South Florida Tech HubSouth Florida Tech Hub

By Jason Steinfeld

South Florida Tech Hub: Pioneering Wellness to Combat Burnout

Read Time 5 Minutes

As the demands of the tech industry continue to evolve, so do the pressures and stresses that come with it. South Florida Tech Hub’s Women’s Council and HealthTech & Life Science peer groups came together to discuss the topic of “Beyond Burnout: Cultivating Resilience In Work and Life.”

Sponsored by NRG VR, the event was held at ModMed located at the Boca Raton Innovation Campus in Boca Raton and featured a keynote speaker, panel discussion, exhibit tables and networking. Celine Kaiser, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Specialty Business at ModMed and Vice Chair of South Florida Tech Hub’s Women’s Council welcomed everyone to the venue.

Opening speaker, Dr. Morgan Levy, a clinical psychologist and executive coach, is passionate about helping professionals enhance all areas of their lives and embrace all parts of their identity without giving up their drive, motivation, and perseverance. She has been a past speaker for previous South Florida Tech Hub events such as SoFlo DevCon, South Florida’s largest developer conference. Dr. Morgan opened up the eveings discussion with a keynote on “The Power of Presence: Cultivating Well-Being Beyond Work.” 

In a career-driven society, it’s really easy to become consumed by our work and ignore other aspects of our lives. However, finding meaning in our lives outside of work can help us be more productive in our work. Attendees learned the role that perfectionism and burnout plays on mental health as well as gain a deeper understanding into the importance of valuing our identity beyond our work roles. “You can have success in the workplace without sacrificing who you are,” Dr. Levy stated.

The Panel was made up of a group of professionals who expressed cultivating wellness in a variety of ways. Panelists included:

Event sponsor and panelist, PJ Ware, is also the Founder & CEO of NRG VR, a company on a mission to support individuals mental health by providing a variety of meditation experiences through virtual reality (VR) technology in breathtaking locations around the world using nature as therapy. Employee wellness and well-being is a new untapped element of virtual reality in which NRG is pioneering. PJ played a crucial role in the panel discussion giving examples of how technology can combat the tresses of every day life and offer a solution towards mental wellness.

NRG VR is dedicated to helping individuals navigate daily stress, whether it’s the fast-paced environment of corporations, within scary or stressful healthcare settings, or the pressures of everyday life faced by teens and adults. The VR technology allows you to enter a world where the boundaries of physical locations melt away. transporting you to the tranquil beaches of California, Bali, Florida, and Spain, as well as the cliffs of Australia and Hawaii, the mountains of Utah, and the Buddhist temples of Thailand. Their exotic locations provide the virtual mental escape you need. With NRG VR Meditation, you can personalize your journey to serve you best: Guided Meditation & Breathwork, Sound Escapes, or Voice Therapy.

Prior to the panel discussion, attendees had the chance to connect and interact with the different panelists products such as the NRG VR headset, Dr. Krista Imre and her table of naturopathic medicine from her company Live Wellness, and Katherine Murphy from NAMI Palm Beach County, an organization dedicated to providing support, education and advocacy with the goal to empower persons with mental illness and their families. There was even a table for Charleston Coffee Roasters handing out free samples for all guests.

NRG VR provided a VR simulation before the panel so people could witness the immersive experience for themselves. He told South Florida Tech Hub, “It’s great to express the imperative need for this on behalf of the ‘Cultivating Resilience’ event.  I’m grateful for South Florida Tech Hub’s work in providing evnts like this.” 

He continued, “South Florida Tech Hub is what we’ve needed for a long time. We haven’t really had a place where the community can come together like this.” 

The event was a must-attend for anyone looking to lead a more fulfilled life by managing work stress, understanding the pitfalls of perfectionism, and reclaiming a sense of self beyond their professional identity. This will be the first of many more discussions around mental health for technology professionals.

Attendee, Mirna Eusebio Lithgow, an Advisory Board Member for Intellias and Founder and CEO of LeapView Group, posted on social media some of her insights from the event’s discussion stating, “It is inspiring to see how tech companies are bringing innovation to healthcare centers, such as using VR to provide experiences to patients and help them appreciate life and enjoy a moment of joy traveling virtually.”

She posted, “We heard about best practices to boost Wellness and Self-Care in your everyday and with our teams; here are some tips shared:”

✅ Take time to do intentional breathing using the box technique.
✅ Go for a 15-minute green walk.
✅ Schedule walking meetings with your team.
✅ Offload your mind before sleeping; build a to-do list before bedtime.
✅ Schedule emails to go out the next day, instead of late at night.

Our panel moderator, Chair of the Tech Hub Women’s Council, and Co-Founder & COO of Focus Glogal Talent Solutions, Brittany Fox, works with tech professionals every day from data science, to artificial intelligence to c-suite executives in the tech space. She understands the stres factors in working with such professionals, but also being a founder in the tech space herself. 

“You want to give the audience the opportunity to learn from different perspectives,” Brittany told South Florida Tech Hub. “From mental health to your physical body to how meditation can play into their mental health and also technology is a big part of it.”

