Here’s a new startup to keep an eye on — Forward, which plans to use sensors and other technology to rethink the healthcare experience.
It’s hard to say what that means exactly. For now, the Forward website is pretty much a blank sign-up page.
But the startup already has more than 30 employees and has enlisted a number of big-deal executives as investors, including Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Box CEO Aaron Levie, StumbleUpon/Uber co-founder Garrett Camp, Thrive Capital/Oscar co-founder Joshua Kushner and Palantir co-founder Joe Lonsdale.
We asked another investor, First Round’s Josh Kopelman, about why he backed Forward. Kopelman said:
Today’s healthcare experience is virtually unchanged from my grandfather’s experience fifty years ago. Forward hits the reset button on healthcare with a clear vision to take us into the future using all the technologies healthcare has neglected….sensors, mobile, and AI. We’re excited about the team and what they’re out to accomplish!
(Also an investor: CrunchFund — which is backed by TechCrunch-owner AOL and, like TechCrunch, was founded by Michael Arrington.)
Speaking of the team, Forward is led by Adrian Aoun, who previously founded Wavii, the natural language processing startup that Google bought for more than $30 million.
Post-acquisition, Aoun worked on artificial intelligence efforts within Google, but he planned to leave before being persuaded to stay on by CEO Larry Page, with a new job — director of special projects. In that role, Aoun launched Sidewalk Labs, a company under the Alphabet umbrella looking at ways to use tech to improve city living.
When we reached out to Aoun for comment, he confirmed that he’s left Google and is working on Forward, but he said it’s too early to offer further details.