IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

Val Jones, MD

The post below originally ran on the Better Health blog on May 5th.

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately, one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors and had the courage to tackle the problem head-on. Three years ago, Avik Som organized “Problem Day” at his medical school (Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO) and invited his professors to an unrestricted “open mic” venting session.

Representatives from the departments of surgery, medicine, pediatrics and neurology attended. They described their frustrations and day-to-day struggles with the students for 3 hours straight. After decades of service to suffering patients, it was the first time that anyone had asked them to share their own stories. (more…)

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A Look at the Impact of IT in Nursing

The infographic below was created by Adventist University of Health Sciences. It outlines how technology is being used to raise efficacy in nursing and health industries. As more hospitals implement IT nurses will be able to synchronize information between practices and pharmacies, transferring life-saving prescriptions and data in a matter of seconds. (more…)

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  • May 4th, 2015 Meet Dakota Fisher-Vance…she didn’t let cancer derail her
    By Glenna Crooks
  • HIMSS15: The Patient Takes Center Stage

    Lisa-Suennen-photoThe following was originally posted by Lisa Suennen on Venture Valkyrie.

    Back in 2012 I wrote a blog post called SXSW: Woodstock for Geeks, which became the opening chapter of Tech Tonics, the book I wrote with David Shaywitz. In this piece, I pointed out the marked differences between SXSW vs. HIMSS, both of which I had recently experienced.   I said that HIMSS was best described as “a festival of old-school techno weenies recognizable in the wild by their big company expense accounts and the blue and gray suits that barely cover their pocket protectors.” In contrast, I experienced SXSW as an event that “would blanche at the thought of being called a conference. SXSW is more of a happening.  Rather than suits (the costume is old jeans and rock and roll t-shirts), the primary thing that comes in blue is hair.” My conclusion of the 2012 piece was this:

    “In a perfect world, the ideal HIT gathering would be somewhere psychologically between HIMSS and SXSW:  fewer gray suits, less purple hair, more next generation technology, more business models that work.   If we could do a little cross breeding between species here, we just might make it work. Or we could accidentally end up with the Monster from Young Frankenstein.  Wait a minute, my God it’s brilliant! He might actually be perfect!  The Monster had both a gray suit AND a green head.  If he knows how to code, we have a winner.  Oh, sweet mystery of life at last I’ve found you!” (more…)


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    Can Social Media & Healthcare Work Together?

    Does the privacy of health and openness of social media work?

    Social media has many uses, from the basics of being able to stay abreast of what your friends and colleagues are doing, to a way for companies to communicate with their customers.

    It is a way of sharing the big or small moments in your life, but it can be so much more than that.

    This is especially true in healthcare, where despite the clear confidentially restrictions put on how people can communicate, it is making a big difference – as will be discussed by Dennis Jolley, Chief Marketing Officer from Gillette Children’s Specialty, at the Digital Health Innovation Summit. (more…)

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    Big Annoucement about DW Woman to Watch Jen Hyatt and Big White Wall

    PrintToday, the new NHS Choices Mental Health Apps Library was launched. Big White Wall was among the first five services to be featured. Read NHS England’s press release here.

    This pilot is the ’first ever directory of NHS-endorsed digital mental health services’, and it will allow the public in the UK to explore mental health support options available online via the NHS.

    The pilot was championed by Tim Kelsey, National Director for Patients and Information, Geraldine Strathdee, NHS England’s Clinical Director for Mental Health, and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

    Jen Hyatt, Big White Wall CEO and founder, said: “We are delighted to be one of the first NHS-endorsed digital services on NHS Choices and applaud this bold move to bring the benefits of evidence-based digital technologies direct to the public.”

    Note: Big White Wall is a client of Amplify Public Affairs.

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    The Affordable Care Act As New-Business Creator

    Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

    The following post ran yesterday, March 19 on Health Populi.

    While there’s little evidence that the short-term impact of the Affordable Care Act has limited job growth or driven most employers to drop health insurance plans, the ACA has spawned a “cottage industry” of health companies since 2010, according to PwC.

    PwC-Cottage-Industry-due-to-ACA-300x226As the ACA turned five years of age, the PwC Health Research Institute led by Ceci Connolly identified at least 90 newcos addressing opportunities inspired by the ACA:

    • Supporting telehealth platforms between patients and providers, such as Vivre Health
    • Educating consumers, such as the transparency provider HealthSparq does
    • Streamlining operations to enhance efficiency, the business of Cureate among others
    • Connecting patients and physicians, like SmartPatients and Doximity do
    • Offering health and wellness benefits that complement health plans on the marketplaces, like the novel health plan Oscar does
    • Developing new payment and care delivery models, including Iora Health
    • Performing big data analytics, such as Human API does. (more…)


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    Annie Levy’s Latest Project: “Ask Me a Question”

    annie-square

    Annie Levy

    Disruptive Woman Annie Levy has been busy lately serving as Creative Director of the “Ask Me a Question” project. Annie is part of the MADE VISIBLE Foundation team which worked on this project. Through this video project the stories of five different people who were/are patients is told. The videos are designed to be an interactive teaching tool for students and physicians to learn firsthand about the patient experience. The ultimate goal…make patients more visible. What is even more exciting about the project is that two of the individuals interviewed are part of the Disruptive Women network. The first is Amy Berman one of Disruptive Women’s 2015 Women to Watch and the second is a Man of the Month, Matthew Zachary. You can view Amy and Matthew’s videos as well as the other patient’s videos here. This impressive and important project is worth viewing and sharing with colleagues and friends. Way to go Annie!

