Beauty Marks

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Hack-a-thon

Breast cancer patients must decide if they want lumpectomy or a mastectomy. This decision, which is often agonizing for the patient, is a time-sensitive decision. This decision must be made before receiving radiation therapy as this will impact subsequent treatment options. This website provides a resource for clinicians and patients to have a more informed discussion regarding the treatment and outcomes through the shared experiences of other breast cancer patients.

About the Innovator

Esther Rhei, MD

Dr. Rhei attended the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey and completed her general surgery residency at Downstate Medical Center in New York. Her fellowship at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Breast/GYN lab and the breast surgical oncology clinical program in NY included projects involving the role of tumor suppressor genes in breast cancer. After completing her fellowship she joined BWH in 1998 as a breast surgical oncologist and has been appointed the Medical Director of the BWH Breast Center 2 years ago. She has won several teaching awards and accolades from the Harvard Medical Students and BWH surgical residents. She is one of the co-chairs of the Cushing Clinic at BWH where she helps diagnose and treat breast cancer in underserved women. Her ability to speak 5 languages helps her with the clinic, particularly since many patients are Spanish speaking only.

 

BrainSpec

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Idea
Implementation
Implementation

Problem

Magnetic resonance spectroscopy (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 utilized in clinical practice due to complicated data-processing that can take days and require input from an experienced physicist.

Solution

Our solution is BrainSpec, a secure web-based software platform to provide rapid MRS diagnosis that once took days to minutes and with an intuitive user interface that is designed by clinicians for clinicians. As a web-based application, it can be readily integrated into hospital picture archival systems, and available anywhere for analysis thus reducing expensive MRI scanner time for data reconstruction.

About the Innovator

Alexander Lin, PhD

Dr. Lin is the Clinical Spectroscopist at the Psychiatric Neuroimaging Laboratory and Director of the Center for Clinical Spectroscopy at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  He is an Assistant Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Lin is a graduate of the California Institute of Technology, where he completed his Masters degree in Bioengineering and his doctoral degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics.

 

Bone Healing

Coaching
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Innovation Series
Hack-a-thon

Fractures are an extremely common result of trauma—whether they result from a car accident, an injury on the battlefield or a bad fall. While huge advances have been made in the surgical treatment of fractures, there are currently no medications available to help speed bone healing. The primary reason for this deficit is that, based on current technology, it is challenging to accurately measure bone healing, which makes drug trials exceedingly difficult to perform. The goal of our project is to develop a reliable method of accurately measuring bone healing. This will enable us to collaborate with pharmaceutical companies to develop medications to improve and accelerate the often lengthy bone healing process.

Significant health and economic burden of disease that remains unaddressed due to an inability to accurately measure fracture healing in humans.
— Dr. Michael Weaver at iHub Innovation Series: Trauma

About the Innovator

Michael Weaver, MD

Michael Weaver, MD is an attending physician on the Orthopaedic Trauma Service. Dr. Weaver graduated from University of California Los Angeles Medical School and then from the Harvard Combined Orthopaedic Residency Program. He recently completed a trauma fellowship with our Combined Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital Orthopaedic Trauma Fellowship program. Dr. Weaver's clinical interests include treatment of fractures around total hip and knee replacements, periarticular fractures, and fractures of the pelvis and acetabulum.

 

Digital Stethoscope

Coaching
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Hack-a-thon

The lack of ability to interrogate the lungs and heart greatly limits the value of a telemedicine call. Current digital stethoscopes are high cost and primarily made for a doctor to use. We have developed and prototyped a concept for an ultra low cost stethoscope to be used by the patient during a telemedicine visit.

About the Innovator

Martin Solomon, MD

Dr. Solomon, a primary care physician and telemedicine practitioner at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, has over 40 years of clinical experience. He is consistently named in "Top 10" lists of Boston doctors, and is well known throughout the Boston medical community. Over the last decade he has been finding practical ways to better support his patients via technology and is at the cutting edge of telemedicine in primary care. 

