Michael Bidu

Marketing Mondays_Michael Bidu: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

Marketing Mondays_Michael Bidu: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Andreea Borcea:
Welcome to the Marketing Mondays podcast, where we explore how we can make your offerings stand out in the health and wellness space. Through conversations with thought leaders and innovators in health and wellness marketing, we'll discuss marketing best practices, case studies, and innovative ideas to help scale your business and grow revenues with impact. I'm excited to be your host. My name is Andreea Borcea. I'm a fractional CMO and owner of the Dia Creative Marketing Agency.

Andreea Borcea:
Welcome to Marketing Mondays. My name is Andreea, and I am the CMO of Dia Creative, where we specialize in healthcare marketing, and I'm very excited for my guest today, Michael Bidu, who has a very impressive background. You're currently running four different companies at the same time, and yeah, I'd love to just hear a little bit about, why don't we start with your newest venture, and then we'll go back and dig in a little bit earlier. So tell me what you're up to with MYND Therapeutics.

Michael Bidu:
Yes, hi, Andreea. Thank you for inviting me. So I'm based in Vancouver, Canada, and I'm actually doing two companies at this time. Sometimes I'm involved in more companies, but at this point in time, there's just two. My latest startup, it's, MYND Therapeutics, which is a digital health company specializing in digital therapeutics, which is a new field in digital health. It started about five, seven years ago, and the unique thing that we're doing at MYND therapeutics, we are taking science that's been sitting on sort of university shelves for the last ten, twenty years, and adding clinical practice that's been proven and create software. And what's unique about MYND Therapeutics is that we're using virtual reality and augmented reality to focus on the mind. So it's all about helping people who struggle with all sorts of chronic diseases to prevent, manage and treat those diseases. And our focus right now with our first minimum viable product is, which is focused on obesity, by the way, is really to focus on the physical, mental and behavioral health. So we're a very new company in that regard. There's a few companies for your listeners in the market like Armada Health, for example, or Pear Therapeutics, or Akili Interactive, and most of these companies have already got FDA approval for digital therapies, and some of them are using it, or video games for children like Akili Interactive, very interesting, very, really a tremendous company that I admire. And others are using, like Applied VR from Los Angeles, are using virtual reality to treat chronic pain. So we at MYND Therapeutics, we decided to focus on obesity and eating disorders, and we believe that adding virtual reality to cognitive behavioral therapy actually enhances their results, creates better experiences, actually immersive, amazing experiences, and that's kind of what we're doing at MYND Therapeutics.

Andreea Borcea:
That's incredible.

Michael Bidu:
So yeah, please ask me any questions.

Andreea Borcea:
No, no, I, you know, I, I think it really talks to the evolution of health and where it's been and where it's going. You know, to back up a bit, you and I met probably like eight years ago now at Interface, which is your, that you started, Interface was a health summit that I just happened upon, and I was super excited to learn about, and I feel like your career has been an evolution of exploring what is new and innovative in health and how to talk about it and how to get people comfortable with it. And now you're moving into a space where, virtual and augmented reality is going to somehow make me healthier. Like that's not even something I put in my body or I inject or I have to do. Like, it's, it's I think that's why I'm just so amazed at this evolution of health and where we're going.

Michael Bidu:
Yeah, Andreea, I mean, indeed, you and I met a couple of years ago at Interface Summit, which is our annual global summit in Vancouver, Canada. And so that's my not-for-profit organization or our not-for-profit I should say, since we have a board and all that. It's a not-for-profit organization called Interface Health Society. And so what is interesting about Interface Health is that according to John Northstar, one of the top digital health influencers in the United States and in the world, for that matter, we created a model there that John actually called, like this is true, that the first virtual accelerator in the world in digital health. And so that in itself was a bit of a departure from traditional digital health technology accelerators who are using kind of cohort models. We did this move in 2015, we got a grant from the Canadian government to create a national network of innovation, and eventually, I figured like, well, if we do it for Canada, we might as well do it for the world. It's the same effort, right? It's software, it's web-based, and so that's kind of how it evolved. Now, I've been in digital health, as you know, for about 11 years now, and so that seems like, I don't know, 30 or 40 or 50 years.

