Researchers from MedStar Health to Develop AI-Powered Tools in Partnership with IBM for Biologic Product Adverse Events

Hyattsville, MD -Researchers from MedStar Health are partnering with IBM (Global Business Services and Watson Health) to develop a program for post-market safety and effectiveness surveillance for biologic adverse events. At MedStar Health, the work will be led by Aaron (Zach) Hettinger, MD, MS, and Kristen E. Miller, DrPH, CPPS, and will leverage the informatics capabilities of the MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare to support patient outcomes through safety surveillance for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Biologics Effectiveness and Safety initiative is led by the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) as part of the overarching Sentinel initiative across the US FDA.

Leveraging machine learning, artificial intelligence and natural language processing, among other methods, the team will work on developing and automating post-market safety reports for CBER-regulated products which include blood transfusion products and vaccines. The work will integrate an expanding pool of data sources, including 10 million or more electronic health records, in order to define adverse events. The work will also include development to provide a tool for semi-automated patient chart review to conduct validation studies for product safety and effectiveness. The long-term vision of the project is to produce a system capable of robust automated reporting that can scale across provider networks and biologic product areas. MedStar Health’s research efforts leverage real-world prototyping to efficiently identify and assess the challenges and feasibility of constructing such a complex system.

“This collaboration highlights both the feasibility and challenges involved in automating the reporting of biologic adverse events. Our goal is to produce health information technology tools to reduce the reporting burden on healthcare providers and make it more likely that the FDA will receive accurate and timely adverse event reports,” said Dr. Miller “The information collected in this process will support improved analytics and research and help the FDA to protect biologic product safety and improve patient outcomes.”

Aaron (Zach) Hettinger, MD MS, is the medical director and director of cognitive informatics at the MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare. Kristen E. Miller, DrPH, CPPS, is the scientific director of the center, which is the largest human factors engineering program embedded within a healthcare system in the United States.

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About the MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare
The MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare occupies a unique position in the United States as the largest human factors program embedded within a healthcare system. It brings together human factors scientists, systems safety engineers, health services researchers, clinicians, and other experts to create a safer and more efficient healthcare environment through four core services in research, usability, safety advisement, and education. The center is part of the MedStar Institute for Innovation and is also affiliated with the MedStar Health Research Institute and MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety. MedStar Health, the parent organization, is the largest not-for-profit healthcare provider in the Maryland and Washington, D.C., region, with 10 hospitals and an extensive ambulatory services network, and is the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University.    

About MedStar Health Research Institute
The MedStar Health Research Institute is the research arm of MedStar Health, the largest healthcare provider in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region. MHRI provides scientific, administrative and regulatory support for research programs throughout the MedStar Health system. MHRI’s expertise includes translational research into disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment. These programs complement the key clinical services and teaching programs in the 10 MedStar hospitals and other MedStar entities. For more information, visit www.MedStarResearch.org.

About MedStar Health
At MedStar Health, we use the best of our minds and the best of our hearts to serve our patients, those who care for them, and our communities. Our 30,000 associates and 4,700 affiliated physicians are committed to living this promise through our core SPIRIT values—Service, Patient first, Integrity, Respect, Innovation, and Teamwork—across our more than 300 locations including 10 hospitals, ambulatory, and urgent care centers. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar Health is training future physician leaders to care for the whole person and is advancing care through the MedStar Health Research Institute. From our telemedicine and urgent care services to the region’s largest home health agency, we’re committed to providing high-quality health care that’s also easy and convenient for our patients. At MedStar Health—It’s how we treat people. Learn more at MedStarHealth.org.

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Communications & Planning Manager, MHRI
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Rehabilitation Research and Training Center Awarded Funding for Collaborative Work

Hyattsville, MD — The National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) recently awarded a 5-year $ 4.375 million grant to establish a Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital focusing on neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction. Neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction can affect a broad range of people with physical disabilities; for example, people with spinal cord injury and disease, stroke, spina bifida, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease, among other conditions.

