Digital Innovation Hub

iHub Team Looks Back on 2020

What was an unexpected, but positive outcome from the year?

Though the pandemic has separated many of us physically, 2020 was an incredibly collaborative year for our team. With each new project or urgent call to action came the opportunity to meet new people and work together for a common cause. We strengthened existing relationships with our colleagues and formed new ones as our work expanded into new areas of hospital operations.

From identifying new ways to fight back against the virus with the Mass General Brigham Center for COVID Innovation to working directly with patients and visitors at the front door with our Patient Access team, it was a pleasure to work alongside colleagues old and new, even amid the challenges and uncertainty of the pandemic.

Don Gummow

Innovation Analyst



Any significant in-person interactions you’ve had onsite since pandemic has started?

I received my vaccine at the same time as a colleague from Audio Visual Services (AV) who is one of the friendliest faces at the Brigham. Sharing the experience with him made it all the more meaningful. We reminisced—seated 6 feet apart—on the hustle and bustle of AV needs for past iHub events in the Hale Atrium where chairs were less than 6 inches apart and how this vaccine gave us excitement and hope that these events will return in the future, as well as the priceless daily interactions with colleagues!

A time when you felt like you made significant impact to the larger Brigham institution

“Do you remember, 21st Night of September?” leads the song September by Earth Wind and Fire, and it certainly was a night I would remember, as it marked the first day that the inpatient smart camera and voice assistant pilot was launched. This iHub-led project deployed devices under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) COVID-19 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) waiver, which allows nurses to use voice technology to initiate video calls with COVID-19 patients to preserve PPE, limit exposure, and enhance communications. It was rewarding to work on a project that would directly impact the health, safety and comfort of the Brigham front line COVID staff and the patients. It’s an experience I will always remember.

Mimi Dunn

Innovation Analyst


A time when you felt like you made significant impact to the larger Brigham institution

In May 2020, we had the opportunity to sign up for shifts to provide on-site technical support for inpatient iPads that were deployed for the virtual intercom system (VICS). Even before remote work became the norm, my work rarely involved entering clinical floors or seeing patients. However, seeing clinicians covering themselves from head to toe, risking their lives to provide care, and seeing sick patients alone in sealed rooms gave me a new sense of urgency and perspective into our role. Initiatives like VICS and the loaner device program led by Chen used technology to improve care and comfort for patients and brought back some humanity into clinical care. With iPads, patients could speak with clinicians easier, and friends and families could encourage their loved ones or in some cases say their final goodbyes when it would have been impossible otherwise. I’m proud of the work iHub and IS has accomplished and I am so grateful to be part of the team.

Rin Sato

Innovation Analyst



A time when you felt like you made significant impact to the larger Brigham institution…
I’m grateful for the opportunity we had to support the hospital’s “Safe Care Commitment” as part of recovery and reimagining. Through our wide ranging work—from crowdsourcing suggestions from the frontlines and facilitating signup and auditing mechanisms for rounders, to scanning and planning innovative technologies for touchless interactions, developing and implementing daily symptom attestation tools for staff and visitors, reimagining patient’s digital journey for the new normal, and facilitating the scheduling of vaccine appointments—we instigated and pioneered several digital breakthroughs that played an enabling role in our collective efforts to ensure the safest possible environment for our staff and patients.

What has been a stand out/memorable highlight from 2020?

While 2020 will be remembered as an extremely challenging year by all of us, my enduring memories of the year are shaped by my profound pride in our team’s diverse innovation skill set. Like a Swiss Army Knife, our team was immensely more nimble and immeasurably more valuable during the crisis. We ran right at the problems. We dived into projects we didn’t previously have experience with. We designed and implemented new processes. We juggled multiple projects without ever missing a beat. We navigated rapid changes. We accomplished a whole lot in the span of just a few months. And together, we punched above our weight. It took focus, drive, courage, creativity, and humility. Our dedication over these past 10 months has been nothing short of remarkable and I’m so incredibly proud to be a part of this team.

Any significant in-person interactions you’ve had onsite since pandemic has started?

Being part of an “Operation Hope” celebration is something I will never forget. My heart was filled with pride and gratitude as I joined our colleagues in cheering and clapping for recovered COVID patients as they triumphantly waved their hands on their way out of the hospital. It was so uplifting and gave me such a boost to go back to the work I was doing that day – rounding on our COVID care units to drop off and check on the devices that our teams had set up to help isolated patients connect with family members and with caregivers. One of the devices was used later that evening to help a patient celebrate their birthday with family members virtually! A great reminder for those of us who are non-clinicians that our hands may not touch patients, but surely, they do touch their lives in ways unseen.

Santosh Mohan

Managing Director


What has been a stand out or memorable highlight from 2020?

We have a sign at the iHub that reads “You can do a lot with a small team”. This year, I think that statement has never been more true: We created and led the system wide tablet loaner program to connect patients with their loved ones. We created the daily symptom attestation tools for staff (COVID Pass) along with patients and visitors (Mass General Brigham Prescreen) that has been used at institutions across the nation. We led the employee vaccination effort using COVID Pass.  We piloted cutting edge hardware to enable nurses to “drop-in” to a COVID patient room Amazon Echo Shows. We even spent an evening distributing free salads for Brigham employees facing the first COVID surge. You truly can do a lot with a small team!

Mark Zhang, DO

Medical Director


Any memorable stories involving colleagues from other departments or across the System?

One of my highlights was seeing how flexible and supportive the iHub team, along with colleagues from IS across the System stepped in to help organize, set up, and distribute donated tablet devices for our patients. Certainly there were long days and endless Zoom calls to coordinate this effort, but it was all worthwhile to see the immediate impact when we are able to increase technology access and equitably distribute these resources so our patients can be connected. I truly appreciate and thank my team and our colleagues for helping to deliver these devices for our patients.

Chen Cao

Innovation Strategy Manager