Andreea Borcea:
Yeah, especially in health.

Michael Bidu:
Yeah, in health. I mean, and yeah, the person who obviously inspired me to get into health was Dr. Eric Topol from San Diego, from Scripps, and at the time, this is 2009, he actually created, together with Don Jones and a few others from San Diego, created the West Wireless Health Institute, if you remember. But that was actually the first accelerator, if you like, in the United States, and I wanted to do something similar in Vancouver. And the reason we wanted to do it in Vancouver is because we have a very interesting ecosystem here of wireless companies, digital media companies, life sciences companies, and it was this new emerging field of digital health startups. We probably had at that time less than 20, and now we probably have about 100 to 150 digital health companies.

Andreea Borcea:
Amazing. Congratulations, that's good growth. How did you, I mean, you had to start this from scratch basically in Vancouver. So how did you get the word out? How did you get people interested in these startups, starting to know that you exist?

Michael Bidu:
Thank you. So, I mean, the initial model that was sort of very traditional was similar to any technology accelerator that creates programs where you have mentorship, advisory services, and you help startups to go to market. And so all that effort was done through the ecosystem with help from industry associations, from meetups, you know, the ecosystem itself, it's very large as, you know, problem that we faced at the time and it's still today, I think it's a problem for any accelerator, is to attract and educate the healthcare system itself because the healthcare system is very focused on the system itself, and the system, it's always interested in what's called sustainable innovation. It's about optimizing an existing system, whereas we, on the startup side, we are more focused on disruptive innovation that creates new jobs, creates new wealth, and creates, frankly, better health outcomes for, reduce costs, and significantly better solutions in many regards. So going back to your question, how we kind of market it or how we grow our interface health as a virtual digital technology accelerator, we actually started building partnerships with accelerators from around the world, yeah? And the reason we did that was because, when we looked at the market in 2015-16, United States went from one or two accelerators up to, I think at the time, or at least almost 100 accelerators in the United States. Yeah, like almost every state in the United States had 1, 2, 3, or 5 accelerators, yeah? Some were city-based, some were based at universities like Stanford or other types of universities, and then you had private accelerators. So it was kind of an explosion of digital health technology accelerators in the States, similarly in Canada, but the explosion really was in the States, and we figured like, okay, well, we can't possibly compete with all these. So that's when I said, well, let's create more of a facilitator, a network that can work with all these accelerators. So right now, there's probably 300 or more accelerators in the world, some people would say maybe there's 500 digital health technology accelerators. We decided to go kind of with the top 20%. We kind of did our research in Canada, in the United States, in Europe, Asia, you know, like Singapore, China, Japan, South Korea, and so on and so forth, and we went as far as Australia and New Zealand, and we created partnerships with about 30 digital health technology accelerators. Once we did that, we had this great relationship, and we had to give them a reason to work with us. And that reason was Interface Health Challenge X. So that's a competition that we created that is also known, and I mean in the digital health space, as the Olympics of Digital Health Innovation. And so we did that to really discover the best innovators in the world. We don't think anyone has the monopoly on innovation. You know, great innovation can come from the United States, from Canada, from Brazil, from Poland, or Israel, or Australia. So we created this competition so that we can, and that also created the network effects, because we engage all these accelerators. They engage their own startups, and suddenly, you know, everybody talks about, we created this Interface Health Challenge X, which is a competition for about six months, usually starts in March-April and goes till October, and that's, the finale of that, it's usually at the, in Vancouver at our global summit. And I'll stop right there because you may have other questions.

