“I came for the free lunch and cookies and got $20,000.”
Ritu R. Gill, MD
Since 2013, the iHub has focused on matchmaking market solutions with internal challenges, accelerating the development, use and commercialization of BWH-developed solutions, and fostering a culture of digital innovation and collaboration. Through these channels, the iHub has worked collaboratively with various Brigham Health clinicians, researchers, and staff to accelerate innovative ideas, while also partnering with external collaborators to address institutional initiatives and priorities. The highlighted projects showcase a selection of solutions supported by the iHub.
Visual Tool to Understand Lumpectomy Outcomes (BeautyMarks)
BeautyMarks provides a resource for both patients and clinicians to have a more informed discussion around lumpectomy surgery. This database holds various images of women’s breasts after undergoing lumpectomy surgery, which the patient can then 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.
Ideation, Matching, Coaching, Strategy and Analysis, Development
Making the Virtual Biopsy a Reality (BrainSpec)
Brainspec is a secure cloud-based software platform that provides a “virtual biopsy” using Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS). Brainspec combines the latest in processing technology with an intuitive and accessible interface to put all the power of MR spectroscopy in the hands of doctors everywhere. Each scanning protocol comes with a complete set of automatic reports generated for each examined case, bringing together the most important information from the exam in one easy to reference place.
Brainspec was formed in 2015 after a BWH iHub lead brainstorming session. The idea ultimately was spun out of Brigham Health and was part of the 2017 Techstars Boston cohort.
Ideation, Matching, Coaching, Strategy and Analysis
Brigham Comprehensive Opioid Response Education Program (B-CORE)
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 program is designed to serve the entire Brigham Health system to address all aspects of opioids as they relate to patients and our community.
In close collaboration with the iHub, B-CORE launched the Opioid and Pain Innovation Program, a multi-disciplinary, multi-specialty endeavor to facilitate research and innovation for academicians from across Brigham Health who are working hard to address the epidemic.
Coaching, Strategy and Analysis
The Augmented and Virtual Reality in Oncology Lab (DICOM VR)
The DICOM VR team has developed a cutting-edge platform for fast and efficient viewing and manipulation of standard 3D medical scans such as CT, MRI or ultrasound using a virtual reality interface. Their goal is to create safer radiation therapy and surgical plans for patients undergoing cancer treatment.
This system enables:
- standard volumetric imaging scans to be viewed and manipulated in a fully intuitive room-scale 3D environment
- multiple users to interactively work in the same virtual environment from different locations
- modules for medical education and patient engagement
Ideation, Coaching, Strategy and Analysis, Matching to funds
Platform Delivering Intelligent Workflows and Care Delivery Processes (Herald Health)
Herald Health aims to help providers deliver responsive care with actionable data. The platform flexibly integrates with and plugs into existing workflows and data streams, sending important, timely and customizable information through push notifications, such as meaningful changes in medical profiles.
Dr. Diephuis started his journey as a computer scientist and an Internal Medicine resident here at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, positioning himself as a unique and enterprising innovator with a knack for spotting pain points. He co-founded and launched Herald Health in 2015 during the third iHub Hackathon. Herald Health was acquired by Persistent Systems in 2018.
“Sometimes ideas can just sit in notebooks for a long time, but being a part of the Brigham community really gave us the ability to bring the right people together in order to bring Herald Health to life,” explains Diephuis. “Being part of the Hackathon gave us access to connect with the Brigham Digital Innovation Hub, and to receive the Health IT mentorship and perspective from Adam Landman, MD, CIO of Brigham Health. They were able to guide us and tell us if this idea was worth it.”
Ideation, Coaching, Matching, Strategy and Analysis, Development, Implemention, Validation
Hospital Voice Assistant Skill
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, enabling them to ask information desk focused questions, through strategically placed smart speaker devices within the hospital. Created at Brigham Health, the Faulkner Voice Assistant is one example of how the iHub is exploring avenues to leverage voice technology to enhance the hospital experience.
