My Remarks from Eliminating Telehealth Barriers Briefing

Wen Dombrowski

Thank you for inviting me to share my perspective on telehealth barriers as a physician who is specialized in the care of older adults, people with disabilities, and technology. Much of my clinical experience has been house calls to visit patients who are too frail to leave their home.

Currently I am the Chief Medical Information Officer at the VNA Health Group, a nonprofit with a mission to care for as many vulnerable and underserved patients as possible in their homes and communities.

I have spent more than a decade watching technologies that would be helpful to people with sickness or disability. However, while many telehealth engineering inventions have existed for over a decade, they have been largely unused – not deployed to help patients. These patients could have been your spouse, grandparent, neighbor, or friend. Why isn’t technology that could enhance care not being utilized? It is disheartening to see that federal and state policy and regulatory barriers are preventing patients from receiving the best care that could be available to them.

Let’s think about an analogy for a moment: email – can you imagine doing your job today if you weren’t allowed to use email? (more…)

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Eliminating Telehealth Barriers Briefing Recap

7.18Yesterday, Disruptive Women was on the Hill to host a briefing that looked at the need to accelerate the use of telehealth. Through telehealth we have the technological know-how to remotely bring the doctor to the patient, but because of current barriers it cannot be used to its fullest extent.

Telehealth allows physicians to monitor vital signs and symptoms remotely and conduct consultations over the Internet. It can improve the quality of health care delivery while also making it more cost efficient.   Additionally, it has the potential to address the growing shortages in the health care workforce. So with all these benefits why isn’t telehealth being deployed to its fullest extent? The panelists at yesterday’s briefing discussed the various barriers and why it is critical to address these barriers as soon as possible. (more…)

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A Disruptive Conversation with the Co-founders of Personal Medicine Plus


We love stories about women that are truly changing the face of health care, particularly through innovation. Today is no exception. We recently sat down with Co-founders Natalie Hodge, MD and Brandi Harless, MPH of Personal Medicine Plus, an app that allows individuals to self-manage health through behavior tracking and health data metrics. Both Hodge and Harless shared their experience in developing their tool, being a woman innovation leader, and a few words of wisdom and inspiration to other women interested in following their goals. Check it out below.

What drew you to health innovation technology?

NH: My first passion was in medicine. I always had a deep interest in people and solving problems, so naturally that fits well with a career in medicine.  The interesting thing is that the problems of my early career have largely been solved by vaccines.  And in the 15 years we spent diagnosing disease, the obesity epidemic floated to the top. That’s when the opportunity for me to marry medicine and innovation arose.

BH: After studying global health at Boston University and working on health issues in Kenya, Haiti and Sierra Leone, I accidentally moved back to my hometown in rural Kentucky.  Not knowing if I would stay around, I started working with HIV patients and getting involved in the health of the local community.  After leading a local health clinic for a while, I realized the extreme need to help rural patients turn back their lifestyle illnesses.  When Natalie approached me to work on this startup that would do exactly that, I WAS IN!  (more…)

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Janie Gu: Woman to Watch 2014

Janie Gu

Janie Gu

“Great leaders don’t lead for the sake of leading; they lead because they’re passionate about making something happen and they want to encourage, inspire, and influence others to move with them.” – Janie Gu

Inspired by the great inventors of contemporary times, particularly Elon Musk, Janie Gu has set a path forward into the world of true innovation through creating new products, ideas, and dreams. Currently an undergraduate at Princeton University, Janie leveraged her programming skills to create OUTFluenza, an analytical engine for tracking and predicting influenza, for the Surescripts 2013 Technology Challenge and parts of that project will be featured in the final Surescripts product. (more…)

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Alexandra Drane: Woman to Watch in 2014

Alexandra Drane

Alexandra Drane

  • Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Eliza Corporation.
  • Follow Alex on Twitter: @adrane

This week, DW honors Women to Watch in 2014! For this series, we will highlight women in the fields of technology, health, and science that are truly disrupting the status quo. Check out DW’s own Whitney Bowman-Zatzkin’s interview with Alexandra Drane.

After growing up watching her father leverage technology to entice and revolutionize companies, Alexandra Drane launched into her own career in pursuit of using technology to help people live healthier, happier lives. As her fourth startup, Eliza Corporation does just that – making investments in health engagement management to improve health care experiences, reduce costs, and advance population health.

“Remember that it is a gift to be alive and that gift creates an obligation. What are you going to do in this very instant of this very day to be worthy of that gift?” – Alexandra Drane (more…)

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An Interview with Kenda West – New COO at Voalte

Kenda WestHealth information technology (health IT) improves health care efficiency, quality and safety. Many of these tools, however, are more cumbersome than helpful. Voalte is a game-changer in this respect—improving coordination and patient safety through one effective tool. DW sat down with Kenda West, Chief Operating Officer at Voalte, to talk about her career, how Voalte is positively disrupting the industry, and the advice she would like to offer to future Disruptive Women.



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Big Data and Health Care: An Interview with Julie Steele

JSteele_0712 The O’Reilly Strata Rx Conference, Data Makes a Difference, brings together data experts that are working to use  big data to improve patient outcomes, realize significant cost savings, perform research that points to entirely new products and markets, and to solve some of their most pressing health care data problems.  DW recently sat down with Julie Steele, Program Chair for Strata Rx at O’Reilly Media,  to chat about the future of big data and health care.




