PodcastAbout MaikoBe A Guest
JOIN OUR COMMUNITY
Episode
64

Chris Peng

Founder & President of PhysioQ & Kiipo

Ep
64

Fighting Covid-19 with Better Clinical Trials - Chris Peng of PhysioQ & Kiipo

Jan 12, 2021
With
Chris Peng
37:27

Fighting Covid-19 with Better Clinical Trials - Chris Peng of PhysioQ & Kiipo

Chris Peng is the Founder & President of PhysioQ and a Serial Entrepreneur in the health-tech space.

Watch on Youtube:

Listen to the Podcast:

Read the transcription:

[0:03] Maiko Schaffrath: You are listening to Impact Hustlers and I am your host, Maiko Schaffrath. I've made it my mission to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs to solve some of the world's biggest social and environmental problems and for this reason, I am speaking to some of the best entrepreneurs out there who are solving problems such as food waste, climate change, poverty, and homelessness. My goal is that Impact Hustlers will inspire you, either by starting an impact business yourself, by joining the team of one, or by taking a small step, whatever that may be, towards being part of the solution to the world's biggest problems. The topic of today's episode could not be more, timely, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that we all depend on the ability of researchers and pharmaceutical companies to come up with treatments and vaccines faster than ever before. And one of the problems is that clinical trials currently are very complex and can cause significant delays and also that there's actually not that much data available, especially if we remember back to the start of the pandemic. Chris Peng, my guest on today's episode is the founder and CEO of PhysioQ, a platform that allows researchers to run effective, decentralized clinical trials, using wearable technology. It does that by monitoring for some of the most common symptoms of COVID-19 and collecting real time data in the company's Neo platform. The company has so far worked with about 1000 researchers and helped more than 20,000 families affected by the COVID pandemic. Chris dropped some valuable insights into the future of scientific research and he also shares advice for founders that are looking to set up companies in the health space and he shares some real nuggets today on how to actually sell to a market that's so hard to sell to, like the health care market, which has long sales cycles, slowly moving and strongly regulated organization. So, this is a real valuable lesson for anybody that's interested in the health space. Chris is such a purebred entrepreneur, he has so many different startups that he has under his belt that he has founded in the past. So, if you're looking for some real experience from a health tech entrepreneur, this is the episode for you. Enjoy today's episode. It's really good to have you on the show, Chris.

 

[2:48] Chris Peng: Hey, great to be on here.

 

[2:51] Maiko Schaffrath: Thank you very much. Let's talk about LabFront first, that's the platform helping researchers to manage their trials and also tap into the sensor data and of the people participating in the trial so that you can actually leverage people from the comfort of their homes, and they can participate in studies. Tell us a bit more about LabFront and why researchers need this new tool. What's the problem it solves for them?

 

[3:17] Chris Peng: Sure. So, if you're like me before we started this project, you probably, if you're not a researcher yourself, you probably don't really know, you know, what goes into research. And for us, basically, it came down to insight, we had been working on a project where we're getting data from wearable device, and we were bringing it up to a bunch of researchers, just a part of this project that we're doing, it was a project with a big company. But what we found was a lot of research coming to us and say like, oh, can we also use that hardware to get that data off the device? And we're like, okay, why are so many people coming to us with this problem? And after looking into it just a little bit, we found out that it's super difficult actually to get data off of the devices for regular consumer products. So, like, if you're thinking about, you know, the Fitbit, the Apple Watches, the Garmins, for most people, like most researchers, they actually can't use those devices. What they actually have to use are specific devices sold by companies that directly do this kind of hardware and unfortunately, those things often cost 10 times more. So, like for example Philips have makes activewear, you know, it's just really just a wristband with some features, not too different from Garmin device. The Philips device cost you from $1000 US to $2,000 per device, where you can get your wearable devices, you know, off the market, wearable devices, like with good brands such as Garmin for around $100. So, that kind of was our initial insight into, wait, what's going on here? Why is there this disconnect? 