Ideation, Coaching, Strategy and Analysis, Development, Implementation
Social Platform to Address the Emotional Needs of Young Adults with Cancer (Iaya)
Iaya is a smartphone application custom developed and launched within the BWH/DFCI network which addresses the emotional needs of young adults coping with cancer. Iaya focuses on easing and understanding strong emotions, dealing with uncertainty, effectively communicating with caregivers, and helping with the feeling of being alone. Since initial development, the Iaya team was awarded a $500k grant to test the feasibility of the application.
Ideation, Matching, Coaching, Strategy and Analysis, Development
Indoor Wayfinding Solution (LogicJunction)
LogicJunction provides scalable indoor navigation systems. The iHub team worked closely with LogicJunction to enable digital wayfinding tools at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital.
Strategy and Analysis, Implementation, Validation
Intelligent Platform to Guide, Track, and Triage Patients (Medumo)
A startup co-founded by a Brigham and Women’s Hospital resident, Medumo utilizes a multichannel approach including SMS, phone, paper mailings to reach patients at every step in their care. The iHub was an early sponsor of Medumo including championing the company in MassChallenge HealthTech. The iHub supported the key validation pilot study at BWH in colonoscopy appointment reminders, demonstrating ROI using the Medumo solution. Medumo has since been acquired by Royal Philips.
Coaching, Strategy and Analysis, Implementation, Validation, Matching
Conversational AI for Healthcare (Orbita)
Orbita helps healthcare organizations utilize voice assistants, chatbots, and other conversational AI technologies to engage patients, improve care, and reduce costs. The iHub supported multiple internal innovators in the utilization of the Orbita platform to create exploratory conversational AI based clinical and research tools. The iHub also facilitated a collaboration between Janssen, Orbita, and the BWH Department of Medicine Rheumatology, Immunology to create a voice interface for a Rheumatoid Arthritis application.
Education, Matching, Coaching, Strategy and Analysis, Implementation, Development
Surgical Preparation and Recovery Guide (recoupERAS)
recoupERAS is a mobile app designed to help prepare patients for surgery, guide them through the hospital stay, and help them recover faster, safer, and more easily from surgery. The recoupERAS app is a coach, reference tool, and educational resource all in one. The recoupERAS app is part of the Brigham Enhanced Recovery After Surgery efforts (ERAS®) initiative with the goal to reduce post-operative complications, shorten length of stay, and reduce hospital costs for undergoing surgery at BWH.
Coaching, Strategy and Analysis, Matching, Development. recoupERAS is built on top of BMRP
Simple, Scalable Healthcare Data Exchange (Redox)
Redox enables an API layer on top of the electronic medical record and other data sources. The iHub sponsored Redox as a MassChallenge HealthTech Champion. Brigham and Women’s Hospital was the first Academic Medical Center to implement the Redox Engine as an API layer for healthcare applications.
Matching, Implementation, Validation
Surgical Scheduling Platform for Medical Device Vendors (TORq)
TORq is a HIPAA-compliant platform that connects medical device reps and hospitals during surgical planning. The iHub sponsored TORq as a MassChallenge HealthTech Champion and was the first hospital to test and validate TORq.
Coaching, Development, Matching, Implementation, Validation
Platform to Streamline Workflows and Accelerate Care for EMS and ED Teams (Twiage)
Founded by former BWH Internal Medicine resident, YiDing Yu, MD at a Brigham iHub Hackathon, Twiage has grown significantly from that initial idea. Twiage is an advanced cloud-based platform that uses best-in-class security technology to put telemedicine at the fingertips of emergency first responders and physicians to accelerate live-saving patient care.
By giving hospitals a complete picture of all incoming ambulances in one central location, Twiage helps hospitals efficiently manage resources for stroke, heart attack, sepsis, trauma, and infection disease requiring isolation to save time, save money, and save lives.
