Patrick Chung on Hottest Startups for Genetic Testing, Diagnosis and Brain Power

March 11, 2018by Reena0


Patrick Chung is a founding partner of Xfund, which he spun out of NEA, Accel, Breyer Capital, and Polaris Ventures. In this episode, Patrick shares how startups are working with doctors to create a healthier future, his favorite startups to help us live longer through genetic testing, crowdsourcing diagnosis, accelerated performance and so much more! This episode is jam-packed with insights into the hot new digital health startups and the answer to the questions, are we going to live forever and what does it mean to be human. Check it out and share your thoughts!



 Key Questions answered and highlights:


1. Tell me a little bit about XFund. Who are you funding? What stage? How much? (1:27)

– They back people who are technically competent, people who think broadly and have social insights that will create more valuable and interesting companies

2. What areas of innovation are you most excited about as it pertains to living longer, happier, healthier? (2:39)

– There’s an incredible evolution in healthcare

3. How do you see us accelerating consumer empowerment?  (4:43)

– It’s not about replacing doctors

– You can’t prescribe a medicine for yourself because you’ve read it on the internet

– All of those decisions lie in your health care provider and healthcare systems

– There’s a new level and depth of due diligence

– No one will be more concerned of your health than you are

– Consumers can give a real difference if there’s more awareness within ourselves and more awareness of different treatments doctors don’t know of

– Consumers increase the solution set

4. How are you seeing your digital health startup working on the end with doctors with healthcare companies? (6:43)

– There’s a generation which has an old-school mentality wherein consumers don’t know anything; that they should just listen to a doctor and follow.

5. How does a consumer get that information that they need? (8:33)

– There are companies with high integrity that they funded: 23me, Good Guide, Crowded

– The people who have participated in them have gotten some useful data from them and in many cases become healthier

6. What company are you most excited about in your portfolio that’s going to help us live longer?  (11:44)

– CrowdMed, Online Medical Diagnosis

– There are many diseases from which you don’t have the luxury of having 3 years to wait

7. How about a company to help us live healthier? (17:28)

– 23andMe: DNA Genetic Testing & Analysis

– You are sent a spit kit, where you spit to and send it back to the company

– They will give a genotype of about 2 million snips of your DNA

– Tells you all about your health, your propensity to develop diseases and fun facts about yourself

– Once you empower consumers with knowledge about themselves, they’re able to take their health into their own hands and produce more positive health outcomes

– If you have genes highly related to Parkinson’s disease, there’s a growing research that shows that if you have high intake of caffeine or lycopene, you will delay the onset of Parkinson’s

– Helps you know earlier

8. Do you see a world where doing a 23andme mandatory? (24:05)

– Yes

– It’s more of a political and policy question

– It would be for everyone’s health interest

9. What startup are you excited about when it comes to helping each of us live a happier life? (26:56)

– Halo Neuroscience

– Helps people unlock their brain’s full potential

– They have a built a headset which has contact to the scalp and delivers small charges for natural firing of neurons.

– Stimulates parts of the brain

– Neuropriming: Improves brain’s response to training and to accelerate performance

10. Are we able to at some point live forever? (34:44)

– Uploading data to a computer of your brain is more possible to happen before living forever

– Raises more a philosophical question: How is it to be human?

– “I don’t know if it will exist in our lifetime”


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