Reena Jadhav interviews Hubert Zajicek (CEO, Health Wildcatters) at SplashX Invent Health Behavioral and mental health at HP
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[00:01] REENA JADHAV: Hi everyone its Reena Jadhav here founder of health bootcamps I’m enjoying watching and listening in to these amazing investors at the SplashX conference here at HP headquarters and I have with me, I’m so excited Hubert Zajicek from Wildcatter he’s visiting us… Hubert where are you visiting us from?
[00:23] HUBERT ZAJICEK: Were located in Dallas Texas.
[00:26] REENA JADHAV: And tell us a little bit about your accelerator program?
[00:30] HUBERT ZAJICEK: Yeah, health wildcatter is a classic sited accelerator in the healthcare space only digital health medical devices are our top two accounts.
[00:38] REENA JADHAV: What’s the biggest takeaway you’re taking away from this conference today, because we are at the end of the conference today.
[00:41] HUBERT ZAJICEK: We are, I mean this is all focusing on mental health; mental health is a huge problem for everyone and we are kind of rephrasing tonight or this afternoon the question in mental health as in do we really need to be treating that as a disorder or we all are craziest some assets, or we are all crazy at some level and then the answer is yes we are and we were all different individuals and we all need as easy access to tools that manage our lives as possible and if those tools can help us manage things than that maybe leads us to a more balanced life and of course they are lives to get us to a point where the alarm bells should go off and say you know, you really need some professional help.
[01:37] REENA JADHAV: And I think the question is how do you diagnose that as you know, as Walter Green said, we’ve got some diagnostic issues and then we are here with a couple of other panelists also talk about the fact that you know sometimes people who self refer suffer for more for reasons that are not necessary and so how do we bring in I think it’s almost like we need to optimize the work load, how someone on a given point in time goes today I think I need to see someone. We are seeing mental health crisis epic proportion. What technologies are you excited about based on what you saw today?
[02:10] HUBERT ZAJICEK: Right, so I think what we’re also experiencing here is a clash between the classic software model and the referral professions, to subspecialties in medicine and the fact that as consumers of healthcare consumers we demand access to the tools, so there is a point at which those things are intersecting and we’re having trouble differentiating and which one practicing medicine, which is a trigger point for city of medical license and which one is that still regards. So I think that’s one of the intersections we touched upon today. The other thing is that as far as one of the things we are excited about its technologies that move the dials and that are pushing the boundaries of course I’m trained as a physician so I can’t just say, oh let’s throw FDA to the wayside and let’s just go for it, I think it’s important to keep the boundaries in mind but that doesn’t mean you should have conversations with all those who are involved in making the rules and telling you, you know what technology is moving forward there some ways are better.
[03:21] REENA JADHAV: And one of the questions that we were just talking about the fact that you know technologists love to disrupt and healthcare professionals hate destruction so there is this tension and I personally believe that that’s one of the challenges that we see in terms of technology adoption. You as a physician, what do you think that technology startup founders can do to smoothen and accelerate their part into healthcare?
[03:51] HUBERT ZAJICEK: Yeah and I’m not as dangerous as you may think because I’m not an icing physician so I was trained in Europe and came over here and I have been practicing medicine here but it’s a very important subject you know, at which points do we…, so we phrase it in the sense of what is it that would scare you as an investor? So running an accelerator we deal with teams of all shapes and forms and if there’s no medical professional on the team or a diverse party advisor team that informs the venture, that does scare me and the reason is simply that when you’re treating patients, if you should come at it with the proper respect as to not to do any harm so there are even though you might think oh this is mental health and we’re not really putting any needles into people you can have very much a negative effect on people if you’re if you’re dealing with mental health; so you do have to know that boundary and I think at least somebody on board that has that perspective is important and have proper respect for the patient, at the same time I’d love to have technology people on board, I’d love to have people on board that are leading the charge and saying, I don’t accept the status quo and I wasn’t trained this way and let’s push the boundaries and find new ways to address problems that we’ve tried to solve for decades, for a century and we haven’t gotten any worse, so let’s get something.
[05:22] REENA JADHAV: Absolutely our problems are magnifying at this point growing exponentially so clearly there’s a need I think. Talk a little bit about your accelerator for those who might be interested, talk about your badge to people working hard to put in.
[05:38] HUBERT ZAJICEK: Absolutely yeah, so we run a classic accelerator model that means it’s a it’s a one here tends to all startups, digital health and medical devices and talk to categories we invest a small amount five, six digits in the dollar amount but we’re not going to be a funders we’re going to help you to get to a point, the point is, it’s hard enough to do a startup, It’s a lot harder to do it in healthcare and so you need a lot of friends. I’ve never said we are not friends but, you never met us because once we are on board we are more… We are your family you know you really, but it’s true it’s important to have as many people well meaning and who are wrapped around impassioned about your mission and what you’re trying to achieve with the right intention not trying to get a consulting dollar out of you, as you came in as many critical but constructive discussions that you can have during the time that you form you startup a new word closing in on that ability to raise rates of first.
[06:52] REENA JADHAV: Where are you seeing this movement.
[06:56] HUBERT ZAJICEK: So I do love mental health I think it is a huge need, I think it is also an intersection where technology can play a very significant role so there are lots of opportunities in that space, I think also as we talked about today there is a lot of work to be done in the stigmatizing of mental health and not even calling it mental health, calling it living a balanced life and giving you tools if you hit that trough to get you back out of there because we just don’t know who falls into a trough and then makes a decision that ends their life and so that’s a really big deal, at the same time we also need to be cognizant of the fact that they are true mental health issues that aren’t going to be recognized by the individual there just diagnosed as psychiatric diseases and doesn’t need to be treated by a physician. So I think we find a balance there but I see a lot of opportunity of mental health issues with VR and AR and I love the fact that we are just at the beginning of recognizing that the mind controls so many aspects of our health; and that’s just something that still has to play for.
[08:09] REENA JADHAV: And I think the other thing that were starting to finally accept recognizes that the mental health is actually connected to gut health, it’s connected to the microbiome there’s a lot of data that’s coming out of my own and startups which proves that when you start to heal other parts of your body your mental health heals to. So I think it’s such a complex topic, that it requires an army of companies and startup of people to come together to address them and the timing is now so of any parting advice for entrepreneurs?
[08:42] HUBERT ZAJICEK: I like the biome as well we’re just looking at the start of icing and space and trying on them, so I think it’s a good it’s a good piece to keep in mind since you touched on it when you think about something like that you would say in traditional medicine you’ve been taught next nothing about all those trillions of bacteria’s that live in you and it not going to influence every aspect of your life but we are just coming to a realization just like we know in genetics that there are so many other facts that we haven’t explored that has been ignored for a long time that we now have the ability to answer and to better understand; and so it’s obviously going to be in the power of computing and AI and observations and coming to new conclusions and completely new approaches to healing, bettering and curing diseases So that is obviously what we are pledge with being at the forefront, seeing new things coming through and new innovations, so it’s pretty rewarding, it’s an exciting time to be in health innovation.
[09:53] REENA JADHAV: Thank you so much Hubert.
[09:54] HUBERT ZAJICEK: Thank you!
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