Want to learn more about getting involved in Tech Hub? Become a member by visiting www.techhubsouthflorida.org/membership

By Nikki Cabus

CIC Miami is elevating the future of BioTech and Life Sciences in South Florida

Read Time 4 Minutes

Seven BioTech and Life Sciences startups were welcomed into CIC’s International Soft Landing Program. 

CIC’s international Soft Landing just ended 22 hours of master classes led by 10 well-connected facilitators with 7 Startups as part of the BIG in BIO program from The Ganesha Lab, a global accelerator for Latin American science and technology-based startups.

Cambridge Innovation Center, or “CIC,” is a global leader in building and operating innovation campuses that support the growth of entrepreneurs and startups. Founded in 1999 with a single location in Kendall Square, the company now operates more than 1 million square feet of shared workspace, wet labs, and event space in the US, Europe, and Asia. Its collaborative work environments support thousands of individuals in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors who are focused on innovating solutions to local and global problems.

In partnership with The Ganesha Lab, the recent cohort attracted startups from diverse origins and six different countries including Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, United Kingdom and the United States representing a “global melting pot of talent.”

“International Soft Landing has changed the trajectory of dozens of entrepreneurs by giving them the skills and unique tools needed for an international organization to grow and make a splash in the U.S. economy,” said Alejandra Winter, Director of CIC’s International Soft Landing.

Established in 2016, International Soft Landing is a CIC platform program designed to support entrepreneurs with mid-sized companies who desire to expand their operations into the U.S. It’s an opportunity for entrepreneurs to gain cultural and practical understanding of business in the U.S. through an immersive experience.

The cohort provides unique programming developed specifically to help applicants gain the skills and knowledge needed to expand in the U.S., develop a broader business network, and meet potential investors and U.S.-based mentors. This program is especially equipped to support startups in tech industries, such as fintech, biotech, and edtech, given CIC’s deep roots and connections in the innovation economy.

This cohort included startups from The Ganesha Lab on a mission to redefine healthcare and sustainability through innovative solutions addressing some of the most pressing challenges of our time in the fields of BioTech, Diagnostics, Healthcare Access, and FoodTech. Having had success in securing funding in Latin America, these startups demonstrate the real potential for growth in the U.S. market and their readiness for global expansion.

The Ganesha Lab is a global biotech scaleup for science and technology-based startups in Latin America with the aim of “better understanding culture and responsiveness of evolving humans, connecting the worlds of science, biotech, entrepreneurs and people.”

“We are confident that the knowledge gained from exceptional mentors during this experience will play a pivotal role in their internationalization journey,” The Ganesha Lab wrote in a recent social media post.

Meet the startups and their leadership here:

  1. AQUIT | Improve natural immunity in fish with an innovative and non-invasive treatment to prevent infections during production.
  2. Biogea | Promotion of an environmentally friendly organic agriculture through a groundbreaking safe and sustainable liquid solution.
  3. DELEE | A state-of-the-art technology that isolates and analyzes circulating tumor cells from the blood, allowing the effective detection of early-stage cancer.
  4. Hedonix | A breakthrough method of producing ingredients for food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical markets, through unconventional microorganisms and CRISPR.
  5. innovai | Delay of microbiological spoilage in salmon fillets through a product that prolongs the preservation and freshness of salmon fillets.
  6. TREARS Biomarkers | Detection of chronic diseases, such as depression and diabetes, among others, through the study of earwax.
  7. Synergic Bio Solutions | Francisco Rivera, José Luis Flores – Fighting osteoporosis through ionic calcium and microencapsulated vitamin D, ensuring the delivery of these minerals directly to the bones.

But the collaboration with The Ganesha Lab goes beyond the cohort, for the second year in a row we are working together to bring the BIOHUNT Summit Miami 2023. Where early-stage biotech startups will meet with key industry players and investors, from the US, Europe and Latam. On November 7th and 8th, The Ganesha Lab and CIC will bring Biohunt Summit 2023 to Miami.

The 2022 summit brought out over 250 people. The event sought to make the potential of Latin American biotech startups visible in the U.S. market and generate connections to transform science into a good business. The venue served as a perfect place for attendees to connect and build the initial bonds during the brunch that kicked off the event, to then be followed by the presentations of the startups in the dolphin tanks.

The first day, which will take place at the Rubell Museum, will be focused on investors and the potential relationships they can create with the founders of the startups. This engagement will unfold through two sessions of dolphin tanks with stellar presentations and the participation of extraordinary speakers.

On the second day, the activities will move to the Mana Tech Auditorium, and the activities aim to give startups the opportunity to surround themselves with industry experts to better understand the dynamics of setting up in the United States. Stay tuned for more info and registration opening soon!

By Adam Elitzur

Modern Trials and InterSystems Collaborate to Transform Clinical Trial Recruitment

Read Time 5 Minutes

Modern Trials®, a startup aiming to transform clinical trial-patient matching, is now collaborating with leading healthcare technology provider InterSystems®.

Currently, clinical trial recruitment is accomplished by either relying on doctors to refer the patients they think will meet trial eligibility criteria or by patients responding to a trial advertisement. Neither of these methods are very effective, as there are over 50,000 active clinical trials that each have very specific eligibility criteria. The collaboration between Modern Trials and InterSystems aims to solve this issue.

