Author: Keeley Wray

Health IT needs to change its app-titude

Tree of Life, from Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection, 1859.

Last year in the New England Journal of Medicine, Children’s informaticians Kenneth Mandl, MD, MPH and Isaac Kohane, MD, PhD made an analogy between evolution and the development of new electronic medical records technology. “Just as evolution requires variety in order to create ecosystem niches,” they wrote, “a platform that supports diverse applications will lead to a robust health information economy.”

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Housecalls: Back to the future

This week I attended an Innovator’s Forum, part of a new Innovation Acceleration Program at Children’s Hospital Boston. The program, spearheaded by the hospital’s new Chief Innovation Officer, Naomi Fried, PhD, seeks to empower clinical innovators in developing and testing their novel ideas by providing resources and support. The monthly Forum allows innovators to meet, tell their stories, form a community and support one another through the challenges of translating new ideas from the cocktail napkin to hospital operating procedure.

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Biopharm America 2010, Day 3: Giving tech transfer a seat at the table

Arm Wrestling

First let me start out by saying that we are no longer ‘Tech Transfer.’ According to Children’s Hospital Boston’s Technology and Innovation Development Office (TIDO) Director, Erik Halvorsen who was a panelist at an event called  “From Idea to Company: Fundamental Building Blocks,” at the BioPharm America conference, the term ‘Tech Transfer’ is like the band Nirvana, which was popular in the nineties but has since lost its appeal among contemporary music fans.

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Biopharm America, Day 2: Debating the business model for diagnostics

Biomarker ImageThis afternoon, I sat in on a juicy session at the Biopharm America conference titled, “Will the Commercial Opportunity Live Up to the Hype?” Panelists and audience members talked about the difficulty in finding a value proposition for diagnostic technologies that would convince an investor to commit. The main question they were trying to answer was how do you monetize a diagnostic asset?

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Biopharm America, Day 1: The wheat from the chaff

Wheat photo

Yesterday I watched a panel discuss the value of open innovation. It was interesting to see Alpheus Bingham, the Founder of InnoCentive, speak on this topic. One thing he said caught my attention and imagination–that the value of any type of open innovation system is intrinsically linked to the mechanism you use to sift through and value the ideas. If the process has no way to weigh individual ideas, you’re in danger of having too much chaff and no way to find the wheat.

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Biopharm America 2010, Day 1: “Consumer Reports” for diagnostics

As the keynote speaker at this year’s BioPharm America 2010 conference, Dr. Isaac Kohane, the Henderson Professor of Pediatrics and Health Sciences and Technology at Harvard Medical School and Chair of  the Informatics Program at Children’s Hospital Boston made a provocative point: We as consumers spend much more energy reporting on crash testing in the automotive industry than we do evaluating the predictive value of our diagnostic tests.

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Invention favors the prepared mind

Bezzerides' hydration monitor

I used to think inventing was an act of sheer will, systematically working a problem. But after listening to one of our hospital investigators disclose an invention — a hydration monitor — I think the key quality is having a mind that’s able to receive.

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On the sidelines of personalized medicine

We’re supposedly in the dawn of personalized medicine, where advances in molecular biology are providing doctors the opportunity to optimize each patient’s care. As a Technology Marketing Specialist in Children’s Hospital Boston’s Technology and Innovation Development Office, I should be enjoying the view. But I’m still waiting: how will it happen, when will it happen?

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Small is the new big: My gestalt moment at BIO

When I first arrived in Chicago for the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) conference in May, I couldn’t help but feel small. The buildings are taller than in Boston, but I felt especially small inside the gigantic conference center. The ceilings were far overhead, and the walk across was marathon-long. The number of attendees was over 15,000, an ocean of people. I felt further diminished by the keynote speakers, who included George Bush, Bill Clinton and Al Gore.

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