Robin Farmanfarmaian Profile

  • Misdiagnosed by multiple leading medical facilities, she endured multiple surgeries, hospitalizations, and the loss of three organs before taking charge of her own healthcare and changing her life overnight.

  • For the past decade she has been on the frontline of biotech and health tech breakthroughs, having founded and/or advised 12 industry start-ups.

  • She is the author of the Amazon best-selling book The Patient as CEO: How Technology Empowers the Healthcare Consumer.

  • She is an adjunct faculty member and the Founding Executive Producer of Singularity University's Exponential Medicine program, which brings together the world's leading researchers and entrepreneurs in the biotech and health care sectors.
  • After a medical misdiagnosis put her through multiple unnecessary surgeries as a teenager, Robin Farmanfarmaian made it her mission to empower patients through a tool she did not have during her sickness: modern-day technology. For the past decade she has been at the forefront of the health technology revolution, playing a pivotal role in twelve start-ups within the medical and biotech fields.

    Robin’s firm, Robin Starbuck LLC, specializes in business development, sponsorship strategy and conversion, and advising early and mid stage startup companies. She is currently a VP at INVICTA Medical, a device company for sleep apnea, and the COO of Arc Fusion Programs, a cutting edge organization that is bringing together the latest research and advances in health, IT, and biomedicine. She is also Co-founder and former Executive Director of the Organ Preservation Alliance, a non-profit based in NASA’s Research PArk in Silicon Valley. The Alliance is building on recent advances in cryopreservation, ice-blockers, and vitrification to radically extend and enhance organ preservation, thus opening up the future possibility of successful transplants for millions of patients held up on wait lists.

    Robin is highly influential in Singularity University where she serves as an adjunct faculty member, conference board advisor, and the founding executive producer of the university’s Exponential Medicine program. In addition to publishing numerous articles in Wired, Forbes, and the Huffington Post
    , her book The Patient as CEO: How Technology Empowers the Healthcare Consumer is an Amazon best-seller.

    • View Extended/Alternate Bio

      Founder – Entrepreneur – Speaker

      Patient & Medical Technologist

      Robin Farmanfarmaian believes that technology can empower patients and make a positive impact in the health and medical field. This position drives her to provide education and resources to leaders, entrepreneurs, physicians, healthcare professionals and innovators to positively impact medicine and healthcare.

      Farmanfarmaian focuses on the future of integrated medicine, the changing role of patients in healthcare decision-making, and how technology will change the way we experience and interact with medical facilities and physicians. She is interested in big data, wearable technology, 3D printing, and access to and the usability of personal healthcare information.

      She has spoken on technology and medicine at many conferences, including Exponential Medicine, Singularity University, Connected Health Symposium, Boston Scientific, Differential Medicine, Medscape CME Videos, Burrill Personalized Medicine, LSA Innovator Summit, Wharton, and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, among others. She is Adjunct Faculty for Singularity University and a contributing writer to Wired, Forbes, Huffington Post
      , MedGadget, Becker’s Hospital, Fierce HealthIT, and has been published in a variety of other online publications.

      Currently Farmanfarmaian is the President of i4j ECO – an Innovation for Jobs conference that explores the future of work and technology. In addition, she is the SVP for the Arc Fusion Summit, a biotech and medtech conference, and Co-Founder and Executive Director for the Organ Preservation Alliance, catalyzing breakthroughs in transplants, organ banking, cryopreservation and tissue engineering. She’s also actively involved as VP of Business Development with INVICTA Medical, a device company for acute care/post anesthesia and sleep apnea, poised to impact hundreds of millions of patients.

      Other work experience includes being one of the founders of the Exponential Medicine Conference – a conference for physicians and healthcare executives on the next 5-10 years in medicine and how technology will be impacting and disrupting healthcare. She was the Co-Founder and Chief Business Development Officer for Morfit, a fitness platform. She was also the Vice President of Strategic Relations for Singularity University, which trains executives and leaders to drive global change & to stay competitive through the use of the convergence of accelerating technology.

      Other previous work focused on pharmaceuticals, health and data, genetic testing, and feedback loops. She served as the Director of Operations for IntelliMedicine, which uses data and technology to improve patient compliance, started HealthTap with the Founder, working with open-source health data and improving patient outcomes through easier access to physicians, worked at Medem with EMRs and patient-physician connectivity, and in 2006, was the nutrition and health advisor at CyGene Laboratories, the world’s first consumer facing genetic testing company.

      In addition, she was an Innovation Host for AndaazTV (20 million viewership in 150 countries).

      Farmanfarmaian is an avid philanthropist in her community. She was a Trustee and a member of the Board of Directors for the San Francisco Ballet, serving as President, Immediate Past President and Opening Night Gala Chair for 5 years. She was on the board of San Francisco Opera’s BRAVO! for 4 years. In addition, she has contributed time to many other charities, including the TEDxSilicon Valley, SPCA, New Scholars, Samasource, World Economic Forum YGL, CCFA and more.

      She serves on the Advisory Board of many early-stage start up tech companies and organizations such as SXSW V2Ventures, AARP, Singularity University, and the Kairos Society. She mentors high school and college-age women interested in entrepreneurship, technology, and healthcare.