 

Fertilex

Coaching
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Innovation Series
Hack-a-thon

There is a tendency amongst couples to think of infertility as a female issue. Men contribute to infertility 50% of the time.  Men, however, often feel embarrassed to go to urologists, yet, identification of the underlying cause for infertility is the first step towards treatment and alternative solutions. As such, male reluctance has created a significantly large market for male infertility tests in the USA. Manual microscopy-based testing and computer-assisted semen analysis (CASA) systems are the current standard methods to measure semen quality; Seminal quality is evaluated by determining the sperm concentration, motility, and morphology. However, they are labor-intensive, expensive, and laboratory-based. A simple rapid, inexpensive, home-based male infertility test can shift the paradigm in infertility diagnosis and management.

About the Innovator

Hadi Shafiee, MD

Dr. Hadi Shafiee is a faculty member at the Division of Engineering in Medicine and Renal Division of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. His research interest is integrating biology/medicine with micro and nanotechnology to utilize micro/nano-fabrication and develop innovative tools to solve unmet clinical problems, including applications in infectious disease diagnostics and treatment monitoring for global health and early cancer detection. His work has been recognized by Sciencedaily, Nature World News, Science World Report, Med Device Online, Popular Science, Device Space, Product Design & Development, HCP Live, Small, BWH Clinical Research News, Lab-Chip journal, NewsWise, Medical News, VT Research Magazine, and Chemical Biology journal. His work on developing paper microchip technologies for point-of-care viral load measurement received several awards, including 2014 BWH Bright Futures Prize and 2015 Innovation Evergreen Award from Harvard Medical School.

 

Healer

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Book-based medical education is not interactive, does not simulate the experience of encountering and diagnosing patient issues in real-time in a hospital setting. Idea is to create medical education based on virtual reality learning with clinical input. This project is notable for receiving support from the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

About the Innovator

Raja Abdulnour, MD

Dr. Raja E. Abdulnour is a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). He is also an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School.

He received his medical degree from the American University of Beirut (Beirut, Lebanon). He then completed a residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospitaland a fellowship in rheumatology at BWH. He is board certified in both critical care medicine and internal medicine. 

A specialist in pulmonary and critical care, Dr. Abdulnour’s research investigates triggers of and possible therapies for lung inflammation. He has written nine peer-reviewed publications and has received funding from the National Institutes of Health.

 

Herald Health

Coaching
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Innovation Series
Hack-a-thon

Doctors are drowning in data. Herald’s software allows doctors to tailor clinically relevant notifications to meet their unique workflow requirements. Herald Health started at the BWH iHub Hackathon and has since received numerous awards for its innovative digital solution. Most recently, Herald was named a finalist in the 2016 MassChallenge Accelerator and a winner of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Provider User Experience Challenge. Currently it is an early stage digital health startup based at the Harvard Innovation Lab.

About the Innovator

Brad Diephius, MD

Dr. Diephius is the co-founder of Herald Health, a health IT startup creating a customizable clinical notification platform for clinicians.  Herald recently launched its pilot product at Brigham and Women’s Hospital where he is also a resident trainee in Internal Medicine.  Prior to Herald, Brad completed an MD/MBA degree between Harvard Business School and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST).  His undergraduate training is in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and he has held an eclectic set of prior positions including stints as a cancer researcher, a Wall Street quantitative trader and a product manager.

 

NICUtrition

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Innovation Series
Hack-a-thon

NICUtrition is the first product of Astarte Medical Partners, Inc. (AMP). The goal is to provide optimal, personalized nutrition, and care through our clinical decision support platform. By integrating biodemographical and clinical data with an FDA-approved marker of inflammation, the company is developing a Microbiome and Gut Inflammation (MAGI) score, which will enable NICU teams to triage infants most at risk for necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), provide recommendations on optimal nutrition, and allow hospitals to monitor adherence to clinical feeding protocols. Ultimately, NICUtrition will create the largest database of preterm infant gut health measures and nutritional information which can be utilized to design best practices, and facilitate adoption of new technologies and research areas, such as milk profiling and the use of pre- or probiotics to therapeutically manipulate the microbiome. Currently, AMP is raising its $2 million seed financing to provide capital through 2017.

