Published Feb-18-10

A technology platform to redefine the doctor-patient relationship to improve patient experience and health outcomes.

The Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT), United States

The Story:

CollaboRhythm The Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT) launched the CIMIT Prize, a US nationwide open innovation competition in 2009. The contest will be an annual feature for the next four years to encourage graduate and undergraduate engineering students to come up with technological solutions that can improve the delivery of medical care.

By taking advantage of the Internet CIMIT is able to reach a vast reservoir of innovators to give the medical field a shot in the arm. Open innovation contests are an effective way of solving medical and scientific problems; they bring in new people from diverse backgrounds and this can create unexpected and novel solutions to accelerate the pace of development.

The objective of the CIMIT competition is to focus brilliant brains on pressing problems that affect the delivery of primary healthcare in the United States. A prize pot of $400,000 will be made available each year.

Inaugural Open Innovation Contest

For the inaugural contest there were a number of areas where CIMIT particularly wanted to see new ideas, and these included automating routine tasks, supporting patients who have chronic diseases, increasing workflow efficiency and improving access to medical care.

A total of seventy-eight teams from 44 universities in 21 states submitted their ideas, and they were reviewed by a judging panel of clinical and technology experts. Ten finalists were selected who each received $10,000 to develop their ideas into projects. These then went on to compete for the three top awards.

Competition Winner

The winner of the $150,000 first prize was John Moore a PhD student in MIT’s Media Lab for his project entitled ‘CollaboRhythm: Primary Care Teamwork Anywhere at Any Time.’ The goal is to implement a technology platform that redefines the doctor-patient relationship and allows individuals to take control of their health. It seeks to offer doctors and patients a more advanced means of collaboration.

Individuals will control their own health records and these will be available to them anytime and anywhere they happen to be in the world. Novel human interfaces on both the patient and caregiver side of the interaction promise to offer an advanced primary care service that is beyond the current model of surgery visits and phone and email conversations. Doctors serve as “coaches rather than commanders”.

Examples of how the system might work include a doctor sending a patient information about medication to their television screen or easy-to-understand visualizations of how they are fighting a disease. Patients can also contribute their own data about their health and lifestyle.

The financial reward is helping Moore to further develop his idea.

Impressive Ideas

The Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology was impressed by the sheer quality of the submitted ideas and also by the passion demonstrated by the competing teams. It foresees a number of ways that the fruits of the competition will be able to improve primary health care.

“This is an example of CIMIT using its ability to convene engineers and clinicians to address an urgent need in healthcare,” said CIMIT Executive Director John Parrish, MD. “Even some projects that were not selected will likely evolve into useful solutions in the future. Given the terrific response to this year’s competition, we look forward with even greater anticipation to seeing the field of entrants this fall for next year’s Prize.”

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