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An Evening with the TechGirls

Madhura Bhat

Last year, I was awarded a grant from the Case Foundation through Finding Fearless, an online competition to search for fearless change makers in communities around the United States. Finding Fearless is just one example of how the Case Foundation unites the principles of entrepreneurship, innovation and technology to identify, test, prove and scale ideas and models to create exponential impact. As part of the support offered by the Case Foundation to its grantees, I met Alana Ramo, an emerging woman in technology on their social innovation team. Recently, Alana and I had the opportunity to meet some truly inspiring young women. (more…)

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Up-and-Coming Disruptive Woman: Nina Tandon

dw_upandcomingDW recently sat down with July’s Up-and-Coming Disruptive Woman, Nina Tandon PhD, MBA, to discuss her innovative work in tissue engineering. Nina Tandon is a TED Senior Fellow, Staff Associate Postdoctoral Researcher in the Laboratory for Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering, Columbia University, and adjunct professor of Electrical Engineering at the Cooper Union. Nina studies electrical signaling in the context of tissue engineering, and has worked with cardiac, skin and neural tissue. Nina spent her early career in telecom (Avaya Labs) and transitioned into biomedical engineering via her Fulbright scholarship in Italy, where she worked on an electronic nose used to “smell” lung cancer. After completing her PhD at MIT and Columbia, she consulted at McKinsey and Company, but since 2010 has continued her work in tissue engineering. Nina has published 10 journal articles, 6 book chapters and has 3 patents.

Read Nina’s interview where she talks about current projects, the importance of supportive figures in her career and future goals. (more…)

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My Journey as an Undercover Patient

mbloomrosenNot too long ago, I had the misfortune to fall from my bicycle and within minutes (thanks to the other bicycle riders and the EMTs who quickly came to my aid) my bicycle and I were on our way to the local hospital via ambulance with serious but non-life threatening injuries.  As a result of this incident, I got to experience the health care system first hand, up front and personal.  I had not been hospitalized since the birth of my children decades earlier. Thus began my unexpected journey as an undercover patient. (more…)

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Sex and the Sleepless Night

Jess Ladd Talking PicI want to make sex better.

That’s what gets me up in the morning. Part of making sex better is doing what I can to eradicate sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).  I particularly focus on chlamydia and gonorrhea because I consider these really stupid infections. It’s crazy that they still exist. We know how to prevent them (condoms) and how to diagnose them (very specific and sensitive tests). We can completely cure these STDs. So then, why do these diseases infect over 3 million new Americans every year, half of whom are ages 15-25? (more…)

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Health Datapalooza: Collaboration for innovation

Health Datapalooza IV just wrapped up here in Washington, DC, and we’ve been following it closely, both as a media partner and as an interested spectator. For those of you who are just learning about it, Health Datapalooza is an annual conference featuring innovations in the use of health data and advocating for open data to spur future innovations and improve health care. It’s organized by the Health Data Consortium, a collaboration of government, non-profit, and private sector organizations working to liberate health data and put it to good use.

The panels and break-out sessions were informative, and gave a good sense of why open data is important and how it’s currently being used for consumer engagement, better health outcomes, and more. But the real stars of the show were the start-ups and innovators who were there to participate in various challenges. That is, after all, what open data is all about; once you get it, how do you use it? (more…)

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Using crowdsourcing technology to change the way we save lives

p_austriaOne scroll through your Facebook or Twitter news feed and you’d think the world was going crazy. People share their addresses, their heated political commentaries, and strange pictures of cats or food that seem to have absolutely no relevance to their lives or yours. Despite this, last March, I stood up on the stage at TEDxCollegeofWilliamandMary and spoke about the potential of using crowdsourcing technology to save lives.

About two years, ago, I started the Lunas Project—an integrative disaster management platform that leverages crowdsourcing technology, SMS messaging, and mapping tools to improve disaster relief in developing countries. The system has four main competencies: (1) text message warnings to even remote populations, (2) a crisis map that collects emergency reports from social media and texts to better coordinate rescue and relief operations, (3) a road status map where people can upload photos, videos and news links of roads being down or alternate routes that they know of, and finally (4) a donor portal to connect willing donors across the globe to local stores on the ground. (more…)

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  • June 3rd, 2013 GIGO: Will the Benefits of EHRs Outweigh the Trash They (Might) Create?
    By Glenna Crooks
  • DW’s coverage of HealthBeat 2013

    Danielle Brooks

    healthbeatOn May 21st and 22nd VentureBeat hosted its first HealthBeat conference in San Francisco with extreme success.  Focusing on how technology disrupts care, the event explored how “smart” hospitals, practices and patients are making positive changes in the health care industry.

    Disruptive Women was proud to participate as a media partner and got the opportunity to attend the event. Below are a few highlights we wanted to share with you!

    Do you find it difficult to stay fit while working full time? To remedy this, Keas announced a program called My Healthy Dish and Noshtopia to help employees make wiser nutritional choices and save employers money on health care costs.

    In addition to learning sessions and compelling speakers, up-and-coming innovators got a chance to participate in the Grand Rounds Innovation Showdown, an innovation challenge. Beyond Lucid Technologies and Liviam walked away as winners. Beyond Lucid won for the Series A and above, they are the maker of a tablet app for emergency medical responders. Liviam won for the Seed round,  and is a social networking tool for people with serious illnesses. (more…)

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