About the Innovator

Kate Gregory

Dr. Katherine Gregory is an associate professor. She received her master's degree in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania in 1998 and doctorate from Boston College in 2005. Dr. Gregory's clinical background is as a neonatal intensive care nurse. Her research interests pertain to disease prediction strategies, feeding, growth, and development of preterm infants. She is especially interested in the attributes of the premature gastrointestinal system and development of immunity. Dr. Gregory is also a nurse scientist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, where she conducts her clinical research. In this role, she also collaborates with clinical staff on a variety of research initiatives and evidence based practice endeavors.

 

Nodule Monitoring Tools for Lung Cancer

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Accelerator
Innovation Series
Hack-a-thon

iHub Radiology Innovation Series winner, the lung cancer nodule monitoring tool is a computer-aided decision tool for radiologist to use when reviewing small lung nodules to determine malignancy. Dr. Ritu's team has developed an algorithm built on a retrospective data set and has been validated to have a better identification rate then a radiologist on their own. Currently, they are working to validate the data set with a prospective set of data, collaborating with the MGH Clinical Data Science Center. The team hopes to develop the commercial tool to use this project in practice.

About the Innovator

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Ritu Gill, MD, MPH

Dr. Gill is an Associate Radiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Assistant Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School. She completed her training in radiology with sub-specialty training in cardiothoracic and oncoradiology and a Masters in Public Health in clinical effectiveness. Her key interest is using her clinical skills to build a prognostic model to stratify survival in chest malignancies. She is currently working on the role of image-guided core biopsies in generating tissue for gene mutation analyses, and for selecting and following patients receiving anti-angiogenic therapies, as well as developing a Markov model to assess cost-effectiveness of personalized therapy using genomic profiling for lung cancer. 

 

Opioid Overdose Potential

Coaching
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Implementation
Accelerator
Innovation Series
Hack-a-thon

Insurers are now required to cover addiction treatment as part of the Affordable Care Act. There has been a longstanding crisis in the workforce for addiction treatment; it is understaffed, underpaid, high turnover rate, recruitment is difficult, hiring is difficult. Because of this, there is nowhere to send these newly covered people. When it comes to opioids – there are treatments available – as long as the patients are able to engage in treatment. Joji wants to explore creating a nationwide service that would link college and pre-med students with primary care settings to act as health coaches.

About the Innovator

Joji Suzuki, MD

Dr. Suzuki is the Director of the Division of Addiction Psychiatry and Director of Addictions Education in the Department of Psychiatry, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and an Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. His areas of clinical and research interests are the assessment and management of substance use disorders and related conditions in medical settings, motivational interviewing, office-based opioid treatment, implementation of collaborative models of care, and medical education. Dr. Suzuki is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers.

 

Respiratory Integrated Management System (RIMSpire)

Coaching
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Innovation Series
Hack-a-thon

Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are an exceedingly common respiratory diseases, affecting large percentages of the American population and people of all ages worldwide. Dr. Chris Fanta's team proposes to develop a smartphone app which uses voice analytics to detect changes in lung function and worsened airflow obstruction based on altered patterns of speech as recorded by the microphone of a smartphone. The app will alert users about deterioration and provide broad, guidelines-based recommendations for patient-initiated actions to prevent serious and potentially life-threatening attacks.

The economic cost of asthma to the US healthcare system is estimated to be on the order of 56 billion dollars annually, a large percentage of which goes to care of asthma attacks treated in emergency departments and during hospital admissions.
— Dr. Christopher Fanta

About the Innovator

Christopher Fanta, MD

Dr. Christopher Hardy Fanta is the director of the Partners Asthma Center and a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). He is also a professor  of medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS).