 

[4:52] Chris Peng: And so, when we actually started to look at it, we started to realize that although the consumer market has been going crazy, expanding really, really quickly, the research market has been very much left behind. And it's partly because there's just not that much demand in the current market that they have and there's not enough innovation happening because they don't see the market. And so, LabFront, what it actually does is looking into all the things that, you know, researchers need, the main issues are other than the collecting of data, which is obviously very important, there's another huge problem, which is, you're collecting data, a lot of times, it, you know, in sporadic episodes, so what I mean is, you're bringing in someone into the lab to collect some data, if you're doing a study, like, for example, let's say you're looking at a weight loss regimen, you know, something that's related to stress, okay? It's not like you can do that in one go, you have to follow them along three months or six months. But what happens when, you know, they're not in the lab collecting data? In a traditional setting, they actually, most of the time, are not collecting any data at all or they're using very simple journalists to write down, okay, today, I did this, I did that, I did that. And what you find is, a lot of times you actually don't get good quantifiable data, first of all, but secondly, you don't get good compliance, because people just forget, and they don't mean to forget, it's not that they want to forget, but it's just like, why are we using the system that enables, you know, just makes it so much easier to fail even if they want to? So, when we started with LabFront, we were thinking, let's make this entire process easier. Let's use consumer electronic devices to really, really significantly reduce the cost of each device, and then have a management software that lets you follow up on each participant to see how they're doing and just overall, increase your efficiency, reduce waste, reduce the amount of time it takes to do stuff, and everything is done through a GUI, so a graphical user interface, you don't have to do any coding, it's all done through a cloud based system.

 

[7:00] Maiko Schaffrath: So, this is inspired a little bit by what Apple has done, for example, right? Like what the Apple Watch, I think they've started to actually let you contribute that data to health research and things like that. Is that some of the inspiration behind it or is it quite different what you're trying to do?

 

[7:17] Chris Peng: No, it's definitely along the same direction, I think Apple realizes well, pretty early that this is going to be very, very valuable. The issue that Apple runs into is even though they have this great SDK called research kit, and researchers have to be very proficient, at least decently proficient in programming to be able to write your own app that can collect data using your Apple Watch, or you have to be proficient at using the health API to collect, you know, to write the code to collect the data from the cloud. Either way, what they're doing is going to be a little barrier to entry for a lot of medical researchers, especially, or any researcher that's interested in doing it without a coding background. And I think there's more researchers that wants to do stuff, than there are researchers with coding expertise. So, that's kind of what we fit in to fix the problem.

 

[8:09] Maiko Schaffrath: Amazing. Can you give us an example of researchers that have maybe already trialed the platform or the typical type of researcher that could get the most benefit out of this compared to whatever they're using right now?

 

[8:21] Chris Peng: Yeah, definitely. So, we have a study going on right now, related is actually COVID-19, looking into--. Well, one of the main issues is, kind of backstory, essentially, one of the main issues is most of the data collected in with COVID-19 is very skewed, because the data collected are all people that came into the hospital, got tested, and then basically stayed in the hospital, because that's the only reason that there is a lot of data. If it wasn't severe, they probably wouldn't have gotten tested, they probably wouldn't have come into the hospital and then you don't even know anything about it. And then the second part is after, like after they get released from the hospital, there's no more data as well. So, the entire process is completely missing, the pre, like the entire before, and the entire end, you know, and post. And that really makes it really difficult to understand the entire disease progression, you know, how this disease changes, like metabolically, how does your body react to it, and all these different things that would be very, very important to understanding this disease and other diseases in the future.

 

[9:26] Maiko Schaffrath: Got it. Yeah, let's speak a bit about COVID-19 and actually the work you're doing there, you've launched a product called Neil as well, which is targeted at families and individuals to monitor their health on an ongoing basis, and monitor for some of the easily detectable symptoms that you could actually look at. And what I saw as well when I looked at Neil, you can actually contribute the data that has been collected to researchers as well so they can tap into that. So, tell us more about Neil and how researchers can now access that data to make sense of COVID and maybe generate a few new insights?

