Startups fighting a 'bulletproof' mentality in men's health

The Age

By Emma Koehn

July 8, 2019

Young Australian men are reluctant to visit their GPs, and startup founders think the whole healthcare experience needs to be rebranded.

"There are stigmas talking about mental and physical health— there is a premium put on the idea of being bulletproof," says Pilot co-founder Tim Doyle.

The federal government's men's health strategy for the next decade suggests male access to healthcare is lagging behind Australian women's. More than 70 per cent of men don't seek help in a timely manner for mental health concerns, according to the strategy report.

Numbers like these have prompted tech entrepreneurs to draw on their own experience as patients to build products that take the pressure off setting up healthcare appointments.

Taking branding to healthcare Doyle and co-founder Charlie Gearside cut their teeth at mattress startup Koala before deciding to turn their branding skills to the world of healthcare.

Along with fellow founder Benny Kleist, they've raised $2 million from investors including Blackbird Ventures and Comcast Ventures founder Daniel Gulati to launch Pilot, a platform connecting young men to doctors for key health concerns.

Users select a health issue: mental health concerns, sleep issues, erectile dysfunction or hair loss, and complete a pre-screening application to be connected to a GP or pharmacist.

Doyle says the approach is about building a brand that is easy to use and one which makes it easy for patients to access advice. The startup has just seen its first revenue from linking doctors and pharmacies with patients. "It’s just making it relatable, understandable and clearly actionable — and simple," Doyle says.

Online healthcare soars Telemedicine will be worth $59.8 billion by 2021, according to Statista with Silicon Valley companies raising millions for startups focused specifically on male healthcare.

US startup Roman raised more than $120 million last year, rebranding to "Ro" and expanding its on-demand healthcare to men's and women's health consultations.

Closer to home, David Narunsky and Gabe Baker started their venture Mosh more than three years ago. Mosh also allows users to connect with doctors for advice on issues like hair loss and sexual health.

Narunsky says it's taken years to build up a network of medical professionals invested in tele-health. "It takes a lot of time and it's all about finding the right people to work with," he says.

Mosh saw Tinder co-founders Sean Rad and Justin Mateen take an undisclosed stake in the company this year.

Despite an increasing number of GPs being open to online consultations, startups in this space have generally focused on a few specific health concerns, rather than offering healthcare on a broader scale.

With many technology founders coming to this sector from backgrounds other than healthcare, does care need to be taken with the online medicine boom?

"You need to be sceptical yourself. The reality is a lot of the history of the telemedicine space has been shortcut on patient care," Doyle says.

"But doctors recognise that the patients we’re talking to often aren't walking into their office ever in the first place," Kleist says.

Having only recently launched, Pilot is focused on building its brand in these early stages.

The founders see the brand's position as a key attitude changer: if startups like this can become accepted or even cool, there's a bigger chance more of their target market will be happy to sign up and get the help when they need it.

Media stories about the nation's mental health crisis and disconnection from healthcare are not new, but the approach to addressing these issues has so far not drawn on technological solutions as well as it could have, Doyle says.

"You’ve seen lots of attention paid but very little outcome." The team is hoping to leverage their marketing expertise to make it more appealing to ask for assistance in the first place, Doyle says.

"This is a journey to find this holistic approach to health: how do you create something that has a meaningful impact on some guy in Australia?"



Michael Hutchence's sister 'His personality changed': on his traumatic brain injury

The Guardian

Jenny Valentish

Tue 25 Sep 2018

Emboldened by their mother’s death, Tina take on her brother.

Everything about Michael looked different, his sister thought. He was paler, duller in the eyes, more slumped in the shoulders. Even his Byronic curls seemed to have lost their bounce. It brought to mind the Emily Dickinson poem After Great Pain, a Formal Feeling Comes:

The Feet, mechanical, go round –A Wooden wayOf Ground, or Air, or Ought – Regardless grown, A Quartz contentment, like a stone –

It was 1996, the day before Tina Hutchence’s wedding. Earlier, in a fax to her, he’d explained the “unmitigated hell” he was going through, “with the press, the police, a fire, four burglaries, litigation … we have seven or eight writs on our hands”.