He received his medical degree from HMS, and then completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in pulmonary disease at BWH (formerly Peter Bent Brigham Hospital). He is board certified in internal medicine and pulmonary medicine.

A specialist in pulmonary medicine, Dr. Fanta’s clinical interests lie in asthma, bronchiectasis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and sarcoidosis. As director of the Partners Asthma Center, he organizes Asthma Grand Rounds, continuing education courses and the annual Jeffrey M. Drazen, M.D. Visiting Professorship in Asthma for the Partners Healthcare institutions. He has authored over 40 peer-reviewed publications and the Harvard Medical School Guide to Taking Control of Asthma, has received funding from the National Institutes of Health, and has been listed as one of the best doctors in America by Castle Connolly.

 

Spine Clarity

Coaching
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Accelerator
Innovation Series
Hack-a-thon

Cervical spine injury (CSI) is critical. All patients with blunt trauma are suspected of having a CSI until proven otherwise. How do we clear spine? We have set clinical guidelines to assess whether patient needs further evaluation and imaging. CT is excellent to exclude osseous injury, but does not provide good contrast resolution in comparison with MRI to define soft tissues. Yet, MRIs are not benign, as it is expensive, uncomfortable, and require long waiting times. A multi-disciplinary team at BWH came together to design an app, which would use machine learning to read and identify CT images of damaged and intact ligamentum flavum. Ultimately the goal is to provide a better patient experience, while reducing overall cost.

About the Innovator

Mitchel Harris, MD

Dr. Bono is an Associate Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School and Chief of the Orthopedic Spine Service at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). Dr. Bono is Board Certified in Orthopedic Surgery, having recently re-certified in 2013.

Dr. Bono earned his M.D. from SUNY Downstate in New York, followed by completion of orthopaedic residency at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Medical School. He has established himself as a leader in the field of spinal surgery. He was elected Second Vice President of the North American Spine Society (NASS) in 2013 and President of the Society from 2015-2016. Dr. Bono has spent much of his time advancing and cultivating spinal research. He currently has nearly 150 peer-reviewed writings on MedLine (PubMed). He has authored nearly 100 book chapters.

Bharti Kurana, MD

Dr. Kurana is an Assistant Director of Emergency Radiology, Director of Emergency Musculoskeletal Radiology, Program Director of Emergency Radiology Fellowship, and Associate Radiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH). She also is an Assistant Professor of Radiology at Harvard Medical School. She completed medical school at the Maulana Azad Medical College, University of Delhi and her residency at BWH in Diagnostic Radiology.

 

Ali Salim, MD

Dr. Salim is a Traumatologist and a Surgical Intensivist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He received his undergraduate education at Duke University, his Master of Science in Nutrition at Columbia University, and his medical degree at Howard University. Dr. Salim completed his Surgical Residency and Surgical Critical Care Fellowship at the University of Southern California. He has been on staff at BWH since 2013.

Dr. Salim currently serves as the of the Chief of the Division of Trauma, Burns, and Surgical Critical Care at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and is also a Lecturer in Surgery at Harvard Medical School. 

For the past decade, Dr. Salim’s research has focused on the care and outcomes of trauma patients and on improving the physiology of organ donors and on improving the rate of donation.  Most recently his research has focused on racial disparities in organ donation, specifically among Hispanic Americans in Southern California.  His research involved identifying the specific factors associated with the lower donation rates for deceased donors.  These factors were then targeted as interventions, educational outreach programs, and media campaigns to increase donation rates. 