Ideation, Coaching, Strategy and Analysis
Virtual PSA Monitoring Program (VPSAM)
The Virtual PSA Monitoring Program (VPSAM) saves prostate cancer survivors travel time by leveraging technology to monitor for signs of recurring prostate cancer remotely using a combination of software and nurse practitioner lead remote encounters to provide care. Through VPSAM, patients get reminders to get their prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels checked at participating sites closer to home. They also are monitored using a combination of telephone visits with a nurse practitioner and prostate cancer screening online questionnaires. Feedback from patients has been overwhelmingly positive: Over 90% of all patients questioned thought VPSAM made their healthcare easier, more convenient, and reduced travel related stress. Importantly, VPSAM virtual visits have increased the number of new patient slots within the department of radiation oncology, contributing to an overall increase in 15% gross revenue for the department since implementation. Read more about Rich Boyajian’s innovation idea here and published literature here.
Ideation, Coaching, Strategy and Analysis, Development. BCRISP winner.
An Artificial Intelligence System for Brain Tumor Frozen Section Diagnosis
Dr. Jeffrey Golden and his team wanted to develop an AI system that employs state-of-the-art machine learning methods to diagnose frozen sections of brain tumor tissues. Doing this would help enable an accurate and real-time histopathology evaluation of the frozen tissue section to determine the optimal surgical intervention during brain cancer tumor removal.
The iHub’s Schlager Family Award for Early Stage Digital Health innovation enabled them to 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.
Electronic Tablet Based System to Automate Obtaining & Documenting Individualized Symptom Descriptions
Currently patients visit physicians to discuss the solutions for their problems, but lose one-third of their time together to symptom descriptions. Although time consuming and a major contributor to physician burnout, symptom documentation remains necessary. Dr. Shin wanted to create a system that would document symptoms prior to the in person appointment.
The tablet-based 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 makes clinical interactions more efficient and enables visits to be focused on discussing the patient needs instead of their symptoms.
Coaching, Strategy and Analysis, Matching, Development
Internet of Things Buttons for Real Time Notifications in Hospital Operations
Internet of Things (IoT) programmable buttons were deployed throughout the hospital to explore use cases for this technology. The IoT buttons, based off of the Amazon IoT button technology, were deployed by Dr. Chai, Brigham Environmental Services, and the iHub to give Brigham and Women’s Hospital visitors a way to alert staff when a public bathroom needed service.
Other use cases explored included restocking wheelchair depots in public area, alerting when hand sanitizers needed to be refilled, and using IoT buttons to alert staff that radiology is needed within Brigham operating rooms. Read more about the buttons here.
Ideation, Strategy and Development, Implementation, Validation
“There are a lot of simple, repetitive tasks that occur in a hospital that rely on human intervention. When you can just push a button that sets into a motion a series of events, it becomes much easier and faster to accomplish them, leading to a better experience for patients and employees.”
Dr. Peter Chai
Medical Role Playing Video Game (Healer)
The idea originally started from the Pulmonary Innovation Series held by the Brigham Digital Innovation Hub in May 2014. Dr. Abdulnour wanted to create an educational role-playing medical video game for Continuing Medical Education (CME) credit. This ultimately became known as The Healer project. The Healer project received funding from The New England Journal of Medicine.
Smartphone-Based Semen Quality Analysis for At-Home Male Fertility Assessments
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.
Dr. Shafiee and his team developed a smartphone based system for semen analysis that can be used to facilitate testing at home or in a remote clinic without access to laboratory equipment. The approach uses an inexpensive device that attaches directly to a phone and is operated through a smartphone application that automatically measures the vital statistics.
The system performed as well as clinical systems when tested by both trained and untrained users and is being used for human infertility, vasectomy testing, general health monitoring, and animal husbandry. The findings have been published in the Science Translational Medicine Medical Journal which can be viewed here.
Coaching, Matching, Strategy and Analysis, Fundraising
Virtual Teaching Sets for Digital Pathology Education
Pathology education has not kept pace with advances in educational technology due to the logistical constraints of physical access to a microscope. Dr. Lovitch believed Virtual Microscopy (VM), which replicates the experience of using a physical microscope in digital form, could potentially alleviate these educational constraints.
Dr. Lovitch and team developed annotated virtual slide sets coupled with 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.
The Schlager Family Award for Early Stage Digital Health Innovation has enabled Lovitch to significantly scale his efforts and begin scanning large numbers of virtual slides.