About Me


I am the full-time CEO of Vital Labs, a company I co-founded with Tuhin Sinha to commercialize innovations that were in part derived from my work at MIT, CCHMC, and Vital Reactor.  Vital Labs is engaged in partner deployments and clinical trials of a healthcare platform and service offering.

I am also the Managing Partner of a small technology incubator called Vital Reactor.  Vital Reactor was created to incubate new technologies that have both social value and commercial potential, but fall outside the classic ROI scenarios typically pursued by angel investors and venture capital institutions.  For other projects, we curate and support a portfolio of technologies, many of them open source, and focus on making them profitable against a minimal burn rate, rather than maximal growth.  When projects mature into traditional ROI models, we sell the IP or spin them out into independent companies.  Our work on Orchestra, for example, led to the spinout Vital Labs.  We also work on a variety of joint ventures, grant-funded projects, and other collaboratives to be announced throughout 2014.

In the summer of 2013 I defended my doctoral dissertation at the MIT Media Lab. This second phase of my academic work began in 2003 when I began to work on computational systems inspired by human intelligence with Patrick Winston, Push Singh and Marvin Minsky.  In 2008 I switched gears to investigate how knowledge is generated in healthcare with advisors Frank Moss, Pete Szolovits and Henry Lieberman.  My PhD research in the New Media Medicine group at the MIT Media Laboratory focused on the practical and clinical value of self-tracking and self-experimentation.  My dissertation demonstrated how communities of citizen scientists can document their personal experiences to improve personal decision-making while generating data that, in aggregate, can influence clinical research and practice.

During this period I became an architect at the C3N Project where I learn about and contribute to a dramatic reconceptualization of how to improve health and healthcare processes.

In May 2009 I became an EIR at  New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and late that year joined portfolio company Compass Labs where I developed consumer interest and intent detection technology from “Big Data” analysis of public social media text, a commercial application of some of the techniques I developed in my early academic research.  I stepped back from day to day operations in 2011 to focus on completing my PhD.

After my first academic career at MIT, I became the founding President of Silicon Spice, a telecommunications semiconductor startup (also an NEA company). I hired the management team, served on the board and held multiple individual and operational roles culminating in management of our software engineering organization. Silicon Spice was acquired by Broadcom Corporation in late 2000. I continued at Broadcom as Director of Software Engineering in the newly-formed Carrier Access Business Unit. Under the Broadcom label, the company’s products became the market leader in carrier-class voice telephony with significant penetration in the US, Europe and Asia.  I helped form Broadcom’s Mobile Handset Business Unit 2001-2003 while working on an MIT-affiliated project to spark a revolution in secure computing infrastructure that has continued to slowly develop under DARPA funding.

I was an undergraduate and graduate researcher on high-performance parallel computing projects in Tom Knight’s lab at the MIT AI Laboratory in the early 90s; I picked up a BS and ME along the way. One of our projects, brain child of my mentor Andre DeHon and worked out by co-founder Ethan Mirsky, led to the formation of Silicon Spice in 1996 along with former Knight student Rob French.

I love outdoor activities, especially when shared with my wife and twin daughters.  I put in some miles on my road bike when I can and occasionally dream of being a competitive masters amateur again one day.  My work often involves various open source software projects which I continue to support in my spare time.


There has been some interesting press about my research work or projects I collaborate on at the New York Times, Wall Street JournalScientific AmericanDiscover MagazineProto Magazine, and Technology Review.  I give a few talks at conferences or other forums each year which are usually covered in my health posts.



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  3. Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N

    Arrgh! Why are all your websites broken? Wanted to refer a business contact to vitalreactor but it’s a blank page. Being interviewed this afternoon on NPR about personal experimentation and wanted to give your personalexperiments.org as a resource. Void space. :-P

    • Ian Eslick

      I’m very sorry about that Monica. Personal Experiments had a server outage a few weeks ago. It was built for my PhD which I completed almost 2 years ago and has been funded entirely out of my personal funds since then. I haven’t had enough of a break in my day job at my new company Vital Labs (http://vitallabs.co) to sit down and fix PE. Since none of my users complained, I’m assuming that it is no longer being used by anyone so restoring it isn’t a priority right now.

      • Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N

        Thanks for your reply. I certainly understand having to prioritize. Is Vital Reactor also dead? It seemed like a good potential fit for a project I’m working on but perhaps it, too, has taken a back seat to vital labs?

      • Ian Eslick

        Vital Labs has taken over much of the healthcare related work I was doing at Vital Reactor. VR will continue to work on other projects, but at a slower pace.

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