    To see an interview with Annie done by the Gold Foundation’s blog editor Perry Dinardo about this project click here. Medpage Today also ran an article on this fabulous series which you can read here.

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    Launching Healthcare’s Most Essential Dialogue

    Mary R. Grealy

    On Monday, March 2, a remarkable event took place in Washington, DC.  In a city in which bickering and finger-pointing are practically cottage industries, the diverse interests of American healthcare – many of which often find themselves on opposing sides of issues – came together to begin finding common ground on challenges affecting health system value, innovation and sustainability.

    The stakes for this discussion couldn’t be higher.  Virtually every day, new health innovations are emerging from drawing boards and laboratories.  Advances in medicine, however, bring with them more questions.  How do we incentivize even greater progress to help extend and improve patient lives?  How do we make game-changing innovations affordable and accessible for patients and consumers?  And, how do we create a structure that achieves both high-quality healthcare and long-term economic sustainability?

    The Healthcare Leadership Council – a coalition of CEOs from all health sectors – created an initiative, the National Dialogue for Healthcare Innovation (NDHI) for the very purpose of answering questions like these. (more…)

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    Digital health love – older people who use tech like health-tech, too

    Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

    The following post ran on March 4th on Health Populi.

    As people take on self-service across all aspects of daily living, self-care in health is growing beyond the use of vitamins/minerals/supplements, over-the-counter meds, and trying out the blood-pressure cuff in the pharmacy waiting for a prescription to be filled. Today, health consumers the world over have begun to engage in self-care using digital technologies. And this isn’t just a phenomenon among people in the Millennial generationMost seniors who regularly use technology (e.g., using computers and mobile phones) are also active in digitally tracking their weight, for example, learned in a survey by Accenture.Seniors18

    Older people who use technology in daily living (say, for entertainment or financial management) are keen to use tech for health, too. Specifically, illustrated in the infographic, Accenture found that:

    • 2 in 3 older people want to use self-care technology to manage their health
    • 3 in 5 older people are willing to track vital signs like heart rate and blood pressure via a digital device (more…)


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  • March 2nd, 2015 Meet Melissa: An innovative, entrepreneurial woman-on-a-mission
    By Glenna Crooks
  • Disruptive Woman Launches a Breakthrough in Parenting

    One of the original Disruptive Women contributors, Glenna Crooks recently launched a new business. Last week the Syracuse New Times published an interview with her. Read the interview here and learn more about Sage My Life.

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  • February 11th, 2015 On a Mission of Hope: Nurse, Entrepreneur, Humanitarian Sharon Hackney-Robinson
    By Glenna Crooks
  • The phone is a gateway drug to health: what MyFitnessPal knows, and what Under Armour gets

    Jane Sarasohn-Kahn

    The following post first ran on Health Populi.

    65 million people know that food journaling works for losing weight, that it’s engaging to do on a well-designed app, and that health is social. MyFitnessPal (MFP) has the distinction of being a top health app used longer by more people and more effectively than probably any other mobile health tool.

    MFP-acquired-by-Under-Armour-Connected-Health-Feb-15Under Armour, the athletic goods company, now has MFP under its corporate umbrella, along with Endomondo, another very popular motivating mobile health tool.

    You may know Under Armour as a company that manufactures and markets functional workout gear. But this deal is so not about the wearable.

    It’s about building a health data ecosystem, the kind my smart colleague Carol Torgan terms an Electronic Fitness Record (EFR). Carol riffs off of the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) concept, which is taking off in the health care system: in doctors’ offices and in hospitals, motivated by financial incentives afforded through the HITECH Act which was bundled into the Stimulus Bill (aka ARRA, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. That’s the digital locus for patients’ personal health care information generated during visits to doctors, clinics, clinical labs, imaging centers, pharmacies, and other touchpoints in the health care system. (more…)

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    Music as Medicine

    Lisa-Suennen-photoThe following post is written by Lisa Suennen one of our 2015 Women to Watch. It originally ran on her blog Venture Valkyrie.

    It happens every time. I hear “Bad to the Bone” on the radio and suddenly all is right with the world. I love music and I have learned that if I choose the correct genre and tempo  I can improve a depressed state or calm a hyper one. I have song lists on my iPod called Cranky and Stressed, F the World, and Happiness, all designed around my various moods. Music can have a profound affect on my state of mind. I think this is true for most people, actually.

    The therapeutic value of music has long been known to the medical world. Famed neuropsychologist Oliver Sacks used music to engage his patients (this was dramatized in the movie The Music Never Stops, where a brain-damaged patient is able to recall memories otherwise lost when he hears the favorite music of his youth). (more…)

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