Two months later, a police raid would find drugs in the house he shared with Paula Yates.

The story of Michael’s final years under siege from the paparazzi has been well documented.

Tina was moved to write the book Michael: My Brother, Lost Boy of INXS because she felt that he had become a tragic caricature in the hands of other biographers – and she’s counted at least nine. Hers includes an introduction about the Paradise Papers and Michael’s missing millions, and written tributes from several of Michael’s friends.

Her co-writer is Jen Jewel Brown, who began her career in music journalism at the Daily Planet in the early 70s, and who sang backing vocals on Speed Kills, the track Michael made with Cold Chisel’s Don Walker for the 1982 soundtrack of Freedom.

Guardian Australia: You and your mother, Patricia Glassop, wrote a biography about Michael – Just a Man – that was published in 2001. Have new things come to light?

Tina Hutchence: There were things that I wanted to write about in the last book and I couldn’t because my [late] mother didn’t want to, but the main new thing is the traumatic brain injury [Hutchence was shoved by a taxi driver in 1992 and fractured his skull].

While he lost his sense of smell and taste, I don’t believe he was told much else about what could happen. He was put on Prozac and told he’d get through the headaches. But there has been so much written about TBIs in the US over the last five years, looking at football players and boxers. It made sense to me the more I read, because Michael’s personality changed dramatically. I’ve now done a couple of podcasts about it in the States and I intend to continue to working along those lines.

By the time he was 16, Michael had lived in Australia, Hong Kong and the US, having to adapt to each. These seem like the perfect formative years for a rock star in waiting.

‘Lost his sense of smell and taste’: Michael Hutchence.

'His personality changed': Michael Hutchence's sister on his traumatic brain injury | Music | The Guardian 17/6/19, 8)06 am

He was always very interested in what was going on around him. In Hong Kong, especially in those days, business is done over pleasure – you go to dinner parties and cocktail parties and deals are made. But if you were living there in those times, conversation was always about how our lives were going to change. It obviously made quite an impression on him when he was so young, watching these riots [the 1967 leftist riots against colonial rule.

Michael’s father, Kell, was impulsive and charming, making life-changing decisions for the family on a whim and without consultation. Very lead singer-esque.

Yeah, he was. Very charming and the life of the party. He respected women but he also felt it was the man who rules everything. My mother was exceptional in that she had already gone through a divorce and made something of herself, becoming one of the few make-up artists

in Australia in the 60s. She was her own person, so it was a tough relationship.

There then came a traumatic split, with Patricia covertly departing for the US with Michael,leaving his brother Rhett with Kell. This was just a year before no-fault divorce was an option.

Women were stuck; it was very difficult getting a divorce. It wasn’t just traumatic for Michael, but also my mother. Every time somebody writes about that they tend to write it as though my mother just kidnapped him and took him off to the States against his will, but it was something she talked to him about and they planned it. At first, everything was a rush and exciting, but after it settled down they both realised what they’d done. My mother, especially – I don’t think she ever forgave herself for leaving Rhett.

Michael’s life became a circus amid the custody battle between his partner Paula Yates and her ex-husband, Bob Geldof. The UK had hit peak paparazzi; Princess Diana died three months before him, having been harassed relentlessly. And yet, as you observe, there was an odd attitude in the UK that celebrities brought it on themselves – by wanting to be famous.

‘I don’t think [our mother] ever forgave herself for leaving'.

'His personality changed': Michael Hutchence's sister on his traumatic brain injury I think you can always tell if an article is from a UK newspaper, just from reading it. He’d always had such a great relationship with the press. They didn’t bother him, or didn’t even realise it was him. 

