The Future of Healthcare With Sergey Young, Founder of Longevity Vision Fund – Thrive Global

Posted: November 5, 2019 at 11:50 pm

Treat longevity as a national issue. Once again, the UK (lets not forget that their healthcare costs are less than half of those in the US!) offer a great example here. Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, announced a plan called HLE+5 (HLE is an abbreviation for healthy life expectancy), aiming to extend healthy lifespans of their citizens by 5 years by 2035. It would be great to see a similar initiative in the US.

Asa part of my interview series with leaders in healthcare, I had the pleasure to interview Sergey Young. Sergey Young is Founder ofLongevity Vision Fund, one of the worlds top three investment funds specializing in life extension. Sergey is also on the Innovation Board of the XPRIZE Foundation (which is most known for its Ansari XPRIZE and Google Lunar XPRIZE competitions). Sergey Young is also the Development Sponsor of Longevity XPRIZE, a global initiative to cure aging, and a member of the Financial Advisory Board of the Parliamentary Group on Longevity in the UK, helping to devise the national strategy on longevity. Based between the UK & US, Sergey Youngs mission is to extend healthy lifespans of one billion people around the world on both sides of the Atlantic through impactful socially responsible investments and by setting a personal example after all, his own goal is to live to 200.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Sure! My personal story can appear quite mundane at first, but it is one that affects95 millionAmericans. It all started with a routine visit to a doctor, where my blood tests which I neglected for 7 years, thinking I was in perfect health showed that my cholesterol was very high, which put me at risk of heart disease.

The only treatment offered by my doctor at the time was to take statins (cholesterol-reducing drugs), which I would have to take for the rest of my life. I definitely did not want to live on a pill forever, so I kept pushing my doctor for alternatives. Eventually, the doctor suggested I try a Mediterranean-style diet (lots of healthy fats, no sugar, etc.), which worked in bringing my cholesterol down to a normal range without any medication. Since then, I developed an interest in health and longevity, and decided to use my investment experience (I had been managing a $2 billion private equity fund for 20 years by that point) to accelerate longevity breakthroughs and to make them more affordable and accessible in general. This is howLongevity Vision Fundwas launched and the company mission was shaped.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

I went to a regenerative medicine conference in Vatican City last year, just at the outset of launchingLongevity Vision Fund. Apart from meeting the Pope and seeing Katy Perry in person there, what astonished me the most was when Peter Diamandis my mentor, friend and the Founder of XPRIZE, was telling the audience about how technology will change over the next couple of decades, allowing us to extend our lives to at least 150. Then he paused, his face lit up with excitement, and asked who in this audience wants to live to 150. Obviously, I immediately raised my hand, but saw Peters expression change to shock and surprise only a very small percentage of people in the room had raised their hands. I was one of the few.

Id assumed most people would jump at the chance to live longer, if it was offered. But clearly thats not the case. In fact, in a recent Pew Research report on radical life extension,56% of American adults said they would not want to live to 120. The opportunity to extend our lives is within reach, and people might

turn it down. So Ive set out to dispel misinformation, fear and disbelief that this topic commonly incites. Not only through my work atLongevity Vision Fund, but also by sharing information in a book called Growing Young, which I hope to release in Q3 2020. I want people to get educated on longevity rather than get scared of it times have changed and the breakthroughs in medical science and technology now make it entirely realistic to live to 100 and beyond all within our lifetime!

What makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Probably that the company is driven by someone who plans on living to 200! On a more serious note, Longevity Vision Fund has a focus specifically on affordable and accessible technology. Our goal is to democratize longevity, so we look for scalability and breakthrough potential in the companies we invest in.

A great example of how we make longevity more accessible and affordable is our investment in EXO Imaging, which develops portable ultrasound imaging devices at a very low price point. In fact, it makes ultrasound imaging so affordable that it actually becomes accessible to every healthcare provider in the world. Imagine being able to get your ultrasound scan done at your family physician, without having to be referred to a hospital (with the associated waiting time and costs this can bring!). Or using the portable device anywhere it might be required at emergencies by ambulance paramedics, or even the patient themselves (after a short training). And since EXO Imaging uses AI to process the scan, it has the potential to maintain, and even exceed, the accuracy of ultrasound scans that rely on interpretations of doctors without the support of this technology. This means that ultrasound scans can become as common and mundane as checking your blood pressure at your doctors office. Imagine the relief, affordability and improved access that cancer, thyroid and many other patients can enjoy!

Can you share with our readers about the innovations that you are bringing to and/or see in the healthcare industry? How do you envision that this might disrupt the status quo? Which pain point is this trying to address?

I use3 Horizons of Innovationto map the longevity & healthcare innovation space:

At Longevity Vision Fund we focus mostly on horizons 1 and 2. The main pain point we are trying to address is making sure that longevity is accessible and affordable to everyone in the world. We do this by supporting scalable technologies with breakthrough potential that can democratize longevity. For example, our portfolio company Insilico, an AI in drug discovery company, has demonstrated its ability to identify design, synthesize and validate a novel drug candidatein just 46 days, compared to the typical 23 years required for a standard approach used by the majority of pharma.

What are your 5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)

Lets jump to the main focus of our interview. According tothis studycited by Newsweek, the US healthcare system is ranked as the worst among high income nations. This seems shocking. Can you share with us 35 reasons why you think the US is ranked so poorly?

You are a healthcare insider. Can you share 5 changes that need to be made to improve the overall US healthcare system? Please share a story or example for each.

Thank you! Its great to suggest changes, but what specific steps would need to be taken to implement your ideas? What can individuals, corporations, communities and leaders do to help?

Everybody can implement these steps in their lives as of today! If you are interested in learning more, you can read Blue Zones by Dan Buettner or go to my websitesergeyyoung.comwhere I put out information on longevity (absolutely for free) as part of my mission to extend lifespans of one billion people. And if you are reading this that includes you!

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources that inspire you to be a better healthcare leader? Can you explain why you like them?

Here are my three favorite books:

Another great resource is Abundance 360 by my friend and XPRIZE Founder Peter Diamandis. It offers some great guidance on understanding how to navigate exponential technology and use it to achieve Moonshots.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Follow me onLinkedin(Sergey Young), Facebook and Twitter (@sergeyyoung200)

Thank you so much for these insights! This was so inspiring!

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The Future of Healthcare With Sergey Young, Founder of Longevity Vision Fund - Thrive Global

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