“In the Studio,” Greylock’s John Lilly Examines the Opportunities in Personal Health Data

Editor’s note: TechCrunch contributor Semil Shah is an entrepreneur interested in digital media, consumer Internet, and social networks. Shah currently works at Votizen and is based in Palo Alto; you can follow him on twitter @semil

“In the Studio” at TechCrunch TV continues today with a guest who was once a Senior Scientist at Apple and CEO of Mozilla Corporation before eventually making the trek up Sand Hill Road, where today he’s a partner at a leading venture capital firm.

John Lilly, an investor with Greylock Partners, has kept himself busy. Having invested already in properties like Tumblr, Dropbox, and a series of others through his firm’s early-stage “Discovery Fund,” one of the new areas Lilly is investigating today is world of personal health data and systems. The sheer number of new companies and devices on the market offering consumer-level health solutions is simply staggering. We have an explosion in “computing devices” (phones and sensors), new hardware (like Fitbit), new software services (like Cake Health), and social systems and platforms that attempt to weave these all together to form some type of personalized representation of our current state of health and where we’d aspire to be. (Note: There are simply way to many companies in the health space to mention them all here. You can find more comprehensive lists on Quora and by poking around the website of Rock Health, an incubator designed to help launch health-focused startups.)

In this short discussion, Lilly brings some of his latest blog entries on personal health data and social health systems to life. Because he has a background in hardware, sensors, software, and now consumer products, Lilly has a unique perspective on where the real opportunities may lie relative to all the approaches currently on the market. In this talk, he’s able to paint a picture of how hardware, software, and social systems could marry to form a truly personalized health experience for the consumer, especially set against the backdrop of aggregate population data. For those entrepreneurs working away on the health devices, the health software approaches, and the ways in which we’ll share our data in social systems, this talk with Lilly is a great chance to learn from someone who has been thinking deeply about the opportunity a few years down the road, with an eye focused on the convergence of the hardware, software, and social.