Healthcare Technology Featured Article

June 26, 2013

Carnegie Mellon and Partners Create a 'Disruption' in Healthcare Tech

Carnegie Mellon University, Allegheny Health Network and Highmark, Inc., have joined forces to open the Disruptive Health Technology Institute (DHTI).

When you hear the word "disruptive" used to describe a health technology institute, it's not describing an institute that plays loud music and video games late into the night to disturb the peace in Pennsylvania. "Disruptive" innovations are technologies that create new markets, eventually rendering older technologies obsolete.

Alan Russell, who will serve as the director of DHTI and as both executive VP and chief innovation officer for the Allegheny Health Network, says that healthcare is a field that needs to be shaken up.

“Disruptive innovation has brought affordability and quality products to a variety of industry sectors, but healthcare has not yet experienced that pioneering drive," argued Russell. "Our new DHTI initiative is designed to create a framework for categorizing and developing novel disruptive technologies to improve healthcare by increasing availability and reducing cost."

The DHTI team has a unique player in Highmark, Inc. Highmark is an insurance provider that plans to make its claims data available to DHTI researchers.

"This is a distinct partnership in that health insurance companies don’t usually invest in research," said Mark S. Kamlet, who serves as the executive VP and provost of Carnegie Mellon.

While Highmark will provide claims data, Carnegie Mellon will provide the brainpower. The university is allowing its faculty to submit proposals that will be competitively reviewed by the institute. Research will go forward based on its ability both to impact a large population and to make significant cuts to healthcare costs.

The seven key areas that DHTI plans to highlight include infection prevention, diagnostic ultrasound, behavior change, endoscopy, chronic disease management, data mining and medical diagnostics.

DHTI will kick off operations thanks to an initial cash infusion totaling $11 million.

Edited by Alisen Downey
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