Andreea Borcea:
Well, I think you can, I feel like there's a, you can definitely see the evolution of digital health from fifteen, ten, even five years ago. I mean, you're saying ten years ago, I think digital health was considered the ugly disruptor like the healthcare system didn't want digital health yet. It wasn't comfortable with innovation, it wasn't comfortable with changing things, this is people's health. I feel like that's always the excuse in healthcare is, we're dealing with people's health, so we can't, you can't put health on an iPhone. You can't start digitizing it, you can't. All these you can't, you can't, you can't. But then when you're saying like 2015, all of a sudden all these accelerators started showing up, I think it's because we started seeing proof of concept in like late 2000, early 2010 era, right? And we started seeing that evolution. What do you think? Like, where do you see that the healthcare system got more comfortable to start allowing this digitization and innovation? Or do you think they're still not comfortable?

Michael Bidu:
Well, I mean, there's two principles in digital health. You know, for your listeners, I think it's important to understand a little bit the definition of digital health, but at least how I see and some of the leaders in the field think about digital health. And we're looking at two key areas. One is the democratization of healthcare. And what that means is that through digital health tools and products and services, we actually empower the users to take care of their own health. And we do that through smartphones and other smart devices, whether it's a wearable or your car or your home or you know, there's a lot of work that we have been doing there, and that's kind of in the consumer and wellness space. The healthcare, it's, you know, deals with what's called the digitization of medicine. And as we know, healthcare and education were the last two, sort of dinosaurs as big economy, industries who have not changed for a long time, yeah? And so, of course, healthcare was not comfortable with all the start-ups showing up at their door and knocking on the door and telling them that, hey, we are here to help and we want to change and for the better. Now, of course, healthcare is, it's a risk-averse industry anywhere on the planet for all the good reasons, but I think the evolution in the last couple of years, Andreea, is significant. I mean, we have seen the investment in the United States, in particular, went from something less than a billion dollars up to 24 or something like that, it's a significant growth in ten years. And so what that meant is that we had hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of startups knocking on doors, trying to change. And in the last five years, we've seen a bit of, more mature startups, more startups who finally understood that in order to work with healthcare, you need to go through very rigorous processes, whether it's FDA approval, you had to go and do a couple of clinical trials. So all that differentiated, I think companies who in the end were successful, such as again, Armada, Pear, Akili, and a few others of course, who have been. So I think it was a period of, you know, initially, the first five years was a lot of movement in the market, a lot of enthusiasm and all that. But eventually, about five years later, we, you know, the whole startup community hit the reality, and the reality is you have to be very good and very serious and very rigorous about what you do, and so I think that's what happened. We now kind of, in the last two years, of course, COVID-19 showed up, and it was a tremendous accelerator for everybody. It's almost like a forward button that suddenly, I have, one of my very good friends, Lucien Engelen from the Netherlands, he said that digital health was pregnant for the last ten years, and finally, we delivered the baby. So that's how he put it, which is true in many ways because COVID has allowed us to show that telehealth, virtual medicine, and all these things can work, yeah? They do work, they, and frankly I think it was a behavior change on both the consumer side, yeah, because we all have to stay at home, but also on the physician or the provider side, yeah? Because, and I have examples here in Vancouver. I had a few physicians who are completely against telehealth, like they didn't believe that you can do, I don't know, psychology or psychiatry or any kind of treatment over a phone or email or even to see each other face to face on the, they didn't believe it, they didn't want to change. Well, guess what? Almost overnight, they had to change, and they changed. And I met with them, you know, a couple of months later after COVID started, it was like Michael, I'm a converted now. Yeah, so they were forced to do it. You know, the reimbursement codes almost appear overnight. So in Canada, or at least in British Columbia, it takes us about 2 to 3 years to create a reimbursement code by the government. Well, guess what? Because of COVID, those reimbursement codes were created within, kind of, 48 hours to 7 days. So yeah.

Andreea Borcea:
It was a good proof of concept.

Michael Bidu:
Yeah.

Andreea Borcea:
It was a good proof of concept to confirm that all of this is possible. Everything that marketers and technology companies and startups have been telling the healthcare industry is possible, it forced them to actually try it out. When, I guess before COVID or even now after COVID, how do you think you approach healthcare professionals? Because at least my experience has been that there is definitely a bit of arrogance and a definitely a bit of fear within the healthcare industry of this is how we've done things and COVID shaken them up a bit, but now, how do you still approach them with this next innovation technology, since you can't just shut down the world again for two years?

