Fostering a community of innovation around healthcare is the main goal of this hackathon. However, we also recognize that providing a frame of reference around a broad topic helps achieve that goal. Dive right into this year's tracks.
Track #1: The Opioid Epidemic, brought to you by MetroHealth
Champion: Joan Papp, MD, Emergency Medicine, Medical Director, Project DAWN, MetroHealth
Last year, the US saw over 60,000 overdose deaths, an amount that eclipsed the number of deaths of the entire Vietnam War. Sadly, our home state of Ohio is the national leader in these deaths, with 4,050 in 2016. It is an epidemic that is sweeping across all of our workplaces and communities. While there are national and state efforts underway to offer more education and better solutions for chronic pain, there are many opportunities for innovators to roll up their sleeves at the community level and make a difference.
Opioid Epidemic Challenges:
- Bed Availability: When opiate addicts request assistance, resources are needed at a moment’s notice. Often the first thing people need is a recovery clinic with an open bed. Bed availability, however, is not easy to track real-time, and too often addicts and family members spend too much time searching, and not enough time recovering. A system of bed sensors and open data bases would allow call-centers to seamlessly direct people to open beds, thus limiting the frustration and the risk of relapse.
- Community-based Funding Platforms: Opioid programs need money. National and State grants, while helpful, are not always nimble enough to focus on ultra-local issues. Community projects like MetroHealth’s Project DAWN, are always in need of more funds to offer more targeted education and assistance, both before opioid usage and after an overdose. Programs, however, currently lack an infrastructure for soliciting and receiving donations that can be drawn from at any time. A community-based platform for local citizens to donate to a handful of accredited causes would help to free up more resources for helping those communities and families that need it most.
- Connecting Law Enforcement & Healthcare Data: In a world of Big Data, opioid usage and overdose data is lacking. For obvious reasons, it’s not easy to surmise who is using, how much, and how often. There are two stakeholders, however, that if data could be combined, would prove useful. Healthcare providers keep track of prescriptions, as well as those they end up treating for an overdose. Law enforcement has records of incidents and overdoses that they respond to. Currently, both use separate systems to track this information. Creating a link between the two could unlock more solutions for deploying resources to opioid-rich neighborhoods.
Track #2: Public Health, brought to you by Case Western Reserve University
Champion: Amy Sheon, PhD, Executive Director, Urban Health Initiative, Case Western Reserve University
Overview: Healthcare reform is creating incentives for health systems to improve population health. Recognizing that healthcare only explains a small fraction of the enormous health disparities in our community, the Community Health and Wellness track seeks innovations that address the social determinants of health and reduce health disparities.
- Only about one-half of area residents have the digital skills and access to high-speed home broadband, smartphones, and the ample data plans needed to meaningfully use technology that healthcare systems are counting on to improve population health. How can health care create or leverage resources that promote digital skill acquisition, provide low-cost internet access to patients, or address barriers to health such as lack of transportation?
- Recent events suggest that voting behavior can be influenced by targeted social media posts and advertisements. How can we use the power of social media, or social media big data, to improve the ability of consumers to practice healthy behavior, avoid unhealthy behavior, or manage chronic illnesses?
Track #3: Population Health, brought to you by Cleveland Clinic
Champion: Nirav Vakharia, MD, Director, Vice Chairman of Population Management, Cleveland Clinic
Overview: Population Health is all about access, risk stratification, and streamlined care for the masses. Currently, healthcare systems are bogged down by ad hoc referrals, fax machines, and queues for patients that need care. Rather than reinventing the wheel with each new patient and diagnosis, providers and insurers have been looking for ways to place patients on standardized care paths that can more efficiently deliver better care, at a lower cost. As always, the future of pop health lies in data.
Population Health Challenges:
- Monitoring patients outside of the clinic/hospital
- Patient self-monitoring and intelligent feedback/coaching
- Patient education & empowerment to care for themselves
- Quick/easy patient access to healthcare provider to answer questions (virtual care)
- Connectivity to peer/social networks for patients with similar health issues
- Force multiplication: how to improve healthcare provider efficiency to take care of more patients in the same amount of time (e.g. reducing time for clinical documentation)
- Data sharing between healthcare organizations to integrate the care continuum
- Reducing ER visits in general
- Patient loyalty within a network (which facilitates care integration rather than fragmentation)
- Encouraging providers to consider cost when making treatment decisions
Track #4: Precision Medicine
Overview: On a different side of the same coin as population health, precision medicine is all about delivering tailoring healthcare to the individual patient. While precision medicine often refers to targeted therapies based on a patient’s genome, there is plenty of other personal data to sort through to deliver a more personal healthcare experience, including a patient’s lifestyle, diet, or simple preferences.
Precision Medicine Challenges:
- Standardization of data collection from hospitals and clinics, and how the data is integrated into the EHR workflow.
- Reimbursement from third-party payers for these expensive-to-develop targeted drugs for smaller populations
- Enrollment tools via smartphone applications or through participating medical centers, including community health clinics and medical centers operated by the US Department of Veterans Affairs that protect participants’ privacy and the confidentiality of their health information.
- Doctors and other healthcare providers will need to know more about molecular genetics and biochemistry as they will increasingly find themselves needing to interpret the results of genetic tests, understand how that information is relevant to treatment or prevention approaches, and convey this knowledge to patients.
As usual, the Cleveland Medical Hackathon is open to any and all ideas to make healthcare better and our communities healthier. If you have an idea that exists outside these tracks, no problem. Please form your team around any challenge in healthcare that inspires you.