In this Fireside Chat, I sit down with Jeffrey Ruby, Founder & CEO of Newtopia, to discuss how a combination of genetic testing, personality-matched coaching, and smart technology can be used to inspire people at risk of developing chronic diseases to achieve and sustain healthier lifestyles. We also dive into many interesting topics such as the current state of precision medicine, concerns around biometric data privacy and ownership, and what type of healthcare systems allow digital therapeutics to flourish. Further, Jeffrey walks us through his inspiration to found Newtopia and provides expert insights on the future of these types of digital therapeutics in the healthcare sphere.
Here is a preview of our exciting chat:
Q: You’ve brought up the human elements and the über personalization of Newtopia, but can you tell us a little bit more about the technology, including interoperability and who has access to the generated data?
A: The nature, or the leverage, of the Newtopia platform is this persuasive technology platform that we’ve built, which is fundamentally bringing the right behavioral economics and psychology, alongside more and more machine learning, AI, smart automation, and the right technology user experience and design to deliver that habit change at scale. So it’s been built by Newtopia, and it both powers our inspirators; they’ve got a very powerful information center and dashboard to understand all those dynamics about each individual. And then there’s actually a full rules engine and there’s the opportunity for Newtopia itself to deliver content based on the evolving relationship with each participant.
In terms of the data, we’re focused on the US and we’re a HIPAA-compliant organization. So all of the data is subject to the appropriate to BAA agreements with our clients. The ownership of data is very much the participants; they own the data. We have consent rights and interest in anonymized deidentified data, which we are able to conduct research on, both at the genomic and lifestyle or phenotypic level. But the data-sharing is actually really simple; we don’t share data with anyone on an identified basis, both because we deal in genetic data and the presence of the very strong genetic information non-discrimination act in the US, which by the way has just been approved by the Supreme Court here in Canada.
But the information is strictly between each participant and Newtopia and it’s up to the participant to determine if he or she wants to disclose that information with their physician or healthcare team as they wish…
For more of our discussion, you can watch the whole Fireside Chat with Jeffrey Ruby, or listen to the podcast version, below.
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