iHub Innovator Projects

Since its launch in 2013, iHub has had the honor to work collaboratively with Brigham innovators spanning many Brigham departments, academic levels and interest areas. Through the services of the Open Innovation Studio and other internal innovation processes, Brigham ideas have been able to funding opportunities, connect with industry partners and collaborators, as well as pilot their innovations at the Brigham and other large institutions. By advancing Brigham’s internal knowledge and expertise forward, iHub has made extraordinary progress in improving patient care and advancing groundbreaking research.

 
 

The U.S. is in the midst of an opioid epidemic, and Massachusetts has suffered disproportionately. In response, we have launched the Brigham Comprehensive Response and Education (B-CORE) Program.

+ Brigham Comprehensive Opioid Response and Education Program (B-CORE)

Lead Internal Innovator:

Scott Weiner, MD, MPH, FAAEM, FACEP
Director of the Division of Heatlh Policy and Public Health in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Director of BCORE


Project Overview:

The U.S. is in the midst of an opioid epidemic, and Massachusetts has suffered disproportionately. In response, we have launched the Brigham Comprehensive Response and Education (B-CORE) Program. This project is designed to serve the entire Brigham and Women's Healthcare system to address all aspexcts of opioids as they relate to patients and our community. Current projects include: 1. Working to improve access to life-saving nalaxone, both within the hospital and for the lay public, 2. Working with Partners to permit electronic prescribing of controlled substances, which are mores secure than paper prescriptions. 3. Developing public access stations that can dispense nalaxone and other emergency medicine supplies to bystanders. 4. The Bridge Clinic offers cutting edge treatment options for patients with substance use disorders. 5. Ideas abound, such as the concept of a wearable device that can detect when an individual is suffering an overdose and will call for help automatically. 6. We are studying digital pills thatg can closely monitor a patient's opioid usage and warn when it's excessive.


How iHub Helped:

Many BWH investigators throughout the hospital are launching new research projects to combat the rise of the opioid addiction and opioid-related dealths. B-CORE worked with iHub to encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration and convene different stakeholders.


Website:
https://www.brighamandwomens.org/psychiatry/advances-enewsletter/brigham-comprehensive-opioid-response-and-education-program

 
 

Originally derIving from the Pulmonary Series in May 2014, hosted by the Brigham Digital Innovation Hub, this idea was to create an educational role-playing medical video game for CME credit.

+ Healer: Medical Role-Playing Video Game

Lead Internal Innovator:

Raja-Elie Abdulnour, MD
Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital


Project Overview:

Originally deriving from the Pulmonary Series in May 2014, hosted by the Brigham Digital Innovation Hub, this idea was to create an educational role-playing medical video game for CME credit. This project received funding from The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) after the initial pitch of concept to the Chief Editor of NEJM.


How iHub Helped:

Launched out of an iHub hosted and facilitated Innovation Series in 2014.

 
 

Brainspec is a secure web-based software platform to provide a rapid magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) diagnosis that once took days to minutes and with an intuitive user interfacce that is designed by clinicans for clinicans.

+ Brainspec: Making the Virtual Biopsy a Reality

Lead Internal Innovator:

Alexander Lin, PhD
Director, Center for Clinical Spectroscopy, Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital


Project Overview:

Brainspec is a secure web-based software platform to provide a rapid magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) diagnosis that once took days to minutes and with an intuitive user interfacce that is designed by clinicans for clinicans. MRS, otherwise known, as a 'virtual biopsy' is a safe, non-invasive method that measures chemistry of the brain and provides feedback to the healthcare provider on the localization and/or change in important brain metabolites. Despite thousands of publications demonstrating the accuracy and diagnostic value of MRS in a broad range of neurological disorders including cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, brain injury, and psychiatric disorders, this promising technique has not been fully utlized in clinical practice due to complicated data-processing that can take days and require input from an experienced physicist.


How iHub Helped:

The Brainspec team was formed in May 2015 at an Innovation Series hosted by the Brigham Digital Innovation Hub. iHub helped the core team to navigate the innovation pathway within the Brigham and Partners Healthcare. Eventually, the company was spun-out of the hospital.


Website:
https://brainspecmed.com/

 
 

The BeautyMarks website provides a resource for both patients and clinicians to have a more informed discussion. This database holds various images of women’s breasts after undergoing lumpectomy surgery.

