Slides From Stanford Medicine X 2015


(original version – prior to correction of typo: Shaywitz_Stanford-Medx_v10 )


Tech Tonics: The Podcast

You’ve read our book – now experience our podcast!


Lisa Suennen and I are excited to announce the launch of  Tech Tonics: The Podcast, building on the interest in Tech Tonics: The Book.  Tech Tonics: The Podcast will be a twice monthly program focused on the people and passion at the intersection of technology and health.

We were delighted to see this WSJ coverage of our podcast on Friday, January 16, 2015.

Drawing from our experience in business, medicine, and health-IT, our Tech Tonics Podcast is specifically intended to bring the people of our field to life, and ideally, elevate humanism in a healthcare world captivated by technology.  We deeply believe in what Robert Coles (an inspiration to us both) has termed “the call of stories,” and aspire to bring the spirit of Coles, William Carlos Williams, Abraham Verghese, and Michael Lewis to the world of digital health.

Together, we’ll engage a range of intriguing guests in discussions that enable listeners to appreciate the tale behind the startups, the people behind the passion.

Tech Tonics: The Podcast first airs January 19, 2015 and you can find that show and listen to it by clicking here.

Shows will air twice-monthly, featuring guests such as:


Tech Tonics, the Podcast is produced by Jason Lopez and syndicated by Connected Social Media. You will find it on the Connected Social Media website or on iTunes (here), and you can always find the links here on this page.

We are really excited about this and so appreciate the support we have received to make this possible.IMG_7015 Good

Thanks for listening and warm regards from David and Lisa

Podcast Episode 1: Lisa Maki

Podcast Episode 2: Aenor Sawyer

Tech Tonics: The Book

Lisa Suennen (aka “Venture Valkyrie”) and I have sought to capture the impact of the technology tremors reverberating through our healthcare system in Tech Tonics: Can Passionate Entrepreneurs Heal Healthcare with Technology?  This book (published in autumn of 2013, by Hyperink Press) is a distillation of our writing and thinking over the last several years and particularly our thoughts about how we got where we are today and where these fields may be headed, including a ground-level view of the technology landscape, its structural challenges, players, progress and pitfalls.

In compiling Tech Tonics, we have particularly sought to chronicle the recent trials and tribulations of digital health, capturing the energy, passion, hope, and hype, the ambition—occasionally misguided—of wildly smart technologists trying to grapple with some of the most difficult challenges of the modern era.

Tech Tonics: Can Passionate Entrepreneurs Heal Healthcare With Technology, by David Shaywitz and Lisa Suennen, is available for download from Amazon by clicking here.  (A print version is also available from Amazon, but we recommend the electronic version because it maintains the hyperlinks.)  We hope you enjoy it!



Book Review_ ‘Where Does It Hurt_’ by Jonathan Bush – WSJ

Addiction to deals reveals the depth of pharma’s ills – FT

Uncle Marvin Test_ a patient’s guide – Boston Globe Archive

Globe science to medicine


shaywitz ausiello human genome NYT week in review

POR AJM 2000

WSJ Pharmascolds Shaywitz Stossel


Scientific research with an asterisk – Boston Globe Archive


Dr. Shaywitz is a graduate of Harvard College (summa cum laude), and received his MD from the Health Sciences and Technology program at Harvard Medical School and MIT, and his PhD from the Department of Biology at MIT.   He trained in internal medicine and endocrinology at MGH, and conducted his post-doctoral research in the Melton lab at Harvard.   He gained experience in early clinical drug development in the Department of Experimental Medicine at Merck, then joined the Boston Consulting Group’s Healthcare and Corporate Development practices, where he focused on strategy and organizational design.   Most recently, he was Senior Director of Strategic and Commercial Planning and Corporate and Business Development at Theravance, a publicly-held drug development company in South San Francisco, where he concentrated on new product development and led a product team.  Currently, he is Chief Medical Officer of Mountain View-based DNAnexus, where he focuses on delivering upon the collaborative, patient-inspired vision of genome-enabled (really, data-enabled) medicine.

Dr. Shaywitz is a co-founder (with Dennis Ausiello) of the Harvard PASTEUR program, a translational research initiative at Harvard Medical School.  He is also a founding advisor of Sage, a non-profit medical research initiative (founded by Eric Schadt and Stephen Friend) emphasizing networks and open innovation (   More recently, he co-founded the Center for Assessment Technology and Continuous Health (CATCH), a MGH/MIT-based digital health initiative led by Dennis Ausiello, and focused on using improved real-world phenotypic assessment to improve care and advance science.

For the last fifteen years, Dr. Shaywitz has contributed commentaries about medicine, science, strategy, innovation and digital health to a number of popular publications, including The New York TimesThe Washington PostThe Wall Street JournalPolitico Pro, and The Financial Times.  He currently is a regular contributor to and

Dr. Shaywitz is an Adjunct Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.  His email is:  david {dot} shaywitz {at} gmail {dot} com.


In medicine, science, and policy, we confront intrinsically difficult challenges — really hard problems.  Our best chance of success comes from removing artificial constraints, maintaining an open mind, and focusing relentlessly and exclusively on building the best teams possible to address the formidable challenges of our era.

I believe (as articulated in this post) that “whether the barrier is an unorthodox career path or a different learning style (see this WSJ review of Outliers, and this WSJ review of The Rare Find), biases of gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation (see here), a reflexive antipathy towards industry (see here), or the ageism described by [Reuters journalist Sarah] McBride, our ability to succeed and change the world for the better can be limited by our own preconceived notion of what success looks like.”