New Fit City

Healthcare Is About to Get the Techie Start-Up Treatment

charleshuang Healthcare Is About to Get the Techie Start Up Treatment Look closely at this face, you might be seeing it around more often (although we can’t promise he will be making the same expression). In a post on his Tumblr, former Spark Capital associate Charlie Huang (the TechStars advisor, not the Guitar Hero founder FYI) announced that he will be leaving Spark headquarters in Boston and moving to New York City. He will be taking a temporary gig as VP of bizdev for FitOrbit, one of Spark’s portfolio companies. The Los Angeles-based start-up facilitates online persona trainers and fitness plans.  It’s all part of Mr. Huang’s grand plan to make sure healthcare IT gets the love it deserves.

Betabeat’s feature this week on the cultish popularity of the 4 Hour Body diet among local technophiles name-checked a number of fitness products — Fitbit, Withings Wi-Fi scales, and Daytum –that scratch the itch to both get healthier and quantify those efforts.

Mr. Huang things these things should have happened a long time ago:

“Healthcare from an innovation and VC perspective has always gotten short shrift compared to tech from both those in the know and the general public (for a myriad of reasons) despite healthcare/life sciences more than holding it’s own compared to tech venture investing in the past decade.  Regardless, no one can doubt that there is now a flurry of activity at this convergence of health and technology, from both start-ups and investors alike, as my partner and mentor at Spark Todd Dagres had correctly anticipated.  There are now healthcare specific incubators popping up (and rightly so) such as Rock Health in San Francisco and Blueprint Health in New York with the mission to help health & tech entrepreneurs grow their ideas into hopefully meaningful companies that will help transform healthcare. “

According to Mr. Huang, the recent increase in interest  is nothing compared to what we’ll be seeing over the next five to ten years. That might be in part because of who’s starting the companies

“Historically we’ve seen more healthcare natives (doctors, hospitals, etc.) doing the majority of innovating in this sector.  Now there is an influx of traditional tech or entertainment/design entrepreneurs tackling healthcare problems and launching start-ups.”

Maybe one way to give healthcare IT more love would be finding the niche a better name. We could get pretty pumped up about fit-tech.

Follow Nitasha Tiku on Twitter or via RSS. ntiku@observer.com