 I had observed him walking around in Paris, LA and Australia and people would just say, “Oh hi, I caught your show the other night,” and he’d say, “Thanks mate,” shake their hand and walk on. But when all that exploded in London, he was absolutely beside himself. I was once told that with the tabloids they’ve got to have a good guy and a bad guy. What role could he take if Bob [known in the UK tabloids as “Saint Bob”] was on the other side?

You express frustration that no one in management or the touring party talked to the family about their concerns during the final tour in 1997. We would see the same pressure have a fatal impact on Amy Winehouse and Avicii.

Yes. Absolutely. “Let’s push on.” Doesn’t matter if he’s forgetting his own lyrics. That was very upsetting. I found out more in reading some of the statements to the police. The fact that the manager wrote Michael a letter saying she was very worried about him, and what can they do? Well obviously the thing to do is call off the tour that he didn’t want to be on, but they didn’t – it was on with the show. Do you hope this book will be a full stop? Oh, I do. As well as helping the traumatic brain injury community, I think this is something for Michael’s legacy. He deserves it.

There is one more thing to come though, the documentary from Richard Lowenstein (who made the movie Dogs in Space, starring Michael).

I’ve been working with him on that, supplying photographs and pieces of film and doing some voiceover. I think it’s going to be brilliant.

• Michael: My Brother, Lost Boy of INXS by Tina Hutchence and Jen Jewel Brown is out now



Toddler suffers 'catastrophic brain injury' in alleged beating

The Sydney Morning Herald

By Jenny Noyes and Sally Rawsthorne

May 23, 2019

A Queensland man has been charged with grievous bodily harm after allegedly beating his partner's daughter at a holiday rental home in northern NSW, causing the toddler to suffer a "catastrophic brain injury", while the mother has been charged with neglect.

Police launched an investigation after being notified on March 12 that a 23-month-old girl had presented at Maclean District Hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The toddler remains in hospital in a serious condition. A police source quoted doctors as saying she had permanent brain damage that would "significantly impact her for the rest of her life".

Police allege the child's brain injury was the result of an assault by her mother's partner at a holiday rental home in Grafton.

The couple, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, took three days to seek medicalattention for her, police allege.

Following extensive inquiries, officers from Queensland Police's Child Trauma Unit arrested the couple at a home in the Brisbane suburb of Mansfield on Tuesday.

NSW detectives travelled to Queensland on Tuesday, launched extradition proceedings and escorted the pair to Tweed Heads police station on Wednesday, where they were charged.

The man briefly faced Tweed Heads Local Court on Wednesday on charges of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and failing to provide for a child causing danger of death.

He was refused bail because of the unacceptable risk that he would fail to return to court, commit a serious offence, endanger victims or the community or interfere with a witness or evidence.

The woman was charged with failing to provide for a child causing danger of death, and concealing a child abuse offence.

She was granted conditional bail to appear at Tweed Heads Local Court on June 19.

The man will return to the same court on July 17.



