How Disruptive Innovation by Business and Technology Firms Could Improve Population Health

by Anne Stey, MD, Msc, Hemal Kanzaria, MD, MS, Robert Brook, MD, ScD

Published in JAMA, 16 August 2018

 

"In 1990 the Centers for Disease Control and the US Preventive Services Task Force launched Healthy People 2000. The goals were to increase healthy life span, reduce disparities, and provide access to preventive services for all individuals in the United States. According to data for 2015 and 2016 from the National Center for Health Care Statistics, life expectancy in the United States has decreased for the last 2 years in a row, disparities persist, and only 8% of US residents receive recommended preventive care. Meanwhile, health care costs, which are currently the highest in the world, will likely reach 20% of the US gross domestic product in the coming years."

 

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Acute respiratory distress syndrome subphenotypes and differential response to simvastatin: secondary analysis of a randomised controlled trial

by Carolyn S Calfee, MD, Prof Kevin L Delucchi, PhD, Pratik Sinha, PhD, Prof Michael A Matthay, MD, Jonathan Hackett, MBBCh, Manu Shankar-Hari, PhD, Cliona McDowell, MSc, Prof John G Laffey, MD, Cecilia M O'Kane, PhD, Prof Daniel F McAuley, MD

Published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, 02 August 2018

 

Precision medicine approaches that target patients on the basis of disease subtype have transformed treatment approaches to cancer, asthma, and other heterogeneous syndromes. Two distinct sub-phenotypes of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) have been identified in three US-based clinical trials, and these sub-phenotypes respond differently to positive end-expiratory pressure and fluid management. Researchers aimed to investigate whether these sub-phenotypes exist in non-US patient populations and respond differently to pharmacotherapies.

 

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Is digital medicine different?

The Lancet, https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31562-9  To coincide with the 70th anniversary of the National Health Service (NHS) on July 5, a new NHS app enabling patients to make appointments, order repeat prescriptions, access their general practitioner (GP) records, and make urgent medical queries was announced by Jeremy Hunt, then UK Secretary for Health and Social Care. The app, developed by NHS England and NHS Digital, will be freely available from December, 2018. Hunt acknowledged that while technology has transformed many sectors, the health sector has remained comparatively unchanged.  Find out more about the new NHS app here.   Read the full editorial about this innovative approach to care here.  
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Khushi Baby: The amazing reason mothers in India are giving their babies wearable medical records

by Preeti Shakya and Maisha Z. Johnson

 

1.5 million children die from vaccine-preventable diseases every year. An estimated 9.5 million infants worldwide still don’t have routine immunization services. We know how important vaccines are to child health, yet a huge "vaccination gap" still exists.

 

Ruchit Nagar, CEO, co-founder and co-PI of Khushi baby, understood that the issue was deeper than just vaccine access. Poor record keeping was a large contributor to this problem, too. The task of maintaining immunization data in developing countries is a difficult one. Typically, data is manually collected and stored in paper log books by healthcare workers. If a record needs to be found and referenced, extensive searching through all data collected is required. In addition to the frequency at which families lose medical documents, this maintaining immunization records in developing countries represents a huge obstacle.  

 

To overcome this hurdle, Nagar and a group of other students came up with a business plan that could help address the vaccination gap, while helping healthcare workers too: Khushi Baby. Khushi Baby, or “Happy Baby” in Hindi, is a nonprofit that helps monitor the health care of mothers and children in India. The team developed a culturally-symbolic necklace that holds full medical history and allows people to wear their medical records/ health passports around their necks. It also serves as a visual reminder for mothers to vaccinate their babies on schedule. Advantageous features include digital capacity, battery-free capability, and waterproof data storage. To access those medical files, healthcare workers simply scan the necklace with the smartphone Khushi Baby app. This approach can be done even in rural villages.

 

The Khushi Baby teams hopes that their easy-to-use technology will help bridge the healthcare gap that exists between developing nations and the rest of the world.

 

To learn more about Khushi Baby, click here

 

Khushi Baby was named as one of the finalists of the GenH Challenge, which acknowledges and awards innovative solutions to worldwide health issues. See the announcement here. 

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Calling for the next WHO Global Health Initiative: the use of disruptive innovation to meet the health care needs of displaced populations

by Robert MT Staruch, Anair Beverly, Jason K Sarfo-Annin, and Sian Rowbotham

J Glob Health. 2018 Jun; 8(1): 010303. doi:  10.7189/jogh.08.010303

 

“Disruptive innovation describes technological developments which create new markets and values within an existing market, therefore displacing historic market leaders and products. This phenomenon was described by Harvard Business School Prof. Clayton M Christiansen in 1997 and from its roots in business, has been modelled and described with case studies in both health care and major social change. The concept of Disruptive Innovation is therefore highly pertinent to refugee health care, where traditional economic drivers are absent.”

 

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