Michael Bidu:
Yeah, well, I mean, I think it's education. Both the public and all these, you know, professionals who work in the healthcare system, whether they're, I know, researchers, scientists or physicians, or specialists of some kind, it starts with education, Andreea. There's no way around that, and I think that's kind of what, why you see all these events, whether they're organized by HIMSS in the United States or Interface Health, I think it starts right there. But then I think you need to work with hospitals or healthcare systems to figure out some projects that have some potential for good outcomes. And so, the issue is really to sit down with these folks from the healthcare system and really communicate what's called the value proposition, right? And I think the more educated they are, the better, the greater chance to actually come up with a project that could be successful. I don't think there's a lack of innovation out there. And I'll give you an example. So just last year we had our Virtual Global Summit, and I had, one of the guest speakers was Dr. John Brownstein from Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. And so John is the director of innovation at what's probably the best digital health accelerator in the United States. I visited them. I mean, the kind of stuff they do there, it's just amazing. They actually take science and clinical practice and they work with amazing partners like Twitter or Uber or like amazing collaborations. And so we asked John the question, like, you know, what do you say to all these startups who knock on your door? And he said, listen, it's very hard because I get 200, 300, 400 of these startups, like it's hard to know. And the problem that the startups themselves have is that each one of them thinks that they have something very unique. And the problem is that they're not aware that there's another startup that does pretty much what they do, and then they kind of waste my time and they waste their time. So his advice to the startups was like, guys go out first and do a bit of a competitive analysis, like find out who does what you do in the market, and when you actually end up talking to me, the hospital, or the healthcare authority, or the accelerator, you know, come back with something that can help us. Basically, he says that there's just too many startups who do parts of a process, yeah? And so I'd rather have one startup that helps me throughout the whole life of a patient that has a solution that is, you know.

Andreea Borcea:
All-inclusive.

Michael Bidu:
Yeah, an all-inclusive, comprehensive solution as opposed to a tiny sliver which cannot possibly help.

Andreea Borcea:
Do you think that's happening because the health of a patient, especially throughout their life, is just such a big endeavor? That startup, like innovators, and startup entrepreneurs, I think, like to solve one problem that they see in front of them. But it's not just one problem, it's an entire ecosystem that they're trying to influence.

Michael Bidu:
Well, I think, I mean, let's look at other industries. I would answer your question that way, Andreea. I think, let's take financial services as an example. In financial services, the banks have figured out systems, and they have changed in the last 20 years several times. They went from, you know, traditional banking to online banking to mobile banking to now digital banking. And so they, and everything has changed in the ecosystem. And more of us, or all of us, are now used to do mobile or digital banking just fine. So it was an evolution over the last 20 years, and I don't think we have seen that kind of change in healthcare. So I think it's still very challenging. I still believe that, you know, there's silos that don't like to talk to each other for whatever reason. It's incredible that in Canada and in other parts of the world, we still have fax machines.

Andreea Borcea:
I know!

Michael Bidu:
It's like it's crazy, right?

Andreea Borcea:
Yeah, yeah.

Michael Bidu:
Yeah. So I think the actual healthcare industry has changed in pockets. The overall system, which is a big system, I mean, the healthcare industry globally, it's an $8.5 trillion dollar industry, it is the largest industry on this planet. So it's not like you have one industry, but you have all these different, I mean, if you look at this industry as a horizontal, you have all these verticals. That each one of them is, I don't know, $100 billion dollar vertical. How do you change that and how do you make it interoperable and interactive and how do you open up on both sides, patients and providers and payers? So it's a very complicated mechanism and system to change.

Andreea Borcea:
Do you feel that the like hospital administrators and healthcare professionals are aware of the entire ecosystem in a way that they would also be looking for solutions that are interactive, interoperable? Or do you think the problem is also that the healthcare providers themselves are very narrow? I'm just an obstetrician, and that's all I want to worry about, or I am just a hospital administrator in Kansas. All I want to worry about is what works in my Kansas hospital. Leave me alone otherwise.