Under the direction of Suzanne Groah, MD, MSPH, the RRTC is a collaboration between MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital, Georgetown University, TIRR Memorial Hermann, and Children’s National Medical Center. These institutions will partner with national organizations, leveraging expertise and strengths in rehabilitation research and clinical care, neurogenic bladder research and advocacy, and consumer engagement in research. They will also focus on training at post-doctoral, graduate, and undergraduate levels, disability-related national advocacy, online education development, and dissemination outreach.

There are three research projects that are supported by this funding. The first research project will determine whether 4 doses of intravesical Lactobacillus among people with neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction who use indwelling catheters is superior to 2 doses for management of selected urinary symptoms.  For the second research project, the RRTC will assess neuromodulation of the bladder using transcutaneous tibial nerve stimulation in a randomized controlled trial. The third research project, in conjunction with an ongoing clinical trial, will describe the impact that bladder management has on quality of life and participation outcomes and then assess these in the context of the first-in-human clinical trial of the Connected Catheter.

 “With our training component, we hope to support the early career development of investigators to further the quality of patients in the future,” said Dr. Groah.

National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research is the federal government’s primary disability research agency. They seek to fund projects which generate new knowledge and promote its effective use to improve the abilities of individuals with disabilities to perform activities of their choice in the community.

 

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About MedStar Health Research Institute

The MedStar Health Research Institute is the research arm of MedStar Health, the largest healthcare provider in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region. MHRI provides scientific, administrative and regulatory support for research programs throughout the MedStar Health system. MHRI’s expertise includes translational research into disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment. These programs complement the key clinical services and teaching programs in the 10 MedStar hospitals and other MedStar entities. For more information, visit MedStarResearch.org

About MedStar Health
At MedStar Health, we use the best of our minds and the best of our hearts to serve our patients, those who care for them, and our communities. Our 30,000 associates and 4,700 affiliated physicians are committed to living this promise through our core SPIRIT values—Service, Patient first, Integrity, Respect, Innovation, and Teamwork—across our more than 300 locations including 10 hospitals, ambulatory, and urgent care centers. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar Health is training future physician leaders to care for the whole person and is advancing care through the MedStar Health Research Institute. From our telemedicine and urgent care services to the region’s largest home health agency, we’re committed to providing high-quality health care that’s also easy and convenient for our patients. At MedStar Health—It’s how we treat people. Learn more at MedStarHealth.org.






Media Contact

Eva Hochberger
Communications & Planning Manager, MHRI
[email protected]

MedStar Researcher Awarded Funds through Diabetes Research Grant

Hyattsville, MD — Kenneth L Fan, MD, has been awarded funding through the MedStar Diabetes Research Grant to research patient-reported outcome measures for patients who undergo lower limb amputation to treat issues caused by diabetes.

The goal of the MedStar Diabetes Research Grant is to support investigators in the field of diabetes research who are interested in developing pilot data that can lead to additional, externally funded studies. This funding opportunity for MedStar investigators interested in diabetes research was made possible by a generous donation to MedStar Health.

Diabetic lower extremity disease has surpassed diabetic coma as the primary driver of mortality among people with diabetes. The research study funded, “Examination of Functional, Morbidity, and Mortality Outcomes of Surgical Modalities in Diabetic Limb Salvage”, will begin by seeking to compare national averages for patient outcomes to those treated as a multidisciplinary center. The study will then leverage patient-reported outcome measures to compare patient feedback to surgical outcomes, such as ambulatory status. Using that information, patients undergoing surgery will be surveyed both before and after, to determine if preoperative patient-reported outcome measures scores may predict how well patients will tolerate certain procedures.

“This generous donation to diabetes research at MedStar Health allows us to support investigators who are focused on finding better ways to treat our patients with diabetes,” said Neil Weissman, MD, chief scientific officer for MedStar Health and president of MedStar Health Research Institute. “Our mission of advancing health for our community allows us to leverage our multidisciplinary focus to provide better outcomes for future patients.”

