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August 11, 2008

Get Well Network;
Women in Tech;


You could say we caught Get Well Network founder Michael O'Neil on a good day Friday (he just inked a deal to have his interactive hospital patient platform put in five Orlando-area hospitals, giving his company more than 60 nationwide), but every day is now a good day. Nine years ago, Michael was getting his MBA and JD at Georgetown when he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and had an orange-sized tumor removed from his stomach.


Michael beat the disease and started his Bethesda-based company in 1999. Get Well Network created an interactive TV channel that gives patients information on their condition and medications, contact with hospital and nursing staff, and entertainment beyond a few scratchy television channels. "We wanted to empower patients to become a part of their own care, even if that meant interrupting Oprah," Michael says. Get Well Network got funding from Valhalla Partners and Grosvenor Funds, and is now in 170,000 hospital rooms, including the Children's and Inova Fairfax.


Get Well Network is scheduled to launch the third version of its platform in September that will include a way for patients to order take-home prescriptions (and have them delivered to the hospital) before checking out. When not building his 110-person company, Michael, a New York-native and Notre Dame alum, follows Fighting Irish. He makes the pilgrimage to South Bend, IN at least once a year (he’s seeing ND take on Michigan with 30 of his friends in September). “I’m amazed we all still make it, now let’s hope for a win.”

Women in Technology


We met Women in Technology president and SiloSmashers VP Sue Liblong at her Fairfax office Friday afternoon, both of us apparently missing the memo that no one works Friday afternoons in August. Sue reminds us that WIT is a local 1,000-member organization that creates a networking and professional growth environment through meetings and seminars. "Companies with incredibly diverse employees are proven to have higher revenue because of the different ideas that are represented, especially in upper management," Sue says.


Sue joined WIT at the suggestion of Angela Drummond, SiloSmashers CEO and former organization president. Although WIT caters to women, roughly five percent of its members are men. "This is not just a girls club — it's about promoting women, so men are more than welcome." Sue lived around the country as an Army brat, before going to the University of New Hampshire, which explains her love of the Boston Red Sox and hockey (she's a big Caps fan).

Ridge joins cernium's board

We met cernium (no typo, they don't capitalize) VPs Phil Robertson, Nick Gagvani, Helen Shepro, CEO Craig Chambers and Robert Latchford on Friday, although we missed the company's newest board member Tom Ridge (yes, the former homeland security tsar). "He obviously has a great wealth of knowledge in the world of security and gives our company some instant credibility," Helen says. Hmm, does the fact Tom joined the video analytic software developer last month mean he's not planning to be McCain's VP? Here's our theory: Cernium's software watches video feeds for certain events, which the user chooses, and then sends an alert. We think Tom just wants to be alerted if he's chosen.

David Stegon spent the weekend helping his girlfriend clean her house, so he is begging for reasons (i.e. interviews) to escape. Send him ideas at David@Bisnow.com.

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