Michael Bidu:
I mean, I think like in any industry, if I'm an, you know, a gynecologist or an ophthalmologist, all I care is my own business, right? I mean, I don't really care about the whole system. So we have to take that into consideration. But I think you have to have organizations who need to change those, you know, vertical silos that exist there so that eventually you transform this massive system which is horizontal, to make it work. But as I said a few minutes ago, I think there's pockets of innovation out there that we have seen in the last couple of years. And because of COVID, we have seen tremendous change in hospitals, in clinics where there is specialty. But I think the, in the end, if I could, I don't know, give some advice on the marketing side, if you like, how do we market the solutions is, to me, is the only drivers who can actually demand change of the system, it's you and I, it's the users, it's the consumers, it's the citizens who need to tell their governments or their employers, you know, do change things for the better. And so we have the solutions, the solutions are out there. The problem, of course, is the implementation and the system. And, you know, now we're almost, we have looked at all this, a new generation of solutions, but now and this is kind of a view into the future, Andreea, we're looking now at the metaverse. We're looking at virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, digital humans, digital twins. Like, there's almost like this massive, massive change that will happen in technology. It's almost like, and according to some people, this will be a bigger change than the Internet, the mobile, social media, combined. We're looking at how do we do things in 3D? How do we create these new worlds? How do we help, let's say a brain surgeon to do noninvasive surgery using VR and AR before he or she does the surgery? And so, I mean, I'm, this is what excites me about the future, like, it's coming. And, you know, there's a lot of good science that is out there to suggest that we can create better health outcomes, better experiences, and hopefully create, also improve the access to health and healthcare for everybody.

Andreea Borcea:
I like that. I wonder, I mean, I feel like most industries are influenced by the end user, right? So that end consumer is the one that's driving the demand for change. And users say, this is what I like using, this is what it ends up using. In healthcare, it still feels like there's a bit of a battle because patients can go and say, this is what I want, but doctors and hospitals still feel like, I know better. Have you found that still to be the case? Or do you think that patients and individuals have more of a voice as we're moving forward, as we're taking better control of our own health?

Michael Bidu:
Well, you have to look a little bit at the, what's happening in healthcare systems in general, meaning that you have a lot of physicians who are retiring, a lot of nurses that are retiring. So the workforce is a big problem for any healthcare system going forward. The medical schools anywhere on the planet, they can't deliver enough medical, you know, doctors or nurses to be able to take care of the massive demand that is coming. So in my opinion, the only way you can deal with that is by adopting smart technologies that are designed to help you, you know, improve your productivity and really deliver better healthcare. And so I think the patients, the consumers, the citizens, need to demand change. The big companies, the big technology companies, whether it's Apple or Google or Amazon or others, they're also working on creating this very new platform in spatial computing, 3D, virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence. I mean, all these technologies, it's almost, it's a wave that's about to happen. I mean, it started very slowly, maybe two or three years ago, five years ago. But now we see more and more activity in that space. And I think the users will absolutely adopt the new technologies and will force the doctors and the systems to change. Now, change is slow, yeah? And in healthcare, in particular, is probably one of the slowest for again, for good reasons. I'm not suggesting here that, you know, change is bad or the healthcare is not changing, it does change. But change also happens suddenly. Like, you know, you have all this stuff that, you know, you work for five, ten, twenty years, and then suddenly it happens. So that's what I hope, and that's kind of why I spent the last couple of years in digital health and that's why I started MYND Therapeutics, to focus on what's coming next. And yeah, I think the future looks pretty bright. And we need to improve definitely access and delivery of healthcare in the United States, in Canada, and around the world, because according to WHO, Andreea, about 4 billion people, that's half of the population of the planet. They don't have access to healthcare, like modern healthcare. So there's a market out there. Half of the population of this planet is waiting and the other half also wants better healthcare.