This research will be led by Dr. Fan, in collaboration with Karen K. Evans, MD; Christopher E. Attinger, MD; David H. Song, MD; and Derek Delia, PhD.

 


About MedStar Health Research Institute

The MedStar Health Research Institute is the research arm of MedStar Health, the largest healthcare provider in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region. MHRI provides scientific, administrative and regulatory support for research programs throughout the MedStar Health system. MHRI’s expertise includes translational research into disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment. These programs complement the key clinical services and teaching programs in the 10 MedStar hospitals and other MedStar entities. For more information, visit www.MedStarResearch.org

About MedStar Health
MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarHealth.org.

Media Contact

Eva Hochberger
Communications & Planning Manager, MHRI
[email protected]






Five MedStar Health Researchers Awarded Funding through Associate Giving Campaign

Hyattsville, MD—MedStar Health Research Institute has awarded five early-career investigators designated grant funding through the New Investigator ‐ Associate Giving Grant Fund. This fund is supported through designated funds contributed by the associates of MedStar Health during the associate giving philanthropy campaign.

“MedStar Health is committed to growing as an academic health system,” said Neil Weissman, MD, chief scientific officer for MedStar Health and president of MedStar Health Research Institute. “Early-career funding can have a lasting impact on both researchers and the patients we care for by changing the way we treat them. Our ability to support this work is through the commitment of our associates to help us reach our vision of advancing health for our community.”

Associate gifts designated for research during the 2018 MedStar Health Associate Giving Campaign, the Power to Heal, were used to support the work of new investigators through the New Investigator—Associate Giving Grant Fund. These grants are awarded to new MedStar Health investigators who have joined MedStar Health in the previous five years, with the goal of supporting research focused on advancing health for patients in the communities we serve. This initial funding can have the potential to lead to external grant funding for their research.

The following five physician-investigators have been awarded funding for their research.

  • Ankit B. Shah, MD, MPH, FACC (MedStar Sports & Performance Cardiology Program)
    “Atrial size, function and fitness level among endurance runners with known paroxysmal atrial fibrillation”
  • Leila Shobab, MD, FRCPC (MedStar Washington Hospital Center)
    “Sex-Specific Immune Landscape of Differentiated Thyroid Cancer”
  • Pashna M. Munshi, MD (MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center)
    “We're in This Together: Health-Related Quality of Life, Self Preparedness, and Caregiver Burden in Patient/Primary Caregiver Dyads in the Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Setting”
  • Shashwati Geed, PT PhD (MedStar National Rehabilitation Medicine)
    “Identifying a signal for critical period plasticity: Function of PV+ interneurons post stroke”
  • Yasar Torres-Yaghi, MD (MedStar Georgetown University Hospital)
    “MicroRNA in Neurodegenerative Diseases: Parkinson Disease, Lewy Body Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease”

Thank you to all associates who contributed to the 2018 Power to Heal Campaign. In 2018, over 3,200 associates, physicians, and board members across the MedStar Health system chose to participate in philanthropy.  Please consider making a gift online to support MedStar Health Research Institute and our new investigators. Select “MedStar Health Research Institute” from the drop-down menu to direct your gift to this fund.

 


About MedStar Health Research Institute
The MedStar Health Research Institute is the research arm of MedStar Health, the largest healthcare provider in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region. MHRI provides scientific, administrative and regulatory support for research programs throughout the MedStar Health system. MHRI’s expertise includes translational research into disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. These programs complement the key clinical services and teaching programs in the 10 MedStar hospitals and other MedStar entities. Visit us at www.MedStarResearch.org

About MedStar Health
MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation, and research. MedStar’s 31,000 associates, 6,500 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care, and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit www.MedStarHealth.org.






Media Contact

Eva Hochberger
Communications & Planning Manager, MHRI
[email protected]

MedStar Health Research Institute Awarded Research Grant from the U.S. Department of Defense

Hyattsville, MD — Suzanne Groah, MD, MSPH, has been awarded a contract through the U.S. Department of Defense - Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs to conduct focused research for patients who are living with spinal cord injuries and neurogenic bladder.

