Interview with Jon Erickson of Parlerai

Jon Erickson is the co-founder of Parlerai, the world’s first augmentative collaboration service. He has a daughter with special needs and is a longtime Internet Technologist. His technical expertise, business experience and personal responsibility for his daughter led to the vision of Parlerai. Jon has a BS in Management Information Systems from Alderson-Broaddus College, in Philippi, WV.

Parlerai is the World’s First Social Collaboration Network for Children with Special Needs and Their Families, Friends and Caregivers. Parlerai creates a secure network of family, friends and caregivers surrounding a child with special needs and uses innovative and highly personalized tools to enhance collaboration and provide a highly secure method of communicating via the Internet. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to harness the power of the Internet for children with special needs – at any time, at any place, on any device. There are tools for parents, tools for children and tools for caregivers.

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Interview with Rajiv Mehta of Zume Life

Rajiv has led strategy and execution in numerous technologies for more than two decades, including mobile devices, wireless technologies, laser systems, digital imaging, stereo-vision systems and natural language processing technologies. He has played key leadership roles at Apple Computer, Adobe Systems, Interval Research, Regis McKenna and Symbol Technologies. Rajiv has also been a startup CEO twice before – at Tyzx, a spin-out of Interval Research Corporation focused on commercializing a ground-breaking vision technology and at Dejima, a startup that developed proprietary natural-language-understanding technology.

Zume Life supports you as you follow through with you individual health regimen and wellness program. The Zume Life personal health management system enables you to have on-going health activities (such as for chronic disease, weight loss, or treatment recovery) to draw inspiration and support from those in your personal support network, and helps you better track and adhere to your programs and regimens.

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Interview with Melanie Swan about personal genomics

Melanie Swan, the principal of MS Futures Group, is an interdisciplinary science generalist and hedge fund manager based in Silicon Valley. Ms. Swan’s educational background includes an MBA in Finance and Accounting from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, a BA in French and Economics from Georgetown University and recent coursework in bioscience, nanotechnology, physics and computer science.

Ms. Swan’s career has focused on research, finance and entrepreneurship, including founding a technology startup company, GroupPurchase, which aggregated small business buying groups. She was Director of Research at Telecoms Consultancy RHK/Ovum and previously held management and finance positions at iPass in Silicon Valley, J.P. Morgan in New York, Fidelity in Boston and Arthur Andersen in Los Angeles.

Ms. Swan serves as an advisor to research foundations, government agencies, corporations and startups and is active in the community promoting science and technology, and opportunities for women. She designs professional and educational simulations, including “Discontinuity Futures,” “Being an Entrepreneur” and “The Trader’s Pit.” Ms. Swan is the former Treasurer of San Francisco-based non-profit Equal Rights Advocates, an Advisory Board member of the Foundational Questions Institute, Lifeboat Foundation and Accelerating Studies Foundation, a presenter at the Expanding Your Horizons math and science conference and co-moderator of the Philadelphia and Boulder Future Salons, free monthly events discussing science and technology innovations and their implications. Ms. Swan speaks French, Spanish and Portuguese.

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Interview with Fred Eberlein from ReliefeInSite

Fred Eberlein is co-founder and CEO of ReliefInSite. Fred’s career spans more than 25 years in the computer industry, working both in the US and Europe. His interest in pain management started in June 2000 during a meeting he had with Dr. Mark Perloe, in Atlanta. At that time Fred, an earlier investor in the medical technology start-up Ovusoft, was seeking Mark’s feedback on this unique fertility planning application. He had no idea the meeting would evolve into an ongoing and far-reaching interest in pain management that would eventually lead to the creation of ReliefInsite some years later.

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Interview with Dr Dave Rearick from Strategic Benefits Solutions

David Rearick, DO, MBA, CPE, received his DO from Midwestern University, Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, and his MBA from Emory University. He is known nationally as an expert in the fields of wellness, benefit design and oversight of care management programs. In addition to his frequent speaking engagements and professional articles, Dr. Rearick has authored Good Health is Good Business-an Implementation Guide for Corporate Wellness (www.wellfitadvantage.com). He is a board certified family physician with 20 years of clinical experience. After leaving 20+years of clinical practice, Dr. Rearick served as medical director for Aetna, as Chief Medical Officer of a national health cost containment company, and currently is the VP of Medical Management for Strategic Benefit Solutions, an Atlanta based health and welfare consulting firm helping organization manage their healthcare costs and productivity by implementing health status improvement strategies. He also serves as medical director to the Benefit Advisors Network, a consortium of 30 health and benefit consultancies and Transparent Systems, a pharmacy benefit management procurement consultancy.

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Interview with Dr Paul Wicks from PatientsLikeMe

Paul Wicks (BSc Dunelm, PhD London, CSci) is part of the research team at PatientsLikeMe. He was born in Reading, England and spent several years living in Switzerland and the United States during childhood. He developed an interest in human biology at A-Level and chose to read Psychology at Durham University. Following his undergraduate degree he was awarded a prize PhD studentship at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London. His supervisors were Dr. Laura Goldstein and Dr. Sharon Abrahams, both of whom have undergone clinical and academic training and are two of the leading authorities on the psychological consequences of ALS/MND. The PhD was under the overall supervision of Professor Nigel Leigh, an internationally renowned leader in the field of neurological conditions including rare disorders such as PLS, PMA, PSP and MSA.

For his PhD, Paul travelled the UK testing patients with rare forms of ALS/MND, specifically the genetically inherited familial form of the disease, and progressive muscular atrophy (PMA), which affects only the lower motor neurones. As an adjunct to his main project Paul also carried out the UK’s largest survey of depression and anxiety in MND from a 12-month consecutive sample from King’s College Hospital and collaborated with Dr Martin Turner on a neuroimaging project using PET. He completed his PhD thesis in three years and passed his viva with no corrections; a rare achievement.

During the three years of his PhD he became heavily involved in supporting the Motor Neurone Disease Association; helping to raise £30,000 of donations, writing information sheets, training healthcare professionals, and giving talks to local branches. He has spoken at a number of national and international conferences, and has twice won the British Neuropsychiatry Association prize for best speaker. More recently, Paul was employed by the Parkinson’s Disease Society under Professor Richard Brown on a three year project to investigate depression in Parkinson’s disease.

Paul joined the PatientsLikeMe team as a consultant in 2006 as a moderator in the forum, drawing on his experience at the BUILD forum. Working remotely from London the role quickly expanded to include curation of the treatment and symptom databases, carrying out scientific research, and designing new communities. As the company has grown, the R&D team has grown with it, to include 5 PhDs and 2 RNs working full-time on improving patient outcomes, the only team of its kind in the world.

The son of an IT marketing consultant, Paul has always been at one with technology and interested in communicating ideas. He was the webmaster at the BUILD (Building User Involvement in MND) project, the UK’s largest forum for people with ALS/MND, for five years. He also created the research volunteer database “MindSearch” at the Institute of Psychiatry. Paul has consulted for UK GRAD, an organisation involved in teaching transferable skills to PhD students, and was founder and editor-in-chief of a web based magazine for PhD students in the UK.

Paul is happily married with two cats.

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