  1. Cyclist, 70, left with head and spinal injuries after being hit by car
  2. 'Choked to the point of brain damage': Ice scourge fuels domestic violence
  3. Mass Murderer Possible undiagnosed brain damage
  4. Savage attack in Melbourne's north leaves tourist with bleeding to the brain, broken jaw
  5. Link between concussion and brain damage to ensure AFL debate rages
  6. Sports commentator Billy J Smith dies after a fall
  7. Surgeon killer could be first to get10-year term under one-punch laws
  8. Liam Neeson's nephew Ronan Sexton dies, years after serious fall
  9. Toddler burnt with lighter and hit every day in lead-up to her death, court told
  10. Patron filmed unconscious, held around neck as guard evicts him from hotel
  11. FA Cup set to introduce concussion substitute trial this season
  12. Teen fighting for life after Healesville car park brawl
  13. Police discover critically injured man at Logan Village address
  14. 'Don't ask me for compassion': Angry Anderson has not forgiven his son's killer
  15. Brain Injuries Remain Undiagnosed in Thousands of Soldiers
  16. Man dies in hospital after falling to punch in Fortitude Valley
  17. Maradona to be discharged within days, says doctor
  18. Cricket bat bashing victim fights for life after Ballajura pub brawl
  19. Diego Maradona, World Cup-winning football superstar, set to undergo brain surgery
  20. 'Country footy is way behind': The missing concussion discussion in local level Aussie Rules
  21. Autistic girls going undiagnosed due to ‘camouflaging’ behaviour, study says
  22. Lisa Montgomery to be first female federal inmate executed in 67 years
  23. Man dies after being shoved to the ground in New York mask altercatio
  24. Thomas had a rare brain cancer and no good options. Then he joined a clinical trial
  25. Nearly One-Third of Covid Patients in Study Had Altered Mental State
  26. Shaun Smith supportive of daughter Amy, signed by AFLW club North Melbourne
  27. Texas residents warned of tap water tainted with brain-eating microbe
  28. 'It's been a big day for me': Smith wants change after $1.4m concussion payout
  29. Damage Assessment
  30. What are CTE and concussion and how do they affect athletes?
  31. Danny Frawley was suffering from chronic brain disease when he died
  32. Elon Musk unveils brain computer implanted in pigs
  33. Portland truck driver apparently kicked unconscious as unrest continues
  34. Treatment for aggressive brain cancer shows promise in early trial
  35. Four-year-old injured after motorbike crashes through barriers at Sydney race
  36. 'Dangerous behaviour': Horror crash in sprint to finish leaves rider fighting for life
  37. Father charged with murder over death of six-month-old baby Beau
  38. Sickening Michael Chee Kam concussion overshadows gritty Eels win
  39. We asked veterans to respond to The Post’s reporting on Clint Lorance and his platoon. Here’s what they said.
  40. Doctors find brain issues linked to Covid-19 patients – study
  41. Widow of heart surgeon killed in one-punch attack sues Melbourne hospital
  42. Crowdfunding raises £30,000 for veteran's brain tumour surgery
  43. Boy in critical condition after fall at Sydney primary school
  44. 'I began to wonder if I would be better off ending my life': The invisible war wounds
  45. VA unlawfully turned away vulnerable veterans for decades, study says, with 400,000 more at risk
  46. Brain wiring could be behind learning difficulties, say experts
  47. Concussion: there's no knockout answer
  48. CTE discovered in Polly Farmer's brain in AFL-first
  49. Six-week-old baby nearly killed in ice-fuelled attack, court told
  50. Former hard man Ron Gibbs' chilling admission as head knocks take toll
  51. An Olympic Hockey Hero, a Violent Crime and the Specter of Brain Trauma
  52. Traumatic brain injury is a signature wound of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But the military still has no objective way of diagnosing it in the field.
  53. More than 100 US troops suffered traumatic brain suffered traumatic brain in Iran strike,to report
  54. Man, 28, fighting for life nearly two weeks after Southbank attack
  55. NRL pledges initial $250,000 for landmark concussion study
  56. Veterans criticize Trump's downplaying of US troops' brain injuries
  57. Trump should apologize for minimizing troops’ injuries, VFW says.
  58. Fifty US troops left with brain injuries after Iranian rocket attack
  59. Can heading a football lead to dementia? The evidence is growing
  60. Mobile phones cause tumours, Italian court rules, in defiance of evidence
  61. Scientists create decoder to turn brain activity into speech
  62. Woman reportedly wakes up from coma after 27 years
  63. Enraged Qld dad who killed toddler jailed
  64. 'We thought it would be wonderful - we didn't know what was to come'
  65. 'We thought it would be wonderful - we didn't know what was to come'
  66. Graham must wake up to dangers of concussion
  67. Footballers focus on concussion, but there are many other risk factors
  68. Ex-AFL player sues club after retiring because of concussion
  69. When will we stop butting heads over sporting concussion?
  70. Why people with brain implants are afraid of automatic doors
  71. Christchurch mosque shooting victim, 4, suffering brain damage
  72. Link between concussion and brain damage to ensure AFL debate rages

Page 8 of 32

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