Facebook-Like Approach to Helping Critically Ill Babies Wins
Collegiate Health Care IT Challenge
Stanford Graduate Students Capture Competition Hosted
by UMD Smith School
College Park, Md. - An online platform to improve outcomes for sick babies by
better engaging parents in their care drew first place in the
Innovate 4 Healthcare Challenge, a collegiate
competition based on radically improving healthcare through new processes that
are enabled by innovative information technology applications and supported by a
sustainable market strategy.
"NeoStream," developed by graduate students in the Biomedical Informatics
Department in the Stanford University School of Medicine, captured top-prize at
the recent Innovate 4 Healthcare IT Challenge hosted by Center for Health
Information and Decision Systems (CHIDS) at the University of Maryland's Robert
H. Smith School of Business.
"The challenge drew 26 high-quality solutions from a broad range of schools
and programs from across the country, and even a few from overseas, to answer
the call to how to strengthen patient-provider engagement to improve health
outcomes," said the competition's director Kenyon Crowley, Director of Health
Innovation at the UMD Center of Excellence in Health IT Research and associate
director of CHIDS. "The solutions were creative and most importantly, they were
derived from multi-disciplinary viewpoints ranging from business and engineering
to public health and medicine.”
NeoStream employs a social network approach, similar to Facebook, "to improve
communication between caregivers and the parents of babies in the neonatal
intensive care unit, with the ultimate goal of improving short and long term
outcomes for critically ill babies," said Stanford team member Jon Palma, a
physician and neonatal informatics specialist for Lucile Packard Children’s
Hospital at Stanford and biomedical informatics student at the university.
The Stanford team, that also included Hua Fan-Minogue, Ken Jung and Katie
Planey, was among eight finalists that presented projects to a judging panel of
industry, clinical, and government professionals, and academics, on April 20 at
the Smith School's center in the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade
Center in Washington D.C. Their $20,000 first prize includes a potential venture
with challenge co-sponsor Johnson & Johnson Services Inc. "We're excited about
winning the competition, and the opportunity to work with Johnson and Johnson to
further our idea," said Palma.
A pair of runner-up entries each netted $5,000, including "So They Can Know,"
a Web application designed by Johns Hopkins University graduate students for
newly diagnosed STD patients to anonymously alert previous partners; and the
University of Georgia Terry School of Business team for its "Play Hard, Live
Long" game-based software that calculates lifestyle variables to health-related
Teams from UMD plus Georgetown, Harvard and Carnegie Mellon Universities
rounded out the finalists, including Smith MBA students Akhil Singh and Daniel
Tyler whose "OptiMantra Health" entry proposed an application serving and
connecting CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) consumers and providers.
Additional support for the challenge was provided by The Office of the National
Coordinator for Health IT and the Robert H. Smith School of Business Healthcare
CHIDS Director Ritu Agarwal, professor and dean's chair of information
systems, said the competition epitomized her center's tripartite mission of
research, education, and outreach. "We drew teams from across the country that
worked very hard and energetically on the incredibly important problems of
fixing health care and reducing health care costs," she said. "They spent a lot
of time developing new ideas and figuring out whether these are monetizable
solutions. We believe entrepreneurship and innovation from young minds is the
About the Center for Health Information
and Decision Systems
CHIDS is an academic research center with collaboration with industry and
federal, state, and local government affiliates, and is designed to research,
analyze, and recommend solutions to challenges surrounding the introduction and
integration of information and decision technologies into the healthcare system.
CHIDS offers the benefit of a world-class research staff and renowned scholars
in the economic, social, behavioral, and managerial aspects of technology
implementation, adoption, assimilation, and return on investment. CHIDS serves
as a focal point for thought leadership around the topic of health information
and decision systems.
About the Robert H. Smith School of Business
The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader
in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the
University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate,
full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, MS in business, PhD and executive
education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The
school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning
locations in North America and Asia.