 

[10:03] Chris Peng: Sure. Before I go into that, I think I should have kind of introduced a little bit about our ideology, which is, like, why are we focused on, you know, research wireless, sort of science and technology and in this field, is because we really believe that scientific progress is human progress, and we need to commit our resources and support the people doing this kind of work. And you see it with COVID, how important it is for the like, the mass utilization of scientists, you know, when they, you know, all of a sudden, there's a disease, and now they all have to, you know, try to figure out the virus trying to find a, you know, vaccine, you know, this is what they've been doing their whole lives, it's just now that we're noticing it, right. For a lot of people, this is happening in the background, it's not in the forefront. So, when the COVID-19 hit, we actually had been developing LabFront from quite a bit of time, we were actually planning to launch LabFront around the time when I was going to be in the US or in around, it was going to be March, April, and May to help, like, get some attention and route and in the launch of the product, but obviously, with COVID, that derailed our entire plan. So, we had to think about, okay, what can we do that can actually make a difference. And so, when we were talking to Dr. Andrew Hong who is a public health expert, and a doctor at Harvard Medical School, he's also an adviser to PhysioQ. He was thinking about, you know, what does the State of Massachusetts, you know, New York was the number one, you know, hit place that and then Massachusetts was growing really, really quickly. And he was thinking, like, what are the kind of things that we can do to, you know, help, in what, you know, to prevent that from a systemic perspective. 

 

[11:45] Chris Peng: And understanding the disease, one of the main issues is that 40%, according to WHO, 40% of transmissions are actually occurring before any symptoms. So, that means that, you know, like, even if you're using things like temperature checks, you don't know, like you're not, you're going to miss out on almost half of those cases. But if you actually look at the physiological data, like changes in the resting heart rate, there are changes in their heart rate variability, their oxygen saturation, those are things that actually can predict, or at least, I would say, predict would be too a bold word, but they can have a direct correlation with COVID. And so, when we thought about this, and having the access of this data at our fingertips, we think, well, why can't we do a version of this specifically targeted towards families? Because in my case, and my co-founder, Jordan, we're all living far away from our families and, you know, we're worried about them, but we don't actually have a way to really check in and so using wearable devices, and setting up family units, where you can get alerts, if someone's data is acting weird, you know, is something that we thought would be helpful for a lot of people. 

 

[13:00] Chris Peng: So and the second part of that was about the donation of data, because this is the part of the thing where, not just this element of, you know, supporting myself, but also, we're actually all in it together. And I think there is a, especially in the very beginning, there's a very large sense of solidarity with the frontline health workers, but also, the researchers that are also looking into this. So, for us, we found a lot of people actually, were very willing to donate their data, it's completely anonymized, but just donate their anonymized data to our data bank that would be provided for free to all researchers that were looking to do research into COVID-19. And so, that's just the other part of the same coin.

 

[13:49] Maiko Schaffrath: Amazing, I'd love to focus a bit more on your entrepreneurial journey, and maybe some advice you can share with entrepreneurs that may be listening to this and that are looking to launch ventures in the health space. And obviously, looking at you and your profile, initially, when we first met, it was really interesting, because you've got such a wealth of experience across so many different companies, you've started an initiative, you're running, I think we could probably record 10 more podcasts, the different things you've been doing, but let's focus on the journey and some advice you can share specifically, I think around building companies, for customers that may be are neglected by other companies. So, what you already mentioned is researcher is not really seen as a great marker for many companies, there's a lot of legacy stuff, but it's not like the easiest market to break into. If you're starting to sell to universities, you're going to have like really long sales cycles and really complicated politics at play and stuff like that. What's your advice to entrepreneurs breaking into that health market and kind of actually to get any sort of traction in that complicated market?

 

