Friday, January 03, 2014

40 Years Ago Today!

Thanks to all my great friends, family and colleagues who have made my first 40 years such an extraordinary experience. Blessed and thankful to have so many wonderful people in my life and the priceless fortune of good health and wellness as I enter my forties...Peace!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Proud to Unveil the New StartUp Health Logo and Identity

For those of you who know me well, then you know I've wanted to completely overhaul our StartUp Health logo and identity forever. Well, I'm super excited to finally share our new logo and identity as we unveiled our new look this week in a big way at the mHealth Summit in DC.  

The new identity is a creation I worked on all summer in Brooklyn with StartUp Health’s amazing designer Sascha Mombartz. I must say when we were close to done it was super hard for me to not just launch it months ago, but we wanted to get the details just right.


I'll be sharing more about the "why" and the meaning and details behind the design when I get a chance but in essence the new logo is simply a symbol of transformation, collaboration, and integration. It reflects what we stand for at StartUp Health.  


And who doesn't like +! Everyone loves plus!...That's energy. That's batteries included. That's health...


I hope you like it!


Our Primary Logo:




Our Logo Mark



Our Logo Icon




Branding in action at the StartUp Health Pavilion at mHealth Summit




Saturday, November 09, 2013

Protecting Privacy and Personal Security -- Our World's Need for a Careful Balance and the Ten Commandments of Ethical Surveillance (first published Sept. 13, 2001)

On September 11, 2001 I was living and working in Dallas, Texas helping build an inspiring startup called The Privacy Council. The company was later sold, but at the time our mission was to help companies better manage complex privacy regulations and policy using technology in a rapidly changing world impacted by technology.

When the Twin Towers came crashing down, along with everyone else, I instantly realized that the world had changed forever. In addition to great sorrow, anger, and confusion, I immediately became concerned for the thousands of innocent people and brave souls who lost their lives needlessly. Gnawing at my gut was another alarming realization: we were about to embark on a new era that could drastically disrupt the equilibrium and balance between fundamental personal freedoms like privacy and a new call for security and surveillance in a drastically changed world.

Not only had the world been brutally attacked in a physical sense, but in an instant I feared the Shock and Awe of it all might create a frenzy and gravely impact our world in ways that would cut at our core beliefs and values. In addition to being scared for our nation, I wondered if a wave of policy and cultural changes would hit us like a tsunami and cause deeper harm to our liberty and pursuit of happiness?

So the day after September 11, I drafted the Ten Commandments of Ethical Surveillance with the then Privacy Council CEO Dr. Larry Ponemon. We published them on September 13, only two days after that horrendous day, yet well before The Patriot Act, PRISM, or any of the new NSA surveillance programs that have come to light as a result of the Snowden documents.

I thought it would be well worth republishing the original press release as a reminder again that equilibrium is healthy. While the final chapters have certainly not yet been written, it is as clear to me today as it was in September 2001 that our world needs a careful balance between the need for security while protecting fundamental rights that give us the ability to be free, happy and healthy.

ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE:

Protecting Privacy and Personal Security -- Our World's Need for a Careful

Balance and the Ten Commandments of Ethical Surveillance


DALLAS, Sept. 13 /PRNewswire/ --

Now more than ever our nation and our world must carefully balance our right to personal freedoms like privacy with our need for public safety. New standards are now required to protect us all. Privacy Council announced that it is establishing the Council of Ethical Surveillance and today published the Ten Commandments of Ethical Surveillance.

A powerful breed of criminals and their tragic acts of inhumane terrorism now force us to seriously consider how we protect public safety in a way we could not have imagined only a few days ago. This protection must be balanced with the rights of individuals as related to their personal privacy and the technological advances in collecting personal data.

"Our human need to feel safe will cause people to be more willing to exchange elements of their personal privacy in order to better protect the security of loved ones and a free way of life from fear," said Dr. Larry Ponemon, CEO of Privacy Council, Inc. "We must be very cautious to balance these rights and not forget that proper privacy policy should not interfere with the ability to uncover, identify and root out evil."

