April 2014
Clinical Decision Support: Right Time. Right Place. Right Team for the health data revolution.
In today's digital world, electronic patient data is growing exponentially and moving faster than healthcare organizations can imagine. At the same time, clinicians suffer from information overload alongside dwindling time and resources.

Now more than ever, the pressure is building to harness the power of 'big data' to help clinicians make faster, patient-centric decisions that increase quality of care and enhance health outcomes all while decreasing costs.

Sounds great right? Especially to the critical care domain, where time is priceless and scarce, and fiscal concerns represent an annual cost to the U.S. economy in excess of $260 billion and account for 46% of total inpatient costs at UMHS, which is above the 40% national average.

For these very reasons, MCIRCC's core initiative is to shift health care analytics and clinical decision support (CDS) from theory to practice and we're not alone in this health IT race.

The Right Time: Clinical decision support in the here and now

According to HealthIT.gov, CDS provides clinicians, staff, patients or other individuals with knowledge and person-specific information, intelligently filtered or presented at appropriate times, to enhance health and health care.

Historically, CDS applications have operated as components of comprehensive electronic health record (EHR) systems - in other words, retrospective data repositories or order entry systems. 

However, the next generation of CDS tools seeks to incorporate advanced data processing systems capable of discovering and harnessing actionable insights from disparate sources of medical data and leveraging these insights for diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive analytics.

The Right Place: Why healthcare and researchers hunger for CDS tools

We all know money talks so it's no surprise that fiscal concerns are a leading driver in the development of CDS tools. But, clinical trends also have a seat at the CDS table. Clinicians want a platform that helps balance the art of medicine with evidence-based medicine while researchers hunger for access to clean, high fidelity data to test and validate hypotheses or to examine data in a way never before possible to reveal health solutions.

As summarized by HealthIT.gov, CDS offers a number of important benefits, including:
  • Increased quality of care and enhanced health outcomes
  • Avoidance of errors and adverse events
  • Improved efficiency, cost-benefit, and provider and patient satisfaction
As an academic medical center with critical care costs in excess of the national average and ongoing capacity challenges, the UMHS has the potential to realize significant and immediate benefits from a critical care CDS tool.

The Right Team: MCIRCC CDS Platform

In a nutshell, MCIRCC's CDS platform will aggregate disparate patient health information - static and real-time - across care touch points for analysis and optimization enabling clinicians to make faster decisions and implement personalized, patient-centric treatment options at the point of care.

Bear in mind, this description simplifies what is a highly sophisticated and complex heath IT tool to a functional concept. Key challenges for implementation include:
  • Collect and aggregate disparate and uncoordinated health data into a single portfolio: provides the ability to leverage structured, unstructured and real-time streaming data captured throughout the patient care continuum from battlefield to ambulance scenarios all the way through hospital to home transitions.
  • Normalize, pre-process and de-identify data for analysis: not all data is created equal and not all data is useful in its raw form; intent is to equalize, scrub and enrich aggregated data to make it useful, elevate to research grade status and maintain HIPPA privacy controls.
  • Capture data beside and stream for real-time computational analysis: combine and process real-time data with retrospective data, including imaging modalities, to facilitate predictive, decision assist, diagnosis and treatment capabilities at the point of care. 
As noted by Ashwin Belle, Research Investigator with MCIRCC's Biosignal-Image and Computational Core program, "The goal is to unify decision points closer to the patient's point of illness and injury to help the physician provide the right care at the right time to maximize impact."

Healthcare has lagged behind the retail and financial sectors in the use of big data but the gap is closing and closing fast. As an institution, now is not the time to drop the ball. Data is king and the more hard evidence we have the better decisions we can make as clinicians, researchers, scientists, administrators and patients.

Innovation Underground: Making Small Talk Big
March Innovation Underground at Mash Bar
We've had just a couple of Innovation Underground events since MCIRCC launched last fall, and as we suspected, there is nothing small about the small talk at these gatherings.

It's an opportunity to connect with others who are interested in finding ways to form new ideas, make ideas even better, and bring those ideas to life. Finding ways to move ideas forward doesn't just happen at a lab bench or a desk. It can also happen over a casual conversation after work on what seemed like a regular Thursday. 

That's what happened when cardiologist, Brahmajee Nallamothu met research investigator, Ashwin Belle, and associate professor, Kayvan Najarian, both with MCIRCC's Biosignal-Image and Computational Core, at the last Innovation Underground event. Nallamothu says, "I sat down next to them with a beer and just shared what I was working on. There were immediate 'bulbs' that went off for me as I heard them describe their earlier work in image processing and analysis. I had been struggling with issues in my own work, which focuses on novel methods of assessing healthcare quality in cardiovascular disease, and been reaching out to experts at other universities and even industry partners." 