+ Beautymarks

Lead Internal Innovator:

Esther Rhei, MD
Medical Director, BWH Breast Center


Project Overview:

The BeautyMarks website provides a resource for both patients and clinicians to have a more informed discussion. This database holds various images of women’s breasts after undergoing lumpectomy surgery. The patient can filter by skin color, size of breasts, tumor size, body weight, location, and patient demographics in order to help envision what their breasts could look like after surgery.


How iHub Helped:

iHub helped Dr. Rhei to refine her vision into a product. Through carefully designed surveys and questionnaires with various stakeholders, she was able to identify use cases. To build out the website, iHub connected her to developers and designers. Coordination and connections with tech transfer, legal, and investors were possible through iHub.

 
 

Through the Virtual PSA Monitoring Program (VPSAM), prostate cancer survivors can have their post treatment PSA blood work drawn at a lab close to home. The VPSAM software sends automated e-mail reminders to patients requesting they have their PSA drawn at the predesignated lab.

+ Virtual PSA Monitoring (VPSAM) Program

Lead Internal Innovator:

Rich Boyajian, NP
Nurse Practioner, Radiation Oncology Department, Dana-Farber and Brigham and Women's Cancer Center


Project Overview:

Through the Virtual PSA Monitoring Program (VPSAM), prostate cancer survivors can have their post treatment PSA blood work drawn at a lab close to home. The VPSAM software sends automated e-mail reminders to patients requesting they have their PSA drawn at the predesignated lab. Included in the e-mail is a link to fill out a symptom survey. Once completed, the survey is then stored in the VPSAM software, along with the results of the PSA blood test. The software then determines the patient's symptom levels and whether their PSA is okay or if it is a cancer recurrance. A nurse practioner then follows up with a "virtual visit" by phone, video chat, patient gateway, SMS messaging, or secure e-mail.


How iHub Helped:

Boyajian had an innovative software/workflow idea and met with iHub during open office hours. iHub advised Boyajian on creating a business plan and helped to identify BCRISP as a funding source. This led to the creation of the software, and the creation of the program within the department of radiation oncology.


Website:
https://www.brighamandwomens.org/campaigns/bwh-nurses/richard-boyajian

 
 

Although male infertility is as common as female infertility, it often goes undiagnosed because of socioeconomic factors such as stigma, high cost of testing, and availability of laboratory facilities.

+ Smartphone-based Semen Quality Analysis for at-home Male Fertility Assesments

Lead Internal Innovator:

Hadi Shafiee, PhD
Director, Laboratory of Micro and Nano-medicine and Digital Health


Collaborative Teams & Individuals:

John Petrozza, MD
Chief Division of Reproductive Medicine and IVF Director of the Massachusets General Fertility Center


Project Overview:

Although male infertility is as common as female infertility, it often goes undiagnosed because of socioeconomic factors such as stigma, high cost of testing, and availability of laboratory facilities. A smartphone-based approach can be used to facilitate testing at home or in a remote clinic without access to laboratory equipment. Our approach uses an inexpensive device that attaches directly to a phone and is operated through a smartphone application that automatically measures the vital statistics.


How iHub Helped:

The smartphone-based technology was developed after the initial development of the smartphone-based semen analysis system, originally supported by BWH iHUB in 2015. Since then this technology has also been used in a smartphone-based system for HIV detection and an AI-powered smartphone-based ovulation testing using saliva


Referral Link:
https://www.cnn.com/2017/03/22/health/male-infertility-test-phone-app-study/index.html

 
 

Patients visit physicians to discuss the solutions for their problems, but lose one-third of their time together to symptom descriptions. Our innovative system enables a virtual patient interview in advance of a face-to-face visit.

+ Commercialization of a Novel Electronic Tablet-Based System to Automate Obtaining and Documenting Individualized Symptom Descriptions

Lead Internal Innovator:

Jennifer Shin, MD, SM
Vice Chair for Academic Affairs, Department of Otolaryngology at Harvard Medical School


Project Overview:

Patients visit physicians to discuss the solutions for their problems, but lose one-third of their time together to symptom descriptions. Our innovative system enables a virtual patient interview in advance of a face-to-face visit. It asks adaptive questions, based on patients’ ongoing responses, then completes the clinicians’ documentation for them. This frontline system minimizes time now lost to conveying symptom details, making clinical interactions more efficient and focused on discussion of patient needs.