Clearly there will be a call for increased security and surveillance systems and we will see a deployment of new systems and technologies to ferret out criminals. The intent will be good, but while doing so it is imperative that we do not give way to compromising our fundamental rights as citizens of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Standards will still be required. Rules must still be set. And, we must carefully develop systems that will transform data and technology into the guardian of the public good.

"Threats to our way of life challenge us to address and balance conflicting needs of our society," said Dr. Ponemon. "We should not have to give up our fundamental rights of freedom, privacy and security. We need to advance these freedoms and maintain our personal securities by weighing the balance between privacy and security, and most importantly understanding how they can work to protect one another if we advance them together, carefully, and with standards."

Whatever we do, we must not be forced to choose between privacy and freedom. We must work to find balance or we will have lost. Privacy and security must work together to protect the public good.

The Ten Commandments of Ethical Surveillance(TM)

Privacy Council is assembling the Council of Ethical Surveillance, a group of government and business leaders, authorities, and privacy and security experts to ensure that the balance between privacy and security work together to protect our individual freedoms while providing more protection and public safety.

During this important time, we have defined the Ten Commandments of Ethical Surveillance -- conducting surveillance as to not marginalize the individual or violate their rights to personal privacy:

1. Do not tip your hand to the 'bad guy.' However, notice and disclosure about the broad process must be provided.

2. Establish clear reporting channels to authorities for suspicious activity.

3. Always treat this data with the highest level of privacy.

4. Never use data for any other purpose than to protect the safety and welfare of the public.

5. Share individuals' 'risk status' with other companies on a need to know basis only. All other sharing of data between companies should require the consent of the customer, employee, or individual.

6. Use the highest level of data security.

7. Establish redress by companies for individuals mistreated or whose data is misused during this process.

8. Impose strict enforcement mechanisms with serious consequences by authorities over the misuse of data.

9. Ensure that use of biometrics and other security and monitoring technologies produce high-quality results and minimize false positives.

10. Establish an independent system of checks and balances to verify and ensure that this process is not being misused.

Privacy Council, (http://www.privacycouncil.com ) is a knowledge and technology company headquartered in Richardson, Texas, a major tech center for many U.S. corporations, and has offices in San Jose, California and Washington, D.C. With leading privacy experts in the fields of financial services, health care and telecommunications, Privacy Council delivers expert privacy knowledge and technology solutions to companies concerned about achieving compliance with their stated privacy and data protection policies and new regulatory requirements.

The Trust Revolution (Video with Unity Stoakes)

Just came across this talk I gave a couple of years ago and thought it was still relevant today. About some thoughts I was developing on what I referred to as The Trust Revolution and ultimately the implications for our health. My basic thesis is that for a handful of reasons we are living in a new era of trust (The Trust Revolution) and transparency and ultimately this is a great thing for our health...In the video I outline 6 reasons why I believe Trust is evolving.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Automating Behavior Change - Social Media Week Presentation (Video)

I had the opportunity to speak on Wednesday on a panel titled: Healthy Living: How Behavior and Patients Can Fix Healthcare. This is a topic near and to to me. I've posted the transcript to my talk below. But the video has the full 90 discussion which starts with Dr. Jay Parkinson's talk, followed my remarks on Automating Behavior Change, and then Derek Flanzraich's presentation on How to make Behavior Change cool. I especially enjoyed the second half of the session which was a conversation moderated my Ki Mae Heussner, from GigaOm.

Watch the full session below or skip around.

Jay Parkinson, Sherpaa - starts at 8:45 mins into video.
Unity Stoakes, StartUp Health - starts at 22:00 mins into video.
Derek Flanzraich, Greatist - starts at 30:50 mins into video.
QA Discussion moderated by Ki Mae Heussner, GigaOm - starts at 44:30 mins into video.

 

Automating Behavior Change for Good: How Patients, An Army of Entrepreneurs, and Billions of Connected Sensors Will Change Your Health Forever
(by Unity Stoakes, Feb. 21. 2013, Social Media Week talk)

StartUp Health Academy Intro: Thank you. It’s great to be here. Some quick background to put this talk into context. My name is Unity Stoakes, I’m the co-founder of StartUp Health, a national Academy for Health and Wellness Entrepreneurs.

