Beth Israel Deaconess launches medtech innovation center

By Dave Muoio
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Earlier this week, the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center announced that it had launched an innovation research center, called the Health Technology Exploration Center.

“Now is the time to think more expansively about how diverse technological tools can improve all aspects of health care – from clinical advances to communications and medical decision-making,” Dr. Kevin Tabb CEO of BIDMC and the Beth Israel Deaconess system, said in a statement. “Our goal in creating this new center is to build on Beth Israel Deaconess’ history of innovation to help make patient care more efficient, accessible and integrated.”

According to the hospital, the research center is modeled after sandbox start-up incubators, and is “poised to spark the technological and systemic transformations in health care delivery,” which it will do by exploring emerging technologies such as blockchain. The center will also employ cloud services to support providers’ medical decision making, as well as mobile applications intended to engage patients and improve communication with their providers.

Further, the BIDMC’s researchers plan to build relationships with likeminded partners worldwide via telemedicine, with these efforts focused on improving care quality, advancing new treatment options, and refining care delivery, according to the hospital. The technologies explored during these partnerships will be scalable, according to the center’s website, and will be shared with global partners.

The Health Technology Exploration Center will be headed by Dr. John Halamka, CIO of the Beth Israel Deaconess system and a professor at Harvard Medical School. Along with serving as the chair of the Healthcare Technology Federal Advisory Committee under President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama, he has helped the hospital build collaborations with Google, Amazon, Apple, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and others.

“Patients today are accustomed to having a world of information at their fingertips,” Halamka said in a statement. “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. 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.”