How iHub Helped:

iHub has been helpful to us since we first met. We learned how to pitch at a shark tank from Brian Mullen. We have met and assessed 8 programming options after learning from Adam Landman. He has also supported us as we also entered the world of Information Security, going beyond HIPAA into the GDPR and key U.S. criteria. Currently, and most importantly, we have been recipients of the Schlager Family Track B Award which has helped us proceed toward concrete goals. More specifically, we are proceeding with wireframes with The ADK Group, who also supported the award. Lastly, when we were approached by our first entrepreneurial investor, Brian Mullen coached me on how to speak with them.

 
 

Brain cancer causes 16,830 deaths in the US each year. Accurate and real-time histopathy evaluation of the frozen tissue section is indispensible to determine the optimal surgical intervention during tumor removal.

+ An Artificial Intelligence System for Brain Tumor Frozen Section Diagnosis

Lead Internal Innovator:

Jeff Golden, MD
Chair of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital


Project Overview:

Brain cancer causes 16,830 deaths in the US each year. Accurate and real-time histopathy evaluation of the frozen tissue section is indispensible to determine the optimal surgical intervention during tumor removal. However, frozen sections are difficult to evaluate, and the diagnosis based on frozen sections may differ from the final diagnosis using pataffin-embedded permanent sections. To address this challenge, we will develop an artificial intelligence (AI) system that employs state-of-the-art machine learning methods to diagnose frozen sections of the brain tumor tissues. In a research setting, we have developed a prototype that diagnosed glioma with more than 95% accuracy using hematoxylin and eosin stained histopathology images of permanenet tissue sections (patent pending). With the help of iHub's Schlager Family Awards for Early Stage Digital Health innovation, we will extend the AI platform to analyze frozen section slides and evaluate its clinical utility.


How iHub Helped:

With the help of iHub's Schlager Family Awards for Early Stage Digital Health innovation, we will extend the AI platform to analyze frozen section slides and evaluate its clinical utility. Members of iHub also helped with consultation and presentation direction before award series.

 
 

Although pathology is central to precision medicine, pathology education has not kept pace with advances in educational technology due to the logistical constraints of physical access to a microscope.

+ Virtual Teaching Sets for Digital Pathology Education

Lead Internal Innovator:

Scott Lovitch, MD, PhD
Associate Pathologist, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Assistant Professor of Pathology, Harvard Medical School


Project Overview:

Although pathology is central to precision medicine, pathology education has not kept pace with advances in educational technology due to the logistical constraints of physical access to a microscope. Virtual microscopy (VM), which replicates the experience of using a physical microscope in digital form, could potentially alleviate these constraints, and is increasingly utilized for clinical diagnosis, but most commercially available educational resources in pathology exclusively consist of static images, and the few utilizing VM are poorly curated and of limited use. We are developing annotated virtual slide sets, coupled to online modules for self-directed learning and assessment, as digital tools for pathology education. These materials will be accessible to any learner with an Internet-connected device, including smartphones and tablets.


How iHub Helped:

Receiving the Schlager Family Award for Early Stage Digital Health Innovation has allowed us to significantly scale up our efforts and begin scanning large numbers of virtual slides. Since receiving funding, we have scanned over 200 slides, which we are currently in the process of curating and annotating. These slides are already being used in training of residents and fellows in pathology at BWH, and will be used in upcoming HMS courses in spring and fall 2018.

 
 

Navigating inside a busy hospital can be a stressful experience, with both patients and visitors often needing assistance knowing where to go and what to do. For a busy care-giving organization, this is can be a difficult need to predict and consistently address.

+ Hospital Voice Assistant Skill

Lead Internal Innovator:

Steve Penney
Mobile Project Specialist


Project Overview:

Navigating inside a busy hospital can be a stressful experience, with both patients and visitors often needing assistance knowing where to go and what to do. For a busy care-giving organization, this is can be a difficult need to predict and consistently address. The Faulkner Voice Assistant is a voice based, in-hospital information guide which provides a new and interactive experience for hospital visitors. The Faulkner Voice Assistance was developed in-house through the BWH iHub.


How iHub Helped:

The Faulkner Voice Assistance was developed in-house through the BWH iHub in collaboration with Steve Penney.