[14:58] Chris Peng: That is a very good question. I would say, aim for health, especially like, if you don't have an intense amount of backing behind you, crazy amounts of money, don't try to go medical right away because health, I think the goal for health is to kind of be somewhere between medical and health as in like you want to make a real impact on their health, right? But that a lot of times means a lot of, you know, people think that means they have to go medical. I think that you can progress to medical, but you can start with a more health side, just in terms of like, getting something off the ground, like regulation wise, like if you try to go medical right away, it's just like, it's impossible. So, if you're just one person, or if you're just small, trying to figure out what you want to do, try to move forward, I think health is definitely amazing. Like, there're so many health problems, there're so many things that can be solved and just choose one thing that you're passionate about, and just take baby steps. Honestly, it's not about planning everything from day one. And I'll just use myself as an example, we actually started out randomly in Ethiopia, actually. So, one of my friends from track and field, a teammate in college, Jordan, his roommate was actually a Norwegian guy who grew up in Ethiopia, his family, are all basically doctors, most of his family is doctor, Richard is the only non-doctor in the group. And they were starting a hospital in Ethiopia, Dr. Shell was starting Hospital in Ethiopia and they needed help to start the hospital and then they found out that there's no Emergency Medical Services system, there's no like, in the US, we call it like 911 system, like emergency number, you can call. And one of the main issues was is that there are no maps, there's no street signs, there's no street names. So, even if you called someone, you can't find people. So, when they called me and said like, because I was a technical person, is there some way we can solve this? Our first impression was like, not, oh, let's build the first emergency medical service system in the country. My whole first thing was, oh, how do I make it, like, how can I use an app or something to, you know, find someone's location? That's how it started. So, it's just literally very organically, we just went from one insight, and one thing that was meaningful, you know, people in Ethiopia don't have a way to find the hospital to step by step, grow something bigger, and eventually becoming the first emergency medical service system in the country. But it's honestly a completely natural, organic, like, baby step thing. And if I had personally thought about how much work I'd have to put in, and how much like, you know, planning that I should do, I would never have started and this would never have happened. But instead because I actually was naïve to these problems, like, that was actually a good thing for me. So, you know, stay young, you know, that, you know, that childlike brain and just, you know, being naivety, in some extent, you know, in like idealism, you know, I definitely think that it has its values.

 

[17:57] Maiko Schaffrath: And what's the biggest lesson you think you've learned throughout your entrepreneurial journey with PhysioQ, with Kiipo, but also some of the other initiatives you're involved with? Like, what's the biggest lesson you would share with entrepreneurs, that may help them avoid it maybe or avoid making mistakes?

 

[18:14] Chris Peng: Well, since your podcast is very much impact focused and I think a lot of people that are listening in might resonate with, you know, our impact message and what we're trying to do. It's something that I think is a double edged sword and I think, for people that are going into it, I want them to be aware of it, not that it's bad, not that I would ever recommend someone not doing it, just to, you need to be aware of that. If you're using, you know, the word nonprofit, you're the word social enterprise, that it has very different connotations, for very, different people, and you just really need to be aware of how you're positioning yourself. Because if you're going for a round of investment, you know, I've had this this problem, I have friends that have this problem, like their revenue numbers, and everything looked great, but they say they have, you know, they have this social impact and then all of a sudden, people are, you know, they're getting questioned on all these things that, even though a comparable company that's doing, you know, equal or less than what they're doing, in terms of your revenue and growth, don't get questioned because of it. And it's because you don't fit the normal stereotype of what these are investing in. So, you just have to be aware that, like, make sure you understand how you're branding yourself, and you might have to play a game, you know, to get the result you want. But, you know, totally like, I'm 100% supportive of social enterprises. We're definitely considered a social enterprise. But you know, it depends on how I say it because we're also a tech company and we also, you know, health tech AI, that's what we do.

 

[19:46] Maiko Schaffrath: Amazing. I think, if you look at fact, obviously what you're doing is combining technology, with like also profit driven business models to actually solve big problems, but you're also leveraging some of the advantages of running a nonprofit, right? So, I'd love to dig a bit deeper on that because on a few podcasts, we now have entrepreneurs like Alex from Beam, which is a homelessness crowdfunding platform based in the UK. They're basically crowdfunding training for homeless people. and they're set up as a dual setup as well, where they have a charity, they have a foundation, and they have a commercial operation next to that. And where, PhysioQ and Kiipo, you have a similar type of setup, where PhysioQ is actually a nonprofit organization and Kiipo is a for profit, impact driven business, however you would like to call it. Give us more context on the reasoning for that setup, and why you've decided to go for that?