This is exactly what this event is about. We understand that every bit of progress in a project is important. Different points of view from multiple disciplines can make all the difference. Nallamothu believes this kind of connection is, "...fundamental to great science and innovation. It is critical to break out of our usual patterns of work and engage with investigators in other disciplines. What is special about the Underground Event is that it provides an easy atmosphere to discuss your work and seek collaboration." 

Nallamothu is moving forward in developing his prototype product, Computer Assisted Diagnosis of Coronary Angiography with the help and expertise of new collaborators, Belle and Najarian. 

The easy exchange of ideas and shared passion for work. This is what Innovation Underground gatherings are all about. 

Please join us for our next eventWednesday, April 30, 5:00pm-7:00pm, in the MCIRCC Ideation Lab, NCRC Bldg. 10, Room A112.

This time, we're taking Innovation Underground above ground, to highlight the cool work being done by you, our members, and to introduce you to our newest resource, the MCIRCC Ideation Lab. 

This is a 'show & tell' for our scientific innovators with some food and brews to catalyze the collaborative energy needed to transform the face of critical care. In addition, MCIRCC will have a hands-on Google Glass demo for attendees to test drive in hopes of inspiring the next critical care breakthrough innovation.

Space is limited so register today.

Learn from the Experts on External Collaboration: Free Symposium at NCRC on May 14 featuring MCIRCC Director Kevin Ward
Discover the potential for funding from companies and foundations, what successful faculty at U-M and other institutions have done, and how to connect to available U-M resources.

Partnering with the Private Sector in Research
Wednesday, May 14, 8:00am-2:00pm
Dining Hall, NCRC Building 18
RSVP for this FREE event

A free half-day symposium featuring sessions dedicated to funding from private industry and foundations, short case studies will be presented and followed by two in-depth panel discussions.

One panel discussion will focus on industry collaboration, and feature: 
  • Mathew Becker, Ph.D., University of Akron
  • Roger Day, Ph.D. Director of Corporate R&D, Lubrizol
  • Bruce Gingles, Vice President of Global Technology Assessment & Healthcare Policy, Cook Medical
  • Alan Portela, CEO, Airstrip (recently honored as one of the "Top 50 in Digital Health") 
  • Florian J. Schattenmann, Ph.D., Global R&D Director, Dow 
  • Kevin Ward, M.D., Executive Director, MCIRCC and UMMS Fast Forward Medical Innovation

And a second session will focus on foundation collaboration, featuring panelists:
  • Frederick Dombrose, Ph.D., President, The Hartwell Foundation
  • Cristina Davis, Ph.D., University of California Davis
  • Maria Figueroa, U-M Foundation Relations
  • Betsy Myers, Ph.D., Program Director, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

A networking lunch concludes the symposium and provides researchers the opportunity to engage with these special guests, as well as other stakeholders at the U-M who specialize in building external partnerships.

Co-sponsored by the U-M Office of the Vice President for Research, the U-M Medical School, the U-M Business Engagement Center, and the North Campus Research Complex.

Innovator Series 2014: Educational series helps faculty become more commercialization savvy
Fast Forward Medical Innovation is ramping up its education mission with the upcoming Innovator Series 2014 events.

With great resources among our faculty - and our industry partners - who can offer advice and insights on the many paths to successful commercialization, the Innovator Series will offer learning sessions where faculty can benefit from a dialogue with our more experienced colleagues. Remaining sessions in the Innovator Series include:

Therapeutics, devices, and diagnostics - each area presents its own unique challenges when it comes to taking projects from bench to bedside. Learn more about the peaks and valleys of commercialization from our panel of U-M experts who have all "been there, done that." This event is co-sponsored by the U-M Medical School Office of Research, U-M Tech Transfer, and the U-M Taubman Medical Research Institute.
When it comes to digital health innovation, what's the best way to navigate early-stage prototyping and coding needs? What about customer discovery? Or the uncertain regulatory landscape? Join our panel of experts as they discuss the trends, share experiences, and most importantly highlight U-M resources to help you join the Digital Healthcare Revolution! This event is co-sponsored by the U-M Medical School Office of Research and U-M Tech Transfer.
CLICK HERE for more details and to RSVP for these FREE events.
Membership Reminder!
If you are speaking with the media about your work in critical care research or are working with the U-M News Service or U-M Health System Public Relations on a health care related press release, article, or other news item, please mention your MCIRCC affiliation!
Mark Your Calendar
Innovation Show & Tell
Wednesday, April 30
5:00pm - 7:00pm

MCIRCC Ideation Lab
NCRC Bldg. 10, Room A112

Join us for this scientific 'show & tell' featuring MCIRCC member projects along with some food and brews to catalyze the collaborative and innovative energy needed to transform the face of critical care. 

In addition, MCIRCC will have a hands-on Google Glass demo for attendees to test drive in hopes of inspiring the next critical care breakthrough innovation.