When diagnosed with cancer, it’s natural for a patient to focus on the physical treatments – surgery, radiation, chemotherapy – needed to beat the disease. But the emotional and mental health dimensions of a cancer diagnosis can be overlooked – feelings of anxiety, depression, loss, isolation, anger and more can interplay with illness, exacerbating a stressful and difficult time in a person’s life. This is especially true for young adults with cancer. Young adulthood is the most likely time for the onset of mental health difficulties, and it can be challenging for young people to identify and express the complex emotions that come with cancer.
On a recent spring evening, eight research teams from across the Brigham presented in front of a panel of scientific experts, donors and trustees and invited them to explore the brain with a neurosurgeon; envision a new animal model for heart failure; imagine a day when we can transplant an eye; watch a device that can detect the cause of a drug overdose in action; discover how salamanders heal without scars; and more. During their five-minute pitches, each team made a case for why the panelists should vote for their high-risk, high-reward project to receive seed funding. After a five-minute question and answer session, each team was escorted back to the waiting area to await the panel’s ultimate decision.
Medumo, a leading patient navigation platform, announced a new strategic collaboration with Partners HealthCare at the second annual PULSE@MassChallenge Finale. This relationship will scale Medumo digital care navigation pathways (CareTours™) in care access, patient encounter preparation and follow-up, and many other clinical or administrative areas across Partners institutions. Medumo CareTours™ use multilingual SMS, email, and web-based applications to automate delivery of precisely timed instructions and patient risk assessment through every stage of a care encounter, improving clinical outcomes and operational efficiency.
The Brigham Innovation Hub connects the hospital community to the right resources to implement digital health projects that could benefit patients.
“Our job is to connect the BWH community to the right resources to implement digital health projects, whether building their own apps or working with a startup to create one,” says Josie Elias, MBA, MPH, iHub’s program manager for digital health innovation.
A nurse practitioner in the department of radiation oncology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boyajian manages the monitoring visits required for men who have been treated for prostate cancer. The good news for these patients is the high success rates for men who receive treatment. But they must follow-up regularly with blood tests to check for early signs of recurrence and with physician visits to report any symptoms.
A team from the Brigham Digital Innovation Hub; Analysis, Planning and Process Improvement (APPI); Quality and Safety; and Infection Control are working to streamline the way hand hygiene data is collected and disseminated. Leaders will be able to use insights from these findings to guide conversations with individual members of their team. This will be an opportunity for supervisors to recognize staff who excel in this practice and to provide constructive feedback to individuals with room for improvement.
It has been a few weeks, but as a first-time attendee, being a part of HIMSS made a lasting impression as I took a deep dive into the world of health IT. It was a hard not to get distracted by the shiny, new, and attractive technologies at vendor booths while also trying to consume an endless buffet of educational sessions.
Some of the main reasons digital health startups tend to land in pilot purgatory is that innovators lack clarity on the process to pilot new digital solutions, don’t engage with the right stakeholders, and don’t align their project with an institution’s strategic priorities. Some simply give up, underestimating the bureaucracy and often risk-intolerance of a large, complex institution and resulting long sales cycles.
BWH clinicians and researchers across departments and divisions are working to find new ways to stem the tide of opioid addiction and opioid-related deaths. Brian Mullen, PhD, of the Brigham Digital Innovation Hub (iHub), and Scott Weiner, MD, MPH, of the Department of Emergency Medicine and director of the Brigham Comprehensive Opioid Response and Education (B-CORE) Program, are working to bring innovators together to share ideas and resources. They have collected information on more than a dozen BWH projects so far.