 

[20:43] Chris Peng: Yeah, it actually just comes down to the market that we're doing, and what is the best way to approach it, and what are the best ways that we can ensure that our values, you know, are always going to be aligned. So, our whole purpose of creating the LabFront software is to help researchers. Now, if we want to help researchers, one of the main concerns is data privacy, and control and access to data. If you are a for-profit enterprise, regardless, if you have investors, and you are collecting a lot of data, there's going to be pressure for you to monetize that data, no matter who your investors are, there's going to be some kind of, and you also fiduciary responsible to your investors, to make money, as much money as you can. That's the MO of a private enterprise, or I should say, of a for-profit company. A nonprofit organization doesn't have that, the only difference that I consider, like the way that I say it is that nonprofits just don't have shareholders, right, they are governed by a Board of Directors, it's the team that is creating the product, and it doesn't invest, you know, it doesn't pay out dividends, and that's about it, you know, you still reinvest all the money that you get into yourself, or you can pay it in staff, there's like, you know, there's just no stocks, that's the only difference. And because it's run by a board of directors that is completely mission driven, because they have no financial responsibility and they have no financial incentive to do anything other than what they were put on the board to do. 

 

[22:15] Chris Peng: So, when we set up PhysioQ, is really important to make data privacy, the main aspect, and, you know, we believe that's really important, we also believe that slowly the world is catching on, that you don't want, you know, a Facebook or Google to control this data, and then sell it to the highest bidder. What I would rather want, and this is what we believe is that researchers are looking at this and like, oh, wow, this nonprofit organization, they make money by the subscription service and that's all they need to do. And as long as there's people using the service, there's no reason to grow, there's no responsibility to do anything else other than protect my data and provide the best experience and help as many people as we can. So, when we set it up, we set up the organization, we commit $2 million US to develop this software and help maintain it for the in perpetuity, you know, just forever, but we wouldn't get a charge that you know, the nonprofit organization that money to build it, you know, or they don't have the money to do that. So, instead, what we do is we license it completely for free and we just get a cut out of every subscriber that pays for the service, we get a percentage of, and then that way, no matter what, you know, if they aren't able to pay it, you know, they are not on the hook for the bill. And if they're making money, because a lot of people are using it, then, they've just share with us some of the money. That's, you know, it's pretty simple, I think.

 

[23:41] Maiko Schaffrath: That's really interesting, I think, again, being completely different business but they've done a similar model where the commercial company is running the platform, developing the platform, and they're getting a cut of what's being generated. But still, the kind of nonprofit is completely focused on making sure that the charitable cause is at focus, right, rather than anything else. So, I think that's a great setup to see and it's also good. I'm sure the listeners of this podcast, most of them really get this. But I think if you look at the mainstream, a lot of people don't get this, if you set up a nonprofit, that doesn't mean you can't have really good revenue streams coming in.

 

 

[24:22] Chris Peng: You can also pay people very well.

 

[24:23] Maiko Schaffrath: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I think you should, and I think that's actually one of the things I'm very passionate about. I've been working in the past, and fundraising and for charities as well and I've been involved with a fundraising agency, which pays their people really well as well, but only in return for actually raising a lot of money. But I've been very passionate about that topic as well. But I guess the point is, just because you're a nonprofit, you could have like really good governance reasons or reasons to align your objectives that you just mentioned, to set up a nonprofit but that doesn't mean that you have to now sell cakes, do bake sales to fund it, you can actually charge people for the software you're selling, like you do and generate revenue like that. So, I think that's something that still people don't get sometimes and it's really great to see entrepreneurs like you that have a more innovative approach on this and be like, no, we're nonprofit for these reasons, but it doesn't mean we like contractually sell software, for example. So, that's really good. Yeah, amazing.

 

[25:28] Chris Peng: You're still charging for the cakes, right?

 

[25:31] Maiko Schaffrath: Absolutely. Yeah, you are, right, yeah. But it's a site activity to generate something rather than focus on adding value to somebody and then taking a cut off that value, which is typically what companies do.