    Robin Farmanfarmaian Speaking Videos

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    Robin Farmanfarmaian's Speech Descriptions

    Health tech insider, Robin Farmanfarmaian shows audiences how to leverage the convergence of fast moving technologies in the reinvention and future of health and medicine. An experienced entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley, she provides a fascinating look at the medical technology of tomorrow and how it can be used to deliver more efficient and effective outcomes by empowering consumers to take more control of their health and treatment plan. Incorporating her own personal story as a backdrop, Robin proves that is both possible and necessary for today’s patients to be the “CEO of their health team.”

      The Future of the Patient

      From one of the founders of Exponential Medicine, this talk examines how exponential and accelerating technology will enable the healthcare consumer, or “unpatient”, to be a key decision maker, executor, driver and ultimately the one responsible on the healthcare team.

      The Future of the Doctor

      Where doctors will need to become medical engineers, proficient in big data, genome literate, interact with Artificial Intelligence, technically adept, collaborative, and adaptable. Doctors will treat patients from thousands of miles away, utilizing technology like telepresence robots, tricorders, sensors, data tracking devices, and the cloud. Devices such as smart phone EKG machines and smart phone Ophthalmology Instruments will be ubiquitous, in every household in the world.

      The Future of the Hospital

      Enabled by sensors everywhere, combined with AI, voice activated EMRs, the patient experience becomes one of comfort instead of inconvenience or pain. The ER turning into a dispatch center, made possible by continuous, accurate biometric monitoring & point of care diagnostics. What can move out of the hospital, such as IVs and blood draws, enabled by robotic assistance and micro blood draws done in pharmacies.

      The Patient as the CEO of the Healthcare Team

      From one of the Founders of FutureMed, this talk examines how exponential and accelerating technology will enable the healthcare consumer, or “unpatient”, to be the key decision maker, executor, driver and ultimately the one responsible on the healthcare team. Patient empowerment and engagement through technological advancements.

      Robin’s Personal Story

      As a teenager, Robin was misdiagnosed with an autoimmune disease that resulted in 40 hospitalizations and 6 major surgeries. It was only a few years after her surgeries that medicine seemed to dramatically change – and none of her doctors saw it coming. From Dartmouth Hitchcock to Harvard’s Mass General, none of her doctors said “wait! – in only a few years, surgery will be fundamentally changed with the widespread adoption of laparoscope surgery – reducing 5 of your surgeries to 1.

      A few more years, and a new class of medications will become available to put you in remission, completely eradicating the need to ever have surgery.” None of her doctors ever said “Technology is Hope”. There was no reason for her to lose 3 organs.

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    Past Speaking Engagements, Partial List:

      Exponential Medicine
      Singularity University Conference on Accelerating Technology
      impacting Medicine

      Boston Scientific
      Latin America Countryheads

      CME Video on Participatory Medicine and Technologic
      EmpowermentHealth 2.0
      Digital Medicine and health IT

      Differential Medicine
      Entrepreneurship in Healthcare

      Connected Health Symposium
      Moving healthcare beyond the hospital and clinic and into the day-to-day lives of patients

      Louisville Innovation Summit
      The Future of Aging Care

      Campus Link 2015
      Simulcast to Universities in Mexico and the US

      Future Med at Singularity University
      NASA Research Park

      Kellogg School of Management
      Kellogg Innovation Network: KIN Global 2013

      Future Med at the Del
      Exponential Medicine

      Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics
      The Future of Technology and Patients

      The Burrill Personalized Medicine Meeting
      Lise Sciences Conference

      Deloitte Life Sciences & Healthcare Network
      Custom Program on Exponential Technology in Medicine

      Wharton Fellows Master Class
      For Senior Executives

      Kairos Society Global Summit
      Top 50 startups with game changing companies to improve the world

      LSA Innovator Summit 2013
      Closing Keynote Speaker on the Convergence of Accelerating
      Technology and Entrepreneurship Opportunities

      Frost & Sullivan Executive MindXchange
      19th Annual Medical Technologies 2014

      Downtown Project Speaker Series
      Revitalizing Downtown Vegas

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    Books by Robin Farmanfarmaian:

    The Patient as CEO: How Technology Empowers the Healthcare Consumer

    We are on the cusp of a healthcare revolution.

    From wearable sensors, to improved point-of-care diagnostics to artificial intelligence and robotics, there are breakthroughs in biomedical technology on an almost daily basis which are set to fundamentally change the way that patients interact with their healthcare providers.

    Author Robin Farmanfarmaian has seen this change first-hand. Misdiagnosed at age 16, she endured multiple surgeries and countless hospitalizations over the course of a decade before deciding to take charge of her own healthcare and changing her life overnight. Since then, Robin has worked on more than 10 early stage startups and become an entrepreneur, founding The Organ Preservation Alliance, Exponential Medicine at Singularity University, and Morfit.

    In The Patient as CEO, she shines a light on the new and upcoming breakthroughs that will allow you, the patient, to be the key decision-maker – the CEO – of your own healthcare.

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