Suzanne Groah, MD, MSPH

“Urinary tract infections are the most common outpatient infection world-wide, and for people with spinal cord injuries, it is the most common infection, cause for emergency room visits, and infectious cause of hospitalization,” said Dr. Groah. “Attempts to reduce urinary tract infections among people with spinal cord injuries are stymied by long-standing diagnostic challenges which arise from evidence gaps around ‘gold standard’ diagnostic tests (urinalysis and urine culture) that have lower sensitivity and specificity for urinary tract infections in people with spinal cord injuries.”

The study has three objectives. The first is to define and differentiate what constitutes “normal” urine versus clinically meaningful change from normal with respect to urinary symptoms, urine inflammation, and the urinary tract’s microbial ecosystem. This will help to advance the diagnosis of urinary tract infection among this population. Secondly, the researchers will conduct a pilot clinical trial of intravesical LactobacillusGG®, the goal of which is to reduce urinary symptoms and potentially prevent urinary tract infection. The third objective is to develop and validate a computational model incorporating urinary signs, symptoms, and urinary ecosystem data to advance the understanding of the complex interactions between the bacteria that cause (and do not cause) urinary tract infections and the individual, with the ultimate goal of informing diagnostics, self-management, and research.

“This work specifically targets people with SCI who use indwelling catheters due to neurogenic bladder,” said Dr. Groah. “These individuals will potentially be helped by having an easily accessible method to reduce, through self-management, frequent and burdensome urinary symptoms, reducing the occurrence of UTI and ultimately, antimicrobial resistance due to overuse of antimicrobials.”

Dr. Groah is the Chief of the Spinal Cord Injury program and Director of Spinal Cord Injury Research at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital and Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine at Georgetown University.

The U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity, 820 Chandler Street, Fort Detrick MD 21702-5014 is the awarding and administering acquisition office. This work was supported by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs endorsed by the Department of Defense), through the Spinal Cord Injury Research Program, Translational Research Award under Award No. W81XWH1910541. Opinions, interpretations, conclusions and recommendations are those of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by the Department of Defense.

 


About MedStar Health Research Institute
The MedStar Health Research Institute is the research arm of MedStar Health, the largest healthcare provider in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region. MHRI provides scientific, administrative and regulatory support for research programs throughout the MedStar Health system. MHRI’s expertise includes translational research into disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. These programs complement the key clinical services and teaching programs in the 10 MedStar hospitals and other MedStar entities. Visit us at www.MedStarResearch.org

About MedStar Health
MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation, and research. MedStar’s 31,000 associates, 6,500 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care, and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit www.MedStarHealth.org.

 






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Eva Hochberger
Communications & Planning Manager, MHRI
[email protected]

MedStar Research on EHR Safety Cited in Fortune Magazine

Raj Ratwani, PhD, Center Director & Scientific Director of the National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare has made tremendous development in researching EHR safety and usability. The illustrious Fortune Magazine highlighted these efforts in an article titled “Death by a Thousand Clicks: Where Electronic Health Records Went Wrong”. Congratulations to Dr. Ratwani and his team for being recognized! Read more.

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Eva Hochberger
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MedStar Investigator Presents at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Session

Frederico M. Asch, MD presented analysis from his late breaking clinical trial, COAPT. The echocardiography characteristics of the COAPT population, strengthens the need to identify a consistent baseline for enrolling patients in an effort to replicate similar results when used in clinical practice. “…clearly the fact that the results were so different, the outcomes were so different, makes it extremely important that we understand who exactly was enrolled in COAPT,” Asch said. Learn more

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Eva Hochberger
Communications & Planning Manager, MHRI
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ObEN Creates Healthcare Avatar for MedStar Health Heart Disease Study

 

Personal AI of nurse to aid in at-home monitoring of patients suffering from heart failure

Pasadena, CA/Hyattsville, MD (March 4, 2019) — ObEN Inc., the artificial intelligence (AI) company creating Personal AI (PAI) technology to revolutionize digital interactions, is pleased to announce it is working with MedStar Health Research Institute for a study on the use of Personal AI (PAI) healthcare assistants for patients suffering from heart failure. For the study, ObEN has created a medical health assistant app, called PAI Care, to help monitor patients of heart failure.