 

The Birth of Modern Trials

Founded in 2019 by Dr. Christopher Ochner and Dr. Alexander Logsdon, Modern Trials aims to match patients with clinical trials that could potentially save their life by connecting patients in need of advanced treatment options through democratizing access to clinical trials.”

Dr. Logsden, a practicing clinician often experienced his patients desperately seeking, but unable to find, appropriate clinical trial opportunities. Dr. Ochner had been working in research administration, running clinical trials and noticed companies spending tons of money trying to promote these trials and desperate to find patients. The two parties were continuously missing each other.

Dr. Ochner had the unfortunate experience of his own mother, Mae, being diagnosed with stage IV cancer. After frantically searching for clinical trials that were both clinically relevant and immediately available, he continuously come up empty handed. Dr. Ochner had to find her a clinical trial fast and rightfully assumed it would be easy because he works in the field. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.

“I spent a month and I couldn’t get it done for my own mother,” Dr. Ochner told South Florida Tech Hub. “And that’s having been in the industry 20 years. I said to my Co-Founder Logsdon, “You were right, this system is broken and we need to fix it.”

That was the birth of the Miami-based Modern Trials.

Modern Trials sits at the intersection of health care and life science, partnering with healthcare organizations who have the patients in need of additional treatment options. They ingest the healthcare organization’s patient data and then make it searchable for their life science customers, clinical trial managers, in a private and secure manner.

 

How can InterSystems help?

InterSystems delivers high performance, cloud- first data platforms that solve data interoperability, speed, and scalability problems for large organizations globally through unifying disparate data into a single, complete view to enable better business outcomes. InterSystems’s IRIS for Health – Community Edition enables interoperability between EHRs and health applications, which enables utilization of data across distributed systems. This product arguably makes InterSystems the mac daddy of EHR data integration. What is EHR data integration you ask?

Modern Trials needs to search for patients who meet specific trial eligibility criteria (sometimes 50 or more) from EHR data. This data comes from many different healthcare organizations which means it comes in different formats and structures, and uses different standards, units, conventions and terms. However, for that data to be useful, it must be all made completely uniform. This monumental task is a major challenge when trying to utilize health records from different sources, particularly at scale with millions of records.

It’s incredibly complex and the reason that getting your medical records where and when you or your provider need them seems impossible. InterSystems IRIS for Health – Community Edition is built to do exactly this. Modern Trials will use it to ingest very large amounts of data from different sources (and therefore in disparate formats, structures, etc.) so that it winds up neatly and uniformly formatted on their database. This enables their customers to search that data and get accurate results. Ochner states; “For Modern Trials, this is key; it makes it possible to query this data so the right patients can be found and presented with potentially life-saving opportunities.”

InterSystems, a provider of next-generation data solutions that support mission-critical applications and drive digital transformation, has been the information engine powering some of the world’s most important applications in business, government and healthcare since the 1970’s. Some of their largest healthcare customers are Epic and the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Their products have received global industry recognition from Forrester, Gartner and KLAS Research and they have a 45-year history in the digital health sector working with the largest and most successful providers, payers, health networks, and health IT companies in the world. In fact, InterSystems is the world’s most popular data platform for healthcare, with more patient records managed on its technology than any other company. Of particular relevance to Modern Trials, InterSystems has an expansive network of EHR data and numerous healthcare organization clients that could benefit from clinical trial matching services.

The collaboration between Modern Trials and InterSystems aims to solve the previously insurmountable issue of bringing the right patients together with the right trial opportunities, largely facilitated by the EHR data integration enabled by InterSystems. “When we go through all the EHR data, we can pre-screen people without having to bother them,” Ochner explained. “This way we go directly to the individual and we already know that they’re very likely to meet criteria. About 96% of patients want to hear about it. They really appreciate having relevant opportunities brought right to them.”

The collaboration provides benefits for both companies. “InterSystems has a huge footprint in the healthcare space and a sizable but smaller footprint in the life science space,” Ochner stated. “Modern Trials sits right at the intersection of health care and life science and this collaboration illustrates the utility of InterSystems technology for life science customers. Their technology enables us to do what we do so this collaboration will also showcase how Modern Trials enables healthcare organizations to provide advanced treatment options to their patients. We are grateful for the opportunity to demonstrate to InterSystems the value in providing trial recruitment services to their clients through Modern Trials.”

An innovation like Modern Trials, paired with a trusted player in healthcare informatics like InterSystems, could revolutionize the trial recruitment process, potentially solving the most expensive pain point in the therapeutic approval process. This would increase access to new medications and medical devices for patients in need, and reduce the time and cost associated with bringing new therapeutics to market. Ultimately, Modern Trials and InterSystems hope to accomplish the mission of providing the opportunity for a better and longer life to every patient in need.

South Florida Tech Hub: Pioneering Wellness to Combat Burnout
CIC Miami is elevating the future of BioTech and Life Sciences in South Florida
Modern Trials and InterSystems Collaborate to Transform Clinical Trial Recruitment