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Category: Health Technology

Prehab Tool and AI Win Big at the 2019 RWJF Live Pitch

SPONSORED POST

By CATALYST @ HEALTH 2.0

Six finalists competed in an exciting live pitch for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s 2019 Innovation Challenges at the 2019 Health 2.0 Annual Conference. They demoed their technologies in front of an audience of health care professionals, investors, provider organizations, and members of the media. The Home and Community Based Care Challenge sought technologies that support the advancement of at-home or community based care. The Social Determinants of Health Innovation Challenge called for solutions that increase access to services related to social determinants of health.

During the 3-day Conference, Jessica DaMassa, Executive Producer & Host of @WTF_Health, spoke with the finalists about their experience competing in the RWJF Innovation Challenges, their personal highlights, and what’s next!

Home and Community Based Care Innovation Challenge Finalists

First Place:

Ooney’s home-based web-app for older adults, Prehab Pal, delivers individualized prehabilitation to accelerate postoperative functional recovery and return to independence after surgery.

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The FDA has approved AI-based PET/MRI “denoising”. How safe is this technology?

By LUKE OAKDEN-RAYNER, MD

Super-resolution* promises to be one of the most impactful medical imaging AI technologies, but only if it is safe.

Last week we saw the FDA approve the first MRI super-resolution product, from the same company that received approval for a similar PET product last year. This news seems as good a reason as any to talk about the safety concerns myself and many other people have with these systems.

Disclaimer: the majority of this piece is about medical super-resolution in general, and not about the SubtleMR system itself. That specific system is addressed directly near the end.

Zoom, enhance

Super-resolution is, quite literally, the “zoom and enhance” CSI meme in the gif at the top of this piece. You give the computer a low quality image and it turns it into a high resolution one. Pretty cool stuff, especially because it actually kind of works.

In medical imaging though, it’s better than cool. You ever wonder why an MRI costs so much and can have long wait times? Well, it is because you can only do one scan every 20-30 minutes (with some scans taking an hour or more). The capital and running costs are only spread across one to two dozen patients per day.

So what if you could get an MRI of the same quality in 5 minutes? Maybe two to five times more scans (the “getting patient ready for the scan” time becomes the bottleneck), meaning less cost and more throughput.

This is the dream of medical super-resolution.

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Health System Digital Transformation, Aussie Style | Michael Walsh, Queensland Health

By JESSICA DAMASSA, WTF HEALTH

Transitioning to the digital age of healthcare can be difficult for an already well-established health system. Michael Walsh, the Director General for Queensland Health, which is the state’s largest health system whose 100,000 employees serve 5 million patients, knows all too much about how to facilitate a health system into the digital world. What makes Michael and Queensland Health unique is their willingness to include clinicians into the conversation. In fact, clinicians have configured their EMR system and ultimately have the final say. Now, how can startups with digital health solutions join forces with large health systems? Hear Michael’s answer to get the scoop on what large health systems are looking for in partnerships.

Filmed in the HISA Studio at HIC 2019 in Melbourne, Australia, August 2019.

Jessica DaMassa is the host of the WTF Health show & stars in Health in 2 Point 00 with Matthew HoltGet a glimpse of the future of healthcare by meeting the people who are going to change it. Find more WTF Health interviews here or check out www.wtf.health.

YTH Live 2020

By ERIN MCKELLE

There are many public health conferences that focus on young people, or that center around youth issues, but very few that actually include the young people’s voices that we are claiming to uplift as public health professionals.

There are also very few conferences that emphasize innovation in healthcare, that are pointed towards solutions rather than discussing problems at length without clear ways of solving them.

These core issues are at the heart of the annual YTH Live conference. Each year (we’re on our twelfth!), we showcase the boldest technologies in health and cutting-edge research in all facets of youth health and wellness. We also have attendees that range from IT professionals to high school students, with over 25% of last year’s attendees and speakers being young people themselves.

YTH’s Communications Coordinator Erin McKelle has first-hand experience of this. “I first attended YTH Live when I was a senior in high school. It was the first conference I ever spoke at and all of my fears about being the only young person in the room were quickly put to rest, once I saw that YTH plans a youth conference that actually centers around youth voices,” she says. “I’m proud to now be working for the organization years later, after serving on the Youth Advisory Board, paying the mission of youth empowerment forward to the next generation of youth leaders.”

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Health in 2 Point 00, Episode 99 | (Reverse) Takeover Edition with Bayer G4A

Today on Health in 2 Point 00… hold on, where’s Jess? On Episode 99, I do a reverse takeover with Priyanka Kashyap and Sophie Park at Bayer’s office in Berlin. Priyanka tells us about what Bayer G4A is doing these days with the 5 startups in their Advance Track: Blackford Analysis in radiology; Carepay and RelianceHMO improving affordability and access for patients in Africa; NeuroTracker, which is in the neuro space but is working with the oncology team at Bayer; and Prevencio, a diagnostic solution in the cardiovascular space. Sophie also gives us a rundown of the 6 startups in the Growth Track at G4A: Wellthy, a digital therapeutics company out of India; Litesprite, for mental health; BioLum, a pulmonology startup working on detecting nitric oxide levels in the blood; Upside Health with its chronic pain management software; and finally Visotec and Okko Health in ophthalmology. —Matthew Holt

Health Tech in Africa | Nnamdi Oranye, Disrupting Africa Encyclopedia

By JESSICA DAMASSA, WTF HEALTH

Nnamdi Oranye literally wrote the encyclopedia on African startups and tech solutions that will be disrupting the future of health. Titled “The Disrupting Africa Encyclopedia” the work catalogs African entrepreneurs and innovators as well as provides details on the investment ecosystem and strategic infrastructure being put in place to expand their growth. Where does Africa excel in terms of digital health technology? Nnamdi says mobile healthcare apps, like those that can help detect cataracts and malaria or provide remote care are leading the way on the mobile-forward continent. Watch now for more key discoveries from his research into Africa’s tech scene.

