Now Viewing: Medical technology

Seeking DIY Nurses – New MakerNurse Initiative Launches

Sep 25, 2013, 8:00 AM, Posted by Pioneer Blog Team


At World Maker Faire in NYC this past weekend, MIT’s Little Devices Lab and Pioneer unveiled MakerNurse, a nationwide initiative to find nurses who are fabricating new devices and improvising workarounds to fix problems in the way health care is delivered.

Pioneer’s Lori Melichar and Jose Gomez-Marquez, who is spearheading MakerNurse, discussed the new initiative from Maker Faire’s Innovation Stage.

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Introducing What’s Next Health: Conversations with Pioneers

May 15, 2013, 2:15 PM, Posted by Brian C. Quinn

Brian Quinn Brian Quinn, assistant vice president, Research and Evaluation

One of the best things about our jobs at Pioneer is that we get to have conversations with interesting people doing interesting things. As we network with these visionary thinkers, we want to share some of the great stuff we’re learning and hearing with you—to bring value to the work you’re doing. That’s why I’m pleased to introduce What's Next Health: Conversations with Pioneers, a new series here at RWJF that explores the future of health and health care, asks the big questions, and looks to the cutting-edge for solutions.

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Knowing What Works in Health Care

Jan 29, 2008, 9:10 AM, Posted by RWJF Blog Team

The IOM last week released a new report calling for an independent entity to assess clinical effectiveness and provide credible, unbiased information about what really works in health care. The report was commissioned by RWJF and Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, our president and CEO, issued a statement calling the IOM right to emphasize that the future of health care quality and safety rests on the strength of the evidence we collect, and on our ability to channel that evidence to providers, policy-makers, payers and consumers to help them make better decisions.”

Despite our tremendous medical advances, in reality we too often don’t know which treatment, policy or mix of approaches really works to improve people’s health in this country. As Lynn Etheredge, with the Rapid Learning Project at George Washington University, says, we are developing technologies faster than we know how to use them. We cannot say whether we are getting value for the high costs we pay. Ultimately, these pervasive evidence gaps contribute to the wide variation we see in the quality, costs and outcomes of care experienced by patients, and this makes a huge difference in people’s health.

The report’s call to action, if heeded by policy-makers and other stakeholders, would drive forward the field of comparative effectiveness research, which requires rigorous evaluation of the costs, risks and benefits of different treatment options for different medical conditions in different sets of patients.

Such studies, we think, can be done quickly and inexpensively using existing data. To support this vision, the Foundation is promoting the concept of a rapid-learning health care system – one that draws on large electronic health record databases (think Kaiser Permanente and the VA) that represent the experience of millions of patients. Harnessing the cumulative data power within a rapid-learning system would dramatically speed clinical research, supply needed knowledge about the value of existing and new medical technologies, and provide better safety surveillance.

At the same time, we’ve funded David Eddy, founder of Archimedes, Inc. to build the ARCHeS interface, which will enable far more decision-makers to use the predictive mathematical modeling power of the Archimedes model to answer a potentially limitless number of key health care questions.

We hope the IOM report helps the nation rally attention and resources toward strengthening the research and evidence base in health care. If reliable, unbiased and transparent evidence can be put in the hands of providers, policy leaders, patients, insurers and other key actors, it will go far toward creating a higher quality, safer and more cost-effective system for all.