Andreea Borcea:
So together you have a solution.

Michael Bidu:
Together, we have a solution, yes.

Andreea Borcea:
And that's really where we're pushing with this VR and AR that you're talking about, and all these remote possibilities is, you don't necessarily need to have doctors all over the world as long as you have doctors that are in these mind spaces that you're trying to build out and all of these new technologies, you could be, you could access the top brain surgeon in the world in the middle of nowhere in the world, right?

Michael Bidu:
Yeah. I mean, so, I'll give you an example, and I'll be biased here because I'm going to use an example from MYND Therapeutics. But the area that we want to focus on for now, at the beginning of our product line, it's obesity, which is a chronic disease that is complex and costly. The, one of the issues that we are trying to solve is the fact that in Canada we only have about 70 to 100 obesity experts. In Canada.

Andreea Borcea:
Not very many.

Michael Bidu:
Not very many, yeah. So, and you have a population of 7 million Canadians who are obese or have obesity, rather, and another 8 million or so who are overweight. Well, how in the world can 70 or 100 obesity experts can help 7 million patients? They can't. I mean, you do a simple math and you realize that these obesity experts can only serve about 2%, maybe 3% of the market. That's it. So going now to explain how technology can help in the future, well, let's just say I don't know, Dr. Smith, an obesity expert who only sees ten or fifteen patients a day, you can say, well, hey, Dr. Smith, how about we create a software that will actually use cognitive behavioral therapy, pretty much what you use in your clinical practice, and we digitize you, we create a digital twin of you. So suddenly we have a Dr. Smith that is the digital copy of the real Dr. Smith. And you can now become this digital human able to serve patients in Canada or anywhere in the world, for that matter, and suddenly you can serve 100 patients a day. But all that requires augmented reality, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, machine learning. So we're not quite there yet, but we will get there. And that's, I think, the role of technology.

Andreea Borcea:
Are you finding that patients or people are comfortable with this concept, that they would be working with somebody that's virtual reality, that someone that is a copy of Dr. Smith, but not actually Dr. Smith?

Michael Bidu:
Yeah. So there's lots of good research in that space. The University of Southern California, for example, you have Dr. Skip Rizzo, who has done research in the use of virtual avatars for the last 20 years. And they focused on PTSD, and they discovered that you know, digital avatars actually, when a patient goes and talks with the digital avatar, the patients are actually very comfortable, and they disclose more because, you know, they're not in front of a human being who may be very judgmental of who they are, what they do, and the kind of things they disclose. So there's a lot of research out there who suggests that patients are very comfortable with that approach. But like anything, like any technology, Andreea, you need to create trust. And so the patients need to see that a digitization of a therapy and a digital therapist is there to actually help them get better, you know? And so, yeah, so you, I mean, trust is always built in time, right? And it's lost in seconds, right?

Andreea Borcea:
I love that PTSD research. I remember getting involved with it pretty early on and getting to see it and I was like, this is pretty cool. How are you seeing doctors? Are they getting comfortable with having these digital copies of themselves? Because I know there was some pushback when Watson first started coming out because they're like, I don't want these robots in my doctor's face.

Michael Bidu:
Well, I mean, yeah, I think doctors or the vast majority of physicians, they don't have a clue. Really, they don't know what's coming. I mean, that's why when we actually, you know, I didn't, at our Interface summits, we always talk about what's coming, you know, three, five, ten years from now. And I see their faces that they're like, wow, I didn't know that this is happening. Like, yeah. So, absolutely, I would say that if you were to do a survey, chances are that, I don't know, 98% of the doctors have no idea that, about virtual reality, augmented reality, digital humans. What is a digital human? What's a digital therapist? What's an avatar? And so all these things are very, very new. And so, of course, it's scary because it's the unknown, and you just see it as a threat, you don't believe it, you think, you know, who would have believed that you can use virtual reality to treat PTSD or you can use virtual reality to treat depression or anxiety or chronic pain or acute pain? A doctor would say, well, you have to use morphine for acute pain. Well, no, guess what? VR is actually more effective than morphine and there's evidence of that. So amazing, amazing things that, again, I think it starts with education. We need to increase the awareness of what's possible, and we absolutely need to look at new technologies. And again, we have 20 to 30 years of research in the VR space at Stanford, at the University of Milan, at Simon Fraser University here in Canada. So there's a few good universities. In Barcelona, amazing research. And so, but now it's kind of, we will see these companies and universities working together and creating new products and services that hopefully will show that, yeah, there's, this is an alternative solution, so to say, that is non-invasive and in many ways are better than drugs.