 

 

[25:42] Chris Peng: Yeah, I mean, I think I approach it the same way that I run the company, which is, if we are providing a very good value proposition, then you know, there's people that are willing to pay that money, because we're doing something for them that they value, you know, and so there's no difference. And the only thing that is slightly different is just, you know, how you raise money, that's a little, that part is definitely very different. And so, what we've done is our for-profit entity, we've invested the money, the resources, the team, you know, over a year of resources for an entire engineering team to develop this software platform. But that's something that I was going to take an investment into this anyways, I believe this is the future, I believe that what we're doing is valuable. So, in worst case, we just improve everyone's current research protocols, but best case, is we reduce the hurdle of entering research, like, it's so difficult to start research, because how much money it takes to start a research project, which means you need to get grant funding, which means you need to know how to write grants, which means you need experience. And it's like this chicken and egg problem where researchers that could be, that would love to dabble into it, like, do what I did, which is start a tiny little project, and then it started grow and grow and grow and it becomes a passion and now I'm an entrepreneur, you know, you don't have that in research, you don't have someone that just oh, let's do a tiny little project because it cost so much money and so many people are basically stuck at that barrier. They don't know how to code, they can't raise the capital, and then they never enter it. But then that's such a waste, because, you know, they wanted to do it, why aren't we encouraging it, like that's what we should be as a society encouraging people to do because whatever they come up with, whatever they find out in their research will benefit us, because it's, you know, new knowledge for us. So, that's basically the whole mindset.

 

[27:24] Maiko Schaffrath: That's a great mindset, I think democratizing the access to research and research tools and allowing more people to contribute to it. I think it's a great approach. What's your view about how research develops and maybe the types of organizations that leverage tools like the ones that PhysioQ is developing? What I mean with that, is obviously, traditionally, you're thinking of universities and academics and labs that are researching now, I think, especially in the last 20 years, you've seen a lot of tech companies actually having really big research departments and doing like some groundbreaking research. That's not even necessarily immediately commercialized but like doing some baseline research, like even if you look at Facebook and neuroscience research and stuff like that, obviously, they have certain motivations for that. But there's a lot of more commercial organizations in the space. How do you think platforms like yours can actually democratize research? And do you see like new players emerge, where maybe even somebody like doing some studies from the basement now or what is it?

 

 

[28:26] Chris Peng: Sure. that's citizen science. Yeah, so let me approach into it. First, it's just right now, what's unfortunate is that the majority of research funding, because the majority of research profits is coming from pharmaceuticals. So, unfortunately, like that is the biggest business, you know, one of the biggest businesses in the whole healthcare industry. And so, there's, because of the supply and demand, you know, there's more resources going into that, which means that the products they're selling for those types of research are really high budget, because if you're doing like a study by Merck, they have a huge budget, so you're going to sell a product that's very expensive, you'll sell, you know, a couple $1,000 per device, because you know, that they can pay for it, because that's what they do. But what's unfortunate is that you're missing out on the mass population. And this is the part about the citizen science that we really believe in. It's the personal Maker Movement, you know, the entrepreneur of one, the researcher of one kind of concept, where there's so much, you know, inventiveness in the mass, in the hobbyist, I should say, the person that's doing it for fun, the person that's doing it for interest, that we are missing out on all that potential, because we make it so difficult for them to just enter the market and when I say market, to enter the field. And so, our belief is, as a business and this is for people that are thinking, listening to us as a business is, we're also thinking that this is going to grow a lot in the first batch of what they call like non-consumers. We believe there's a lot of non-consumers in the research market that just haven't entered the market, because the barrier to entry is so high. And this is from extensive research that we've talked to, you know, we talked to so many doctors that would be doing research, if they could, it was cheap, and they didn't have to, essentially learn programming from scratch so that they could do a tiny project. And we've seen this right now with, we have psychologists and psychotherapists that are using LabFront right now to track the progress of their patient to not only do research, but also to have more feedback so that they can improve their treatment. So, I mean, this is a kind of an unorthodox use, but it's also, you can see the exact direct value, in terms of finding out, you know, how is, in psychology and psychotherapy, it's so many things that have to do with the autoregulation in the body, knowing how much you're exercising, know how much they're sleeping, all that is both important from research, but also important from a care perspective. So, that's where we see massive amounts of growth. 