Under the direction of the principal investigator Nawar Shara, PhD, Director of the Department of Biostatistics and Biomedical Informatics at MedStar Health Research Institute and Associate Professor of Medicine at Georgetown University, the study will investigate the use of voice-activated and avatar-enabled technologies for monitoring heart failure patients at home and whether this monitoring improves health and recovery outcomes. The study will include patients interacting with Tara, an intelligent 3D Healthcare Assistant Avatar created using ObEN’s PAI technology, via an app on a tablet.

“Heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition that impacts millions of people worldwide and is increasing in incidence,”said Dr. Shara. “Hospitalization is a major driver of treatment costs and adversely affects the quality of life and outcomes for heart failure patients. Prevention of heart failure hospital readmission is an area of unmet need. This study leverages voice and avatar-enabled artificial intelligence technologies to empower patients to better manage their condition.”

For this four-month study, ObEN’s technology will fuel the voice, appearance, and animation of the healthcare assistant avatar in PAI Care as well as the chatbot feature through which the patients can interact with the PAI. Under a daily schedule, participants in the study will answer a series of health and wellness questions that will help the study collect data and also monitor the health of the patients.

ObEN is also providing additional technology for a related-study by MedStar Health Research Institute, using voice-enabled healthcare support. This study is made possible with grant funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) through the Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science (GHUCCTS).

“ObEN’s technology can potentially create a way to provide triage, management, and routine health reminders while alleviating pain points within the healthcare industry including patient monitoring, EHS systems management, and geriatric care and companionship,” said Nikhil Jain, CEO of ObEN. “With the healthcare industry facing rising costs, insufficient resources and a lack of manpower around the world, we believe PAI can serve as the basis for solutions to the most pressing issues in healthcare and provide better access to service for all people.”

Using ObEN’s proprietary full-stack AI technology, ObEN can create personalized, intelligent 3D avatars that look and sound like the user, can learn to behave like the user, and even learn skills the user does not possess, like speaking in multiple languages. ObEN has also adopted the Project PAI blockchain protocol, an open source decentralized public utility blockchain, to secure and authenticate the PAIs and the associated user data, allowing people to gain more ownership of their own digital identity. For healthcare applications, ObEN enables the creation of Nurse and Doctor PAIs that can be individualized to the real professionals providing care to their patients.

To learn more about Personal AI technology visit oben.com


About ObEN
ObEN is an artificial intelligence (AI) company developing Personal AI technology that revolutionizes personal digital interaction, enabling never before possible social and virtual interactions. The company’s technology allows users to create intelligent 3D avatars that look, sound, and behave like them. Deployed on the Project PAI blockchain, ObEN’s Personal AI (PAI) technology enables users to create, use, and manage their own PAI on a secure, decentralized platform. Founded in 2014, ObEN is a K11, Tencent, Softbank Ventures Korea and HTC Vive X portfolio company and is located at Idealab in Pasadena, California. To learn more about ObEN, please visit oben.com.

About MedStar Health Research Institute
MedStar Health Research Institute is the research arm of MedStar Health, the largest healthcare provider in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region. MHRI provides scientific, administrative, and regulatory support for research programs throughout the MedStar Health system. MHRI’s expertise includes translational research into disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. These programs complement the key clinical services and teaching programs in the 10 MedStar hospitals and other MedStar entities. For more information, visit MedStarResearch.org.

About MedStar Health
MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation, and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion, and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarHealth.org.

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Lisa Wang
Senior Marketing Manager, ObEN
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