauded for my vulnerability.” Madalyn suffers from chronic anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The United States Border Patrol now says that it won’t search travelers’ cloud data. The clarification was a response to questions by Senator Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, who called the practice of agents asking American citizens to give their passwords for access to their social media accounts “deeply troubling” and that “Americans’ constitutional rights shouldn’t disappear at the border.” The agency says that it can still search electronic devices without consent or a warrant. The Border Patrol has not provided statistics on the number of cell phone searches conducted that were made at the request of other government agencies, such as the FBI and DEA.

Reporting in The Guardian, Ben Tarnoff says that social media is  playing a powerful role in helping emerging movements unite against the elites. As Tarnoff states, “he mainstream media tends to be hostile to the left: proximity to power often leads journalists to internalize the perspectives of society’s most powerful people. The result is a public sphere that sets narrow parameters for permissible political discourse, and ignores or vilifies those who step outside of them. That’s why social media is indispensable: it provides a space for incubating new kinds of political thinking, and new forms of political identity, that would be inadmissible in more established channels.”

New research by scientists at Michigan State University suggests that laptops don’t enhance classroom learning and that students would be better off not having them in class at all. Cited as issues were distractions from social media, YouTube videos, instant messaging, plus other nonacademic content, which can consume about 33% of a student’s attention and time in class.


new, FDA-approval pending system from Abbott & Bigfoot Biomedical would help diabetics avoid finger pricks. Named “FreeStyle Libre”, the system combines several technologies to monitor glucose levels and calculate how much insulin a patient should take. Abbott currently sells a 14-day wearable glucose sensor that is designed to be worn on the back of the arm and does not require patients to prick their fingers for calibration. A hand-held reader is placed near the device to read the measurements. The new system would integrate with a smartphone app and might also automatically administer insulin from a pump. (Here is my tweet and LinkedIn post.)

Writing in Cult of Mac, Graham Bower says that “Apple’s Workout app is perfect, except for one thing“. I don’t want to spoil the point of the article, so you’ll have to read it for yourself to uncover the mystery.


Researchers at Harvard used the CRISPR gene-editing system to insert an animated GIF image into the genomes of living E. coli bacteria. It’s possible that, by using living cells to store data, you might carry around data embedded in your skin.

“Enjoying the idea that “DTC gene testing” stock photography is a thing.”
– via @AntonioRegalado’s tweet
Digital Health World Congress 2017 (Winter Edition)
Nov 29-30 in London, UK,

XPOMET Convention 2018
March 21-23 in Leipzig, Germany


Copyright © 2017 Paul Sonnier

Follow me on Twitter @Paul_Sonnier for all the news I share each day.

If you are a digital health company, event organizer, or provider of other relevant solutions or services you can advertise in my announcements, on my website, and Twitter. Doing so puts you in front of 50,000+ targeted global prospects each week. I also provide strategic consulting and keynote speaking. Contact me for my media kit, standard plans, and pricing.

Paul Sonnier
Keynote Speaker ⋅ Management Consultant ⋅ Social Entrepreneur
Contributing Editor, Innovation & Tech Today
Founder, Digital Health group on LinkedIn ⋅ 50,000+ members
Creator, Story of Digital Health
Facebook: StoryOfDigitalHealth
Instagram: @StoryofDigitalHealth
Twitter: @Paul_Sonnier
San Diego, CA, USA




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