Heart Rate Variability as a Biomarker of Longevity with Dr. Joon Yun

Is Heart Rate Variability the best biomarker of the time to track our longevity? In this episode, we look at why HRV may be the best way to track how well you are aging and the bets being placed on it in Silicon Valley to drive innovation in anti-aging and longevity research.

Previously we’ve looked at using HRV for training and recovery, stress management, and tracking hormesis. If you are new to biohacking, HRV is an easy economical way to start tracking. All one needs is a heart rate strap and phone app.
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Joon Yun at i4j: In Healthcare, Humans Need Apply

Do we have enough talent in healthcare? Learn how the 21st century is poised to become “The Healthcare Century,” and why Humans need apply.

About Joon Yun

Dr. Joon Yun is managing partner and president of Palo Alto Investors, LLC, an investment management firm founded in 1989 with $1 billion in assets invested in healthcare. Board certified in Radiology, Joon served on the clinical faculty at Stanford from 2000-2006. He received his B.A. from Harvard, M.D. from Duke Medical School, and clinical training at Stanford. Joon has served on several corporate and non-profit boards and has published dozens of patents, scientific articles, and business essays. He is a contributor to Forbes and is the health editor for Evolution magazine. Joon recently agreed to donate a $1million Palo Alto Prize to reverse the aging process.
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EIT ICT Labs Silicon Valley Hub: Bridging Between Bay Area and EU Eco-System

The first Keynote: “Hiding in Plain Sight – Massive Trends Missed by the Masses”, was given by Dr. Joon Yun, a renowned investor and Managing Partner and President of Palo Alto Investors, LLC, a hedge fund founded in 1989 with over $1 billion in assets under management. The audience was captured by his talk on e.g. aging and the ability to remain stable or remaining the same. “When we are young for instance we can be rebound from a bad night’s sleep quickly, when we are old, it can take days to recover. When we are young, our eyes adjust to changing focal length, when we are old, the focus never quite rebalances“, said Yun. The original “health system” is our inborn, adaptive homeostatic capacity, endowed by nature and shaped by evolution. Once humans reach reproductive senescence by their mid-40s, however, a progressive erosion of innate homeostatic capacity begins, manifesting in the panoply of aging diseases. Our proposal for 21st-century healthcare is a paradigmatic revolution—restoring homeostatic capacity instead of restoring homeostasis—as a way to end aging. If we can put homeostatic capacity, and thus health, back in the body, healthcare costs could contract dramatically. The feed-forward relationship between health innovation and increasing future consumption—a vicious cycle that threatens aging economies everywhere including Europe and the United States—would finally be decoupled. Median lifespan could telescope to a number of years that might have once seemed unimaginable. Human capacity would finally be fully unleashed.

To read more about EIT ICT LABS, click here.

Joon Yun: Healthcare In The 21st Century

The 21st Century will be the Healthcare Century. Human endeavor creates prosperity, and health is an engine that powers human endeavor. Prosperous societies, in turn, consume more healthcare in a procyclical fashion. The effect of healthcare consumption on lifespan also has a directly procyclical effect. The average age in America was 29 in the 1960 census, but will soon pass 40. Given that the majority of our lifetime healthcare consumption occurs after 40, the majority of developed nations’ populations could soon be high-volume users of healthcare. It is not inconceivable that healthcare might one day account for half of the economic activity, market capitalizations, and jobs around the globe — a scenario that far exceeds even the most aggressive growth forecasts.

This scenario might sound like an economic apocalypse. Indeed, many believe that we already have a healthcare problem. But let’s get this straight: healthcare is a solution. What we have is an illness problem, particularly the chronic illnesses associated with aging, and aging itself, which kills 150,000 people per day globally. To truly better our world, we will need to invent a new way of thinking about health, illness, and aging.

Day 222: Joon Yun

(From The Get Inspired! Project)

I go about my day really not thinking about ‘Do I know what I want?’ It’s more about ‘Am I available to what’s going on in the moment?’ And it’s a very nonlinear path, but it is much more … because I’m vulnerable and I don’t know where we’re going, I’m much more aware, and I find solutions to questions I wasn’t even asking.”

Toni Reece: Thank you so much, Joon, for agreeing to be part of the Project today, and before we begin, can you please introduce yourself?

Joon Yun: Yes, my name is Joon Yun. I am President of Palo Alto Investors, an investment management firm located in California, and I’m a physician by background. I ran healthcare investing at a firm for about 10 years, and I’ve been overseeing the firm for the last 2 years.
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Barron’s: What the Doctor Ordered

A doctor-turned-stockpicker says he’s bearish on stents.


YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A MEDICAL DOCTOR to pick healthcare and biotech stocks, but it doesn’t hurt.

Joon Yun has been managing money for only nine years, but his 12 years as a radiologist — mostly at Stanford University Medical Center — have served him well in his second career as a partner of Palo Alto Investors in Palo Alto, Calif., an 18-year-old hedge fund with about $1.5 billion under management, focused mostly on small-cap growth. “Radiology is sort of similar to investing,” he says. “You’re making decisions based on limited information and looking for patterns.”

The graduate of Harvard and of Duke Medical School hadn’t been looking to leave his day job. But when a colleague had to bail on an interview with Palo Alto, which was seeking a doctor to oversee healthcare investing, Yun filled in on a whim. The rest is history.

Since joining PAI, Yun has never had a down year. The three-year return of Palo Alto’s $250 million micro-cap fund, heavily weighted toward healthcare and biotech, is nearly 23%. Over five years, the return is close to 30%.
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Darwin in Medical School

Some scientists call for a bigger dose of evolution in doctors’ educations


Joon Yun, MD, began considering how evolution applies to human health a decade ago when his first heart disease patients died. These cases disturbed Yun, then a Stanford radiology resident. But they also intrigued him.

Having studied evolutionary biology in college, Yun tried fitting these medical failures into that framework.

His mind wandered to the early days of humans when heart disease was a rare trigger of death. In the prehistoric era, a more likely cause of death would have been an attack by a predator. The human body’s response to trauma handles this type of assault by immediately springing to action: The blood forms clots and the blood vessels tighten, together with slowing blood loss, and inflammation kicks in to combat infection. The genes governing these responses to trauma presumably were favored during evolution and have become the “factory setting” in modern humans.
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