Andreea Borcea:
And more accessible. Well, actually, how soon would something, solutions like that actually be accessible to 4 billion people that don't have access to it, let alone everyone else that already has decent healthcare and wants better?

Michael Bidu:
Well, that's a good question. And again, since this is about marketing, you know, it's your podcast, I think it has to do with access to technology and access to devices. We know for a fact that there's probably 3.8 billion smartphones out there on the planet. More people actually have access to smartphones than to fresh water or toothbrushes. It's insane how many people have access to smartphones on the planet, so it starts there. On the VR side itself, we're not quite there yet. I think there's only about, anywhere between 15 to 25 million VR devices out there. Oculus Quest 2 in particular, has a good market share out there. But we're now looking at Apple and others who will come up with new devices, whether AR glasses, you know, could be Qualcomm, could be Apple, could be Magic Leap. And so these devices are coming, but in 2023, we're probably going to see some very interesting products in the market. And eventually, you know, once Apple gets their act around and comes up with a device that people love, we'll probably see an exponential growth similar to the Apple Watch, which initially was a slow growth, but eventually, a lot of Apple watches were sold because they're very, very useful. It's really actually a medical device in many ways.

Andreea Borcea:
That's incredible. You've got me excited for the future. I'm excited for where we're going.

Michael Bidu:
I hope I got you excited, and I hope the listeners got excited because it is exciting. I mean, the next couple of years. Now, I mean, again, this is a new generation. It's going to be a new platform, a new operating system. And that many people believe that the metaverse and all that it will be run by gaming engines. And so not only it's exciting, but it's also fun. And that to me, it's a very interesting aspect because digital therapies, not only they have to be safe and effective, but why can't we add an entertainment value? Why can we make them fun? Like, what's wrong with that?

Andreea Borcea:
That's a great way to keep people healthy, right? If you make healthy fun and if you don't make it like I have to exercise, oh, I have to eat. If you make it fun, everyone will be healthier. And then they don't have to have as many medical issues that we have to address with digital medical technology, right? Yeah, that's incredible. I'm super excited to see where it's going, and I agree, I think COVID kind of pushed a few industries very quickly. It was a good fast-forward button and specifically for digital health. I think it'll be really interesting to see where we go and it feels like, that people are open to it. People are open to find the next solution. They've gravitated towards working from home, they've gravitated towards Zoom technology and owning their health. There's a lot more at-home wellness testing and health tests happening. There's a lot more of people wanting to know their own information. And I bet, you're right, the Apple Watch is probably a big part of that as well. So where can people go to find out more about what you're working on or what's the best place to get involved, if they have a health startup and they want to go to an accelerator?

Michael Bidu:
Sure, I mean, they can go to interfacehealth.com and there's, you know, four different mini-sites there as well for the challenge, for the showcase, for the summit that they can look at, that's one, and that's all not-for-profit work, that's the digital health accelerator. And for our therapies at MYND Therapeutics, they can go to M Y N D T X .com, so MYNDTX.com, and yeah there's some information there. We're planning to have our first product in the market towards the end of the year and we're very excited, it's called MYNDset. So, there you go.

Andreea Borcea:
I love that. I'm very excited. I am, I'm very excited to see that at the end of this year. Thank you so much for joining me, Michael. I really appreciate it.

Michael Bidu:
Thank you very much, Andreea, and all the best to your listeners. I hope to see you, all of you, in the future.

Andreea Borcea:
Sounds good. This was fun, as always.

