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Beth Israel Deaconess Launches Innovation Lab

May 3, 2018
by David Raths
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CIO John Halamka to Lead Health Technology Exploration Center

Boston-based Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) has launched a Health Technology Exploration Center (HTEC) to explore new and emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things, machine learning and blockchain.

By fostering relationships with partners around the globe via telemedicine, BIDMC hopes the center will improve healthcare quality, advance new treatment options, and shape the delivery of patient care.

BIDMC said HTEC would leverage the power of emerging cloud services to support medical decision-making and new mobile applications that empower patients to manage their own health while improving communication between patients and providers.

John Halamka, M.D., M.S., CIO of the Beth Israel Deaconness system, will lead the HTEC. He also is International Healthcare Innovation Professor at Harvard Medical School, and last Novermber Halamka was named editor-in-chief of a new online, peer-review journal called Blockchain in Healthcare Today. 

 “The work of this new center will help expand our ability to use technology to evaluate and share all types of data with both clinicians and patients to improve the care they receive and the delivery of that care,” Halamka said in a prepared statement. “The center will also create a base of knowledge and focused expertise that connects technology advances with clinical care and research to further accelerate innovation.”

The center will build on BIDMC’s reputation for leadership in health technology and explore new solutions to some of the world’s most pressing healthcare challenges. Modeled after sandbox start-up incubators, HTEC will seek to disseminate innovation at a fast pace. HTEC’s primary focus is on exploring new technologies, assessing which ones are scalable, and then sharing successful platforms with the rest of the world. Technologies will be tested in house with BIDMC’s proprietary, dynamic database of de-identified patient data that is HIPAA-compliant and mitigates compliance issues for rapid testing.



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