HxRefactored Sneak Preview: Kevin Callahan, Co-Founder & VP Innovation Strategy, MapMyFitness
What is your burning mission in health and why?
KC: From day one our mission at MapMyFitness has been to empower active lifestyles. Through our websites and mobile applications, we allow people around the world to map, record and share their exercise routes and workouts in an online database. Our innovation has changed the way people think about their health and fitness. Now it’s commonplace for consumers to log their activity in a place where their data can tell a holistic story. It’s also common for people to workout with their mobile device – we’ve given them a reason to. Healthcare is changing, and society is learning that a corner needs to be turned in terms of diet and exercise. We have helped shape the market where health technology is getting smaller, cheaper and most importantly less complicated and essential for the everyday person.
What is your patient story?
KC: My mother passed away from a slow, incurable, degenerative disease of the lungs called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. We were given 3-4 more years from a lung transplant. Experience, although ultimately heartbreaking, was positive — not due to outcome, but the process worked. My parents had great government insurance and the doctors, nurses, and professionals we met through the process where inspiring. So much so that my sister went on to a second career as a nurse. For a technologist like me, it was hard to sit on the sidelines while an untreatable, relatively unknown disease took someone who taught me that life was too short not to be doing something you love. I hope one day technology is able to improve all outcomes.
What new health-related website, app, or technology do you think will improve health?
KC: I look at the new class of apps and “dongle-tech” that are starting to penetrate the market, such as AliveCor’s Mobile Heart Monitoring device. The “Tri-corder” xprize also gives me hope that we can start bringing this type of technology exploration into more hands as technology and hardware becomes more accessible. I’m also extremely happy that the FDA finally came around and is starting to revisit it’s own regulation to make these types of advances accessible.
Why should people come to your session?
KC: Personal healthcare is about taking individual responsibility. Help your healthcare provider by providing data you already have. With the proliferation of smartphones and applications, anyone can use technology to monitor their health data, and the number of people who start monitoring this information will continue to grow, and also shape the healthcare industry, as it continues to invest in approachable technology infrastructures.