 

Skin-sparing Tissue Dissection Guide

Coaching
Co-Development
Implementation
Accelerator
Innovation Series
Hack-a-thon

This is a surgical tool aiming to make it easier to separate the breast tissue from the skin during a mastectomy. The tool reduces the procedure time and cost by reducing the need for two surgeons to participate in that step in the surgery. The tool will improve outcomes by helping the surgeon have a more even skin separation while limiting the damage to the skin and keeping it more viable for reconstructive surgery post mastectomy. The team has done extensive work to date with multiple iterations of prototypes and filing of provisional patients.

About the Innovator

Bohdan Pomahac, MD

Dr. Pomahac was born and raised in the Czech Republic, where he graduated from Palacky University School of Medicine. He trained at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) in General Surgery and went on to a fellowship in the Harvard Plastic Surgery Program. In 2004, Dr. Pomahac joined the staff at BWH, Boston, one of Harvard Medical School’s teaching hospitals, as a Plastic Surgeon and Associate Director of the Burn Center. Since January 2009, Dr. Pomahac has lead the BWH Burn Center as Burn Director while also performing a broad range of plastic surgical and microsurgical procedures. Dr. Pomahac established the composite tissue transplantation program at BWH and lead New England’s first face transplantation in April 2009. Among his clinical interests belong facial reconstruction, burn reconstruction, and microsurgery.

 

VISION (Vascular Disease Video Detection)

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Innovation Series
Hack-a-thon

8M+ Americans have peripheral artery disease, a serious but treatable condition in which blood flow (primarily in the legs) is inadequate or blocked, which can lead to pain, numbness and potentially requires amputation in case of infection in affected limbs. Patients with PAD have increased risk of coronary heart disease, heart attack, stroke and transient ischemic attack. Rates of PAD detection are low, likely due to underutilization of existing testing protocols, as well as the fact that the disease is often asymptomatic. Early detection of PAD could prevent significant morbidity through medical treatment of their disease, and the invention has the potential to achieve early detection by making the diagnosis easier to achieve. Two-minute, non-invasive, smartphone-enabled assessment of patients with peripheral artery disease; VISION automates detection of vascular disease severity by interpreting blood flow in the leg using a 30-second video recording.

About the Innovator

Ann DeBord Smith, MD

Dr. Smith General Surgery Resident at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, having recently completed her research fellowship at the Center for Surgery and Public Health at Brigham & Women’s Hospital. Her research is focused on empowering vascular surgery patients by giving them better information to make decisions that are tailored to their own, unique health state. Her research is built on her background in computer science and has included running her own trials to test Eulerian Video Magnification for peripheral perfusion detection, building an app to improve patient/medical team communication around safety issues, using statistical analysis to understand why patients with patent bypass grafts still get amputations, and employing Natural Language Processing to study in-hospital communication between nurses and residents. Her research has been funded by AHRQ. Dr. Smith completed her Masters in Public Health with a focus on Quantitative Methods in 2014 from the Harvard Chan School of Public Health and obtained her MD from University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine in 2010.

Louis Nguyen, MD

Dr. Nguyen is an active vascular surgeon with an established health services research program and medical informatics. He serves as Director of Vascular Surgery Clinical and Outcomes Research at Brigham & Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Surgery Clinical Lead for Partners eCare. His research has been funded by NIH, AHRQ and the Department of Defense. He mentors clinical and outcomes research fellows in the Harvard-Longwood Vascular Surgery Research T32 training grant and serves as a research mentor to several students, residents and fellows from prominent national and international universities. Dr. Nguyen has served on several national committees, including the Chair of the Comparative Effectiveness Research Committee and member of the Governing Council for the Vascular Quality Initiative for the Society of Vascular Surgery, where he is helping to build the foundations for sustained clinical and outcomes research in vascular surgery. Dr. Nguyen has held a long-standing interest in healthcare and healthcare delivery. Along with his medical degree, he earned a business degree from the University of Chicago where he developed his financial and economic analytical skills. Dr. Nguyen gained additional analytical skills in advanced quantitative methods and clinical trials with his MPH at the Harvard School of Public Health.