Andreea Borcea:
Thanks again for listening to Marketing Mondays. If you have any marketing questions at all, feel free to reach out to me directly at DiaCreative.com. That's D I A creative.com.

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Summary:

Massive change is about to happen in health technology.

Welcome to the Marketing Mondays Podcast! In this episode, Michael Bidu, co-founder and CEO of MYND Therapeutics and Interface Health Society, talks about the evolution that’s coming for technology in the digital health space. 

Michael introduces MYND Therapeutics, a digital therapeutics company, and explains how it uses virtual and augmented reality in cognitive behavioral therapy to prevent, manage and treat chronic diseases, eating disorders, and obesity. He also talks about the non-profit organization, Interface Health Society, and how they created the first virtual accelerator in the world for digital health. Michael discusses innovation and digitization in healthcare as ways to democratize access through new digital health tools, products, and services. He talks about the technological changes in the digital health space, like digital humans, and the benefits they will bring.

Tune in to this episode to learn about the evolution in digital health technology and how it will make being healthy fun!

About Michael Bidu:

Michael Bidu is currently the Co-Founder and CEO of INTERFACE Health Society, a not-for-profit virtual digital health technology accelerator based in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Interface Health is a platform and community that cares about innovators, the future of health, and making a difference in the world. This is where you can find the right solutions, connections, and resources, anytime, anywhere – which means faster access, reduced costs, improved experiences, and better outcomes for everybody. 

Michael is also the Co-Founder and CEO of MYND Therapeutics Inc. a Vancouver-based digital health company that makes software-as-therapy. Unlike drugs, diets, or surgery our solutions are software-driven aka “digital therapeutics” that can improve a person’s health as much as a drug can, but without the same cost and side effects. Specifically, MYND is developing smart digital therapeutics to help millions of people such as women with weight and obesity challenges or eating disorders who have been frustrated with the poor outcomes or no results with current diets, drugs, or surgery and who are looking for a better way to prevent, treat and manage their physical, mental and behavioral conditions. MYND competes in the new and fast-growing market of digital therapeutics that is targeting a 

2 trillion dollars a year market, which is the annual cost of obesity worldwide. 

Things You’ll Learn:

  • MYND Therapeutics uses virtual and augmented reality to help people prevent, manage and treat all sorts of chronic diseases.
  • MYND Therapeutics also focuses on the physical, mental, and behavioral health of obesity and eating disorders. 
  • Digital health refers to two things: the democratization of healthcare and the digitization of medicine. 
  • By adding virtual reality to cognitive behavioral therapy, MYND Therapeutics is creating better experiences and enhancing results in their patients.
  • The Interface Health Society created the first virtual accelerator in the world for digital health.
  • The investment in healthcare in the United States went from something less than a billion dollars up to about twenty-four billion dollars in the last decade.
  • The healthcare industry is an 8.5 trillion dollar industry globally, making it the largest one on the planet.
  • 4 billion people, half of the planet’s population, don’t have access to modern healthcare.
  • 98% of the doctors have no idea about virtual reality, augmented reality, digital humans

Resources:

  • Connect and follow Michael Bidu on LinkedIn
  • Follow Interface Health on LinkedIn
  • Explore the Interface Health Website
  • Follow MYND Therapeutics on LinkedIn
  • Discover the MYND Therapeutics Website
  • Visit the Día Creative Website for solutions to any of your marketing needs.

Title Options:

  • The Future of Digital Health
  • Evolving Healthcare Technology
  • Taking Steps Forward with Digital Health Tech
  • Technology Taking Healthcare into the Future

LinkedIn Post

Massive change is about to happen in health technology.

Welcome to the Marketing Mondays Podcast! In this episode, Michael Bidu, co-founder and CEO of MYND Therapeutics and Interface Health Society, talks about the evolution to come for technology in the digital health space. Michael discusses innovation and digitization in healthcare as ways to democratize access through new digital health tools, products, and services.

Tune in to this episode to learn about the evolution in digital health technology and how it will make being healthy fun!