 

[31:03] Chris Peng: And so, our whole business plan is pretty fun, like, pretty simple. It's, we sell a really, really cheap product, because we think there's a lot more people to do it. Other people, you know, there's other software's that sell their products, you know, for about $10,000 per study, $10,000 US per researcher that use it. Ours is very simple. Our motto is, were cheaper than Netflix. So, if you're willing to do your research, like you should be willing to spend enough money that you would have paid for Netflix, for our subscription service. But there's a massive population out there that we think, is just waiting on the edge to do this and, you know, this whole, you know, being stuck at home, like the DIY movement, everything like this is, I think it's all coming together and you know, this is the next wave.

 

[31:50] Maiko Schaffrath: Thank you so much. I got one last question for you and that's about the next 10 years, how does the world look like in 10 years’ time, when and if PhysioQ and Kiipo succeeds?

 

 

[32:04] Chris Peng: I'll enter in a simpler way, because our whole Kiipo thing is an entire other episode that we can chat about, it definitely just democratization of research people, you know, and doing projects themselves and just figuring out like, hey, would you want some data for yourself just to know, what type of exercise fad that's, you know, on TV actually works, how easy it would be to do that, to start your own project, and invite 30 of your friends, some of them that aren't doing it, some of them are doing this version of this diet and then, you know, at the end of 90 days, you could just compare results? Just how easy would that be to do that now with LabFront. And so, we see that it's not just academic research, but this kind of like citizen researches and science is, I think, is going to be a catalyst for academic research, like academic research also comes in waves, you know, there's also fads, and also like, you know, things that are hyped, and things that are fashionable, and that's going to come from people as well. And if people think that, hey, I think this project is worthwhile, like, you know, maybe there's going to be crowdfunding research projects, maybe there are researchers that are like, hey, what are you guys interested in and like, people are interested in and maybe like, you know, keto diet, or different things along that, you know, different types of intermittent fasting and a researcher could take that and say, I already have my participants, which is my biggest cost, they're willing to buy into their own devices, because they want to track their own health anyways. And now I could run like a 10,000-person study for essentially free, you know, not free, sorry, the price of Netflix. So, that's 10 years, that's where I hope for from the PhysioQ side is just, we're going to be pumping out new tools. Right now we're focused specifically on data collection, but in the future is going to be on the analytic side as well, to make it completely easy for anyone to be able to graph it and then have our own click and drag and drag and drop tools that you can run any type of analysis you want, visualize it that by air that you know, in like pie graphs, or whatever you want to see to see this. And that using very, very limited, very small bits of AI to figure out, hey, maybe this is what you'd be interested in, like, sell, generate graphs.

 

 

[34:16] Maiko Schaffrath: Amazing. Thank you so much for joining us today. I really enjoyed how you described, not just a new piece of software and just another tool, but are like a whole paradigm shift and how technology and building a tool like LabFront could actually help bring about that paradigm shift, where access to research and access to running big trials or big research project can be heavily democratized. And I think I find it really exciting to think about the possibilities of this and maybe have it as common as a Netflix subscription almost for people to be like okay, actually, let's do some research and not just the universities, which are often also obviously stuck in like old ways of doing things and having to apply for funds and etc., everything you mentioned about traditional research projects. I really enjoyed envisioning the future with you together and learning about LabFront and Neil and PhysioQ as an initiative, and thanks very much for joining me today.

 

[35:24] Chris Peng: Thank you. It's great to you know, talk to you. And I guess for the viewers, my last message is if you guys are interested in this story, and we recently released a documentary called Every Drop Matters, and it follows the story of the Nordic Medical Center in Ethiopia. So, you can find it on YouTube, I think we can put in the show notes. So, if you're interested in that kind of thing, you know, feel free to take a look and just understand that there are really a lot of good things happening in the world and we just had to find them. And this podcast is a great place to find it. So, I really appreciate you hosting and thanks for this podcast as well.

 

 

[35:55] Maiko Schaffrath: Thank you so much. Yeah, I'll definitely put that in the show notes, put your website there as well, etc., do check out Kiipo, PhysioQ and the amazing work you've been doing. Thank you very much for joining me.

 

[36:05] Chris Peng: Thank you.

Related Episodes