We bring you this week’s healthcare and medtech trends, in Boston and beyond:
1. Massachusetts Distributed $59,000,000 for Healthcare Improvement
The Health Policy Commission just awarded 20 individual hospitals and 5 joint hospital partnerships in Massachusetts between $1 million and $4 million each to support community-based partnerships and the use of emerging digital health technologies. We like this program, called CHART, because it’s all about promoting care coordination, delivery transformations and better EHRs. It will also increase alternative payment methods and allow easier access to behavioral health services. Great news – and all of this is happening in our own backyard.
2. Boston Hackathons Run Rampant
It’s a hackathon week here in Boston – the MGH/ Samsung Hackathon and the Women’s Health Codeathon pushed for healthcare solutions last weekend, and AthenaHealth hacking participants will jump into the circle today. MGH’s hackathon offered $6,000 split between winning teams and its winners are now qualified for the Samsung Healthcare Innovation Grant, where $500,000 will be split between winners – the biggest pot we’ve seen in a long time. Ether, a concept allowing operating room managers to receive real time data from anesthesiologists, won first place at the MGH hack. Clean, a compliance tracking system for hospital-acquired infection protocols, came in second. At the Codeathon, Safe.me won, using Jawbone’s technology to monitor user-generated distress signals (focusing on sexual assault contexts). Keep the innovation coming, Boston.
3. A New Health Insurance Website – Lucky Us
The state of Massachusetts also has a new state health website, which Governor Deval Patrick says he’s “cautiously optimistic about.” Looks like it’s our lucky week. The site will give information about health insurance programs and will launch on 8 am this Saturday. Users will be able to browse health plans, create accounts, open applications, find out which programs they qualify for and compare plans.
4. Mayor Menino’s MedTech Investment, Remembered
Few cities can brag about a mayor with as much compassion and personal involvement as Tom Menino. As members of the medtech and startup communities remembered the late mayor (who was diagnosed with cancer last year and passed away just a week ago), one story stood out. Jack Kelly, a recovering heroin addict in his mid-twenties, was appointed by Menino in 2006 to be a neighborhood liaison despite his rough past. Boston Business Journal said that Kelly credits Menino for the foundation of his professional success – a health startup called iRecover. The Boston based company is the maker of an app dedicated to helping people with substance abuse issues.
“People’s quality of life depends on the way it looks outside their window and he understood that micro-concept and how it fits into a larger narrative,” Kelly told the BBJ.
Jenni Whalen is the Executive Assistant of Editorial at Upworthy. She was previously MedTech Boston's Managing Editor and has an MS in Journalism from Boston University, as well as a BA in Psychology from Bucknell University. Whalen has written for Greatist, Boston magazine, AZ Central Healthy Living and the New England Journal of Medicine, among other places. She has also worked as a conference planner, ghost writer, researcher and content developer.
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