Campus Hosts Final Health IT Forum
by Aliyah DeVille
In need of a diagnosis and treatment? There’s an app for that. That’s right. Thanks to entrepreneurs like Ting Shih, your iPhone is good for more than just Angry Birds and Doodle Jump. Ting Shih of ClickMedix is working to prevent sick patients from having to hunt for and travel to see specialists who are sometimes miles away from their general physicians.
On June 5, at the last of four Health IT Forums hosted on the JHUMC Campus, Shih, the Founder and CEO of ClickMedix, explained her goal of enabling general physicians to take pictures of symptoms with a smart phone and send them to a specialist so patients can receive quick and accurate treatments at the location they are most comfortable. Shih said she’s not looking to introduce new technologies but rather to better the technology with which people are already familiar – their phones.
President and CEO of BrainScope Company, Michael E. Singer, also introduced his new product, Ahead 100 during the forum. Ahead 100, which is a device worn around the head, is a way for patients to get accurate information about their Traumatic Brain Injuries in less than 10 minutes. Singer criticized CT scans, saying that “standard neurocognitive exams don’t show the true extent of brain damage.” According to Singer, this unexplored field is in desperate need of revamping, and he plans to educate patients through the use of his product.
The forum, titled “Innovations in Health IT,” included discussions about cybersecurity, “wireless wellness,” and regulations that some believe impede development and discovery within the health IT space.
The four panelists agreed that we are now living in the “golden age of healthcare technology,” which has brought with it the opportunity for new accomplishments and also new obstacles. As the healthcare industry shifts from traditional paper methods to wireless mobile methods, tough questions have been raised about cybersecurity. Sharing the panel with Shih and Singer were Bradley Rotter, Chairman and CEO of AirPatrol Corporation and Dan Cerutti, General Manager of IBM Watson Commercialization, who collectively tried to tackle the hardest questions.
“Wireless and mobile devices are the biggest trends of our lifetime,” Rotter said. He went on to warn attendees that these trends are also some of the most dangerous in our lifetime. Confidential patient information is now digital, which can make it more accessible to outside parties.
After the panelists presented their new products and services, the Q&A led to an impassioned discussion about government regulations that affect innovation.
“We’re past that tipping point,” said Rotter of what he views as overbearing recent regulation passed by the government. “We’re headed in the wrong direction.”
The attentive crowd of more than 100 healthcare professionals echoed these sentiments by pointing out that helping the patient quickly and efficiently should always be the number one priority. Many of the professionals said they felt as though treating the patient has no longer become the most important goal as regulations have gotten out of hand.
But Ting Shih made sure to highlight the common objective of everyone who was in attendance: “Our priority with innovation is to empower the people with knowledge.”
The Health IT Forums were sponsored by the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, the Tech Council of Maryland, the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development.