By Delaney Clarke
This summer, I worked as an iHub Digital Intern with the Brigham and Women’s Digital Innovation Hub. At the iHub, I connected and collaborated with a passionate cohort of people with diverse skillsets, and I was able to explore my interests in media, market research, technology, and healthcare. Through this experience, I gained a greater understanding of how digital technology can be leveraged to improve the workflow of clinicians and advance patient care.
My internship experience kicked off in early June where I was welcomed to the iHub by the iHub Innovation Manager, Chen Cao, and set up with my equipment. My first week was filled with various onsite days and exciting events. I attended a day-long orientation for Mass General Brigham Digital Interns at Assembly Row, as well as a brunch with the entire iHub team. By my second week, I also attended an event called “Leading Digital Transformation in Healthcare” in which students from a Harvard Medical School course were given a tour of BWH and an introduction of Brigham and Women’s digital ecosystem.
Within these first few weeks, I also quickly became acquainted with different projects and initiatives the iHub is involved with. From attending meetings about COVID Pass to XR stand ups and innovation consults, I learned more about the various ways in which the iHub supports both external and internal innovators.
I primarily was involved with the iHub’s marketing and communications efforts. One of my primary projects was working on establishing a database of content full of evergreen shareable posts to be shared on LinkedIn and Twitter. I also crafted various blog posts to be posted on the iHub’s social media channels and its website. My first post was about the final pitch event for the Mass Digital Health COVID-19 Recovery Challenge, which was hosted at Mass General Brigham’s Assembly Row headquarters. During this event, I watched Slumber One, an early-stage startup that the iHub has supported through the Mass Digital Health Sandbox network, win the challenge. On a personal note, you can read more from the iHub about the win here from my post here.
Additionally, I worked on marketing posts for the NextUp: XR initiative, which is a new initiative the iHub introduced this summer. The effort explores the potential for extended reality (XR) within healthcare. For this initiative, I attended weekly meetings to brainstorm for the event and helped perform company assessments–one of the initiatives’ key deliverables. Through performing company assessments, I got a chance to learn about the latest developments in XR in healthcare, such as remote surgery and virtual surgery simulations.
My internship also took me on mini field trips around the Boston ecosystem. I was fortunate to have toured the new office space of MassChallenge in the Seaport with the iHub team. We met with two key members of the organization and concluded the visit with fish shaped ice cream from Taiyaki, which I highly recommend.
In mid-July, I supported the rollout of Volate secure clinical communication platform at the Brigham. This go-live was a massive effort across the hospital, in which the Voalte platform, allowing healthcare workers to call and message one another across the hospital, was introduced into the workflow of Brigham clinicians. I rounded for both a day and an overnight shift at the hospital, handing out phones to the nursing staff on multiple units of the Braunwald Towers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. I also helped answer and address questions from the clinical staff including nurses provided troubleshooting support during my shifts.
By the end of July, as my internship was winding down, I began to wrap up different projects and deliverables. I assisted with the iHub Innovator of the Week series and continued supporting the NextUp: XR initiative. One highlight from the last few weeks was attending the iHub’s annual volunteer day. We all took part in a volunteer shift at the Greater Boston Food Bank. It was such a great experience getting to work together and package up food with the team.
Overall, through every experience I took part in and project I worked on, I learned a great deal about the power of digital health and innovation. I am so thankful for the iHub’s members for welcoming me to their team and allowing me to learn from them and what they do. I can’t wait to take everything I gained from this experience and apply it wherever I go next.