We have a simple plan we believe will transform healthcare: which is to build an army of entrepreneurs (who we call Healthcare Transformers) and layer in the Network Effect.

Over the next 10 years, we are on a mission to help build 1,000 health and wellness tech companies that will help change healthcare forever.

Automating Behavior Change For Good
Today, I’d like to talk about something that I am personally very passionate about: the need to Automate Behavior Change for Healthy Living.

There was an interesting article in the New York Times two days ago about the Food Industry called The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food. Please read it.

You see, the Food Industry, like the Cigarette industry before it, figured out how to Automate Behavior Change a long time ago. And the consequences have been catastrophic. Now, I believe, it’s time to Automate Behavior Change, but in the pursuit of Life, Liberty and Happiness.

Three Questions 
So, let me start by asking three questions questions:

How many people actively measure your own health or behavior? (Weight, steps, calories, sleep, etc.) How many people would wear a bandaid that would alert you before you were dehydrated or help correct your posture?
How many people would swallow a pill that would painlessly analyze all of your vital signs from the inside your body 24/7?

Everything You Do Will Be Measured and Analyzed
Within the next few years most everything you do will be measured and analyzed by billions of connected sensors, intelligent algorithms, and you.

And if I get my wish, all of this will happen elegantly in the background...invisible, automated and with incredible purpose.

What you do and eat, how you feel, and what your temperature is will be tracked and analyzed. Band aids will alert you before you are dehydrated and help correct your stress levels. Thermometers will indicate when there’s a flu outbreak in your school district. And your shoes and underwear will help improve your balance.

You will have extraordinary access to amazing insights about your life, about your own health and wellness, and also about the ecosystem around you.

Pretty scary isn’t it?! But it’s also pretty incredible. And I believe part of the answer to improving our collective health. 

Right now an army of entrepreneurs, innovators, and empowered patients are re-imagining what’s possible and building these technologies. It’s already happening. Billions of connected sensors are starting to measure, analyze and help change our behavior and thus our health forever. You will be able to track your health and wellness more accurately than your stock portfolio or your Web traffic. Your 24/7 Health Dashboard will show your past, present, and future wellness score. Best of all it will predict, suggest, and motivate you -- one breath -- one bite -- one step at a time to improve your health.

Why Outsource Your Health? Know Thyself!
I’ve often wondered why over the last 100 years so many of us have decided to outsource our health and wellness to someone else. I’m not sure how or why it happened, but it’s almost as if the norm became to outsource our health (to doctors, insurance companies, drugs, the government), leaving others in charge of our well-being. Somewhere along the way, our own health became someone else’s problem, and something to treat tomorrow.

Empowered Patients and the Digital Revolution
The good news is that two significant conditions are different now: First, the rise of the empowered patient. People are taking charge of their health -- both out of necessity and out of personal preference; And second, the digital revolution is finally infiltrating healthcare. With the foundation of the social web and connected sensors everywhere, a new era of innovation is possible. And now thousands of innovators, designers, doctors, and entrepreneurs are in the process of redesigning our future health.

Automating Behavior Change
Empowering people to acknowledge preventive health is a step-by-step process; change is hard. Behavior change is even harder. Fortunately, the social web, data, design, and personalized medicine are helping.

But for the progress I’ve described to truly work, and make a meaningful impact on our health and wellness, I believe there are 10 essential characteristics that innovators will need to tackle to transform our collective health and facilitate behavior change:

The 10 Rules to Automating Behavior Change

1. Natural Design - for the masses to adopt a quantified world the process needs to be beautiful and inspire trust and confidence.
2. Persistent and Automatic - data must be collected continuously and automatically to make the process easy and data set comprehensive.
3. Embedded and Integrated - technology should be seamlessly woven into our clothes, in our car seats, and design to work in and on our bodies.
4. Invisible - the best technology will disappear into the background.
5. Everyday Life - these will not be health and wellness devices. They will be designed into our life: refrigerators, car steering wheels, airplane seats, toilets and so on.
6. Comfortable - make things comfortable or no one will use them.
7. Predictive - It’s one thing to tell you what happened. It’s magic to show you what’s about to happen.
8. Incremental - behavior change is about small steps and incremental progress over time. Let’s help people eat elephants one bite at a time rather than in one sitting as is the case now.
9. Intelligent - the best tools will learn and get more intelligent over time.
10. Useful - technology is not about novelty or games. This is about providing value and making a measurable impact so we can all live happier healthier lives.