Filmed in the HISA Studio at HIC 2019 in Melbourne, Australia, August 2019.

Jessica DaMassa is the host of the WTF Health show & stars in Health in 2 Point 00 with Matthew HoltGet a glimpse of the future of healthcare by meeting the people who are going to change it. Find more WTF Health interviews here or check out www.wtf.health.

Why I’m Not Buying Healthcare’s AI Hype…Yet | Enrico Coiera, Macquarie University

By JESSICA DAMASSA, WTF HEALTH

Everyone seems to be amazed by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in healthcare, but Enrico Coiera, Professor of Medical Informatics at Macquarie University, is not impressed — yet. Instead of designing algorithms, he advocates for designing “human-machine systems” that work with the best parts of the health system, the people. An interesting anecdote about how AI can go wrong? Diagnoses of thyroid cancer in South Korea have increased 15 times, but not because of a higher prevalence of the disease…it’s because of more sensitive AI diagnostics that are over-diagnosing people and rendering many with chemo and other treatments they don’t need. So, what should technologists do to ensure that tech doesn’t fail patient outcomes? Enrico gives his best advice for a healthcare industry that’s “in love with technology and can’t often see the simple solution for the sexy tech one.”

Filmed in the HISA Studio at HIC 2019 in Melbourne, Australia, August 2019.

Jessica DaMassa is the host of the WTF Health show & stars in Health in 2 Point 00 with Matthew HoltGet a glimpse of the future of healthcare by meeting the people who are going to change it. Find more WTF Health interviews here or check out www.wtf.health.

Addressing Digital Health’s Gender Gap | Dr. Kudzai Kanhutu, HIC 2019 & Royal Melbourne University

By JESSICA DAMASSA, WTF HEALTH

It’s no surprise that digital health — the union of two traditionally male-dominated fields, medicine and IT — has similar problems when it comes to gender gaps in pay and leadership positions. How is this playing out in Australia? Dr. Kudzai Kanhutu, Deputy Chief Medical Officer at Royal Melbourne University and Chair for HIC 2019, weighs in on inclusivity and diversity in healthcare and the other key themes she hoped would rise to the surface at HIC19.

Filmed in the HISA Studio at HIC 2019 in Melbourne, Australia, August 2019.

Jessica DaMassa is the host of the WTF Health show & stars in Health in 2 Point 00 with Matthew HoltGet a glimpse of the future of healthcare by meeting the people who are going to change it. Find more WTF Health interviews here or check out www.wtf.health.

Changing Health Behavior at the Population Level | Maureen Perrin, Public Health Epidemiologist

By JESSICA DAMASSA, WTF HEALTH

With everyone talking about health data and being able to impact population health thanks to AI and machine learning algorithms, it ONLY makes sense to talk to a good, ole’ fashioned Public Health Epidemiologist like Maureen Perrin about the science and the philosophy at work behind all that data. Smoking, sex, vaccinations, plastic straw bans — this interview has it all! (Well, mostly in the context of changing behavior at-scale to improve the overall health of very large populations of people.) As everyone from digital health startups to health systems look at data as a way to study then impact behavior change, Maureen reminds us that “data doesn’t always make a difference in terms of how we make decisions” as individuals. What else can you learn from someone who’s made it her life’s work to study how to influence behavior change to reduce everyone’s health risks? Watch and learn…

Filmed in the HISA Studio at HIC 2019 in Melbourne, Australia, August 2019.

Jessica DaMassa is the host of the WTF Health show & stars in Health in 2 Point 00 with Matthew HoltGet a glimpse of the future of healthcare by meeting the people who are going to change it. Find more WTF Health interviews here or check out www.wtf.health.

Aussie Series: Health Tech Workforce

By JESSICA DAMASSA, WTF HEALTH

A few weeks ago, WTF Health took the show on the road to Australia’s digital health conference, HIC 2019. We captured more than 30 interviews (!) from the conference, which is run by the Health Informatics Society of Australia (hence the HISA Studio branding) and I had the opportunity to chat with most of the Australian Digital Health Agency’s leadership, many administrators from the country’s largest health systems, and a number of health informaticians, clinicians, and patients. I’ll be spotlighting a few of my favorites here in a four-part series to give you a flavor of what’s happening in health innovation ‘Down Under.’ For much more, check out all the videos on the playlist here

This is the final post in our series, and in it I’m sharing four interviews on the theme of the future of the health tech workforce. This was a huge topic of conversation at HIC19 — dominating the discussion more than at any other conference I’ve been to in the US or Europe — and what struck me was all the different ways Aussies are looking at ‘workforce preparedness.’ 

There’s Kerryn Butler-Henderson, Associate Professor for Digital Health at the University of Tasmania, who is leading a Health Information Workforce Census that will take place in 2020. She’ll be “counting” the health data analysts, healthcare informaticians, health information managers, clinical coders and health librarians (more on what that job does in the interview) in not only Australia, New Zealand, and Tasmania, but also the US, UK, Canada, and Middle East to give us a larger look at the demographics of this part of the industry. A surprising take-away from her previous work in this space? More than 70% of health information workers are over the age of 45, signaling a shortage that could come up pretty quickly if we don’t start doing a better job of recruiting for the field.

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