We’re very much at the beginning of an exciting new era, where technology, design, and innovation will help us change our behavior and improve our health. When we get this right, this will be one of the most important innovations of our time.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Don't Use Drugs Rap - From Unity's Vault

Here's a special video from The Vault as they say.  Actually the first time this home video clip was ever shown publicly was last week at my 'Friends and Family Talent Show' as part of our 3 day Wedding celebration in Tulum, Mexico.  (more pics and vids of that to come).

I wasn't sure if I would ever show this movie or not to my friends and family, but given so many of our crew brought their A-game to the stage during our Talent Show...I figured if not then, when!?

After numerous requests since the debut last week, I decided to post the video and share it more broadly. Why not?... it's a part of my history, youth, and upbringing afterall...

A few comments for context:
  • Please remember this was the mid 80's. Additionally, this was shot with one of the first home video camcorders. I did all the editing myself and was learning on the fly.  
  • At the time (and still now), I was heavily influenced by a movie called Wild Style.  I was fortunate enough to grow up in a community (Iowa City, IA) where they had an art house theater where they played this film. This is the first movie I'm aware of to have breakdancing in it and it changed my world. I was also lucky enough at the age of 11 to be able to go see this film, in big part to my great friend Orion Meyer, a tastemaker and bon vivant always way ahead of every trend and style.  
  • By way of context, the purpose of the video was for a homework assignment that I did for elementary school.  Basically, I transformed the book report assignment into a video project likely because I wasn't used to conventional homework projects (but that's another story). 
  • This was how I dressed in that era all the time.  The black jacket was my favorite article of clothing and I rarely took it off.  The tie must have been added for affect.  I've always been a super fan of hats, but this one was a favorite.  
  • I don't recall the song I'm spinning, but I think I bought it in a record store in Cleveland, the Rock and Roll Capital of the world. I think I was hunting for rap albums and this was what I found. I used to try to scratch and spin on my folks turn table as best I could.  I never got that down.  
  • My two favorite parts of the video are when I keep looking down at a sheet of paper with the lyrics and also about 3:30 into the video when my mom makes a cameo appearance and enters in the background apparently doing laundry. I wave her off with my head and the show goes on. All done in one take...
Enjoy....



And the film that started it all: Wild Style.  Groundbreaking in so many ways...


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Graffiti Hunting in Brooklyn

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood for Graffiti Hunting! Check out these amazing murals near my place on Kent Ave....

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Becoming a Samurai: 21 Lessons to Help You Own Your Future

I had the opportunity to speak again recently to the Freshman class at Boston University's College of Communication.  The talk I gave was titled: On Becoming a Samurai: 21 Lessons on How to Own Your Future.  Basically, I shared a bunch of lessons that I wished someone had shared with me when I was a Freshman at BU.  

It was a wonderful experience and I hope I have the opportunity to spend more time with COM students again soon.  I was impressed by the passion and interest that so many of the students demonstrated.  And all of this at an 8AM lecture in a large auditorium! 

I am finally getting around to posting my prezi of the session.  Sorry, I don't have video for this.  The slides will have to do.

Ping me @unitystoakes if you have any questions or suggestions.



23 Emerging Digital Health Trends: Unity Stoakes's Talk at Health 2.0 Chicago

I had the great honor of giving a talk on Friday September 28th at the first Health 2.0 Chicago Conference.  I wanted to share the slides for whoever wants them.  Ping me @unitystoakes if you have questions or learn more at StartUpHealth.net.