‘Making Health’ Celebrates How Design Tools and Technology Are Transforming Health Care

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) IDEA Lab, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and MedStar Health today are hosting “Making Health: An Interactive Celebration of How Tinkering, Technology and Design Tools Are Transforming Health Care.” The event is from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., at Georgetown University Leavey Center in Washington, D.C., and is part of the White House’s National Week of Making. The event is free and open to the public.

“By providing greater access to tools and information, the maker movement is changing health care delivery in the clinical setting and enabling people to live in better health and with greater dignity,” said Susannah Fox, Chief Technology Officer of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “With this unique event we are bringing together clinicians, scientists, inventors, and makers, all focused on improving health.”

The Maker Movement has spurred a growing industry of do-it-yourself healthcare entrepreneurs and problem solvers who are using design tools and technology to quickly transform ideas to working prototypes. This event is an opportunity to hear thought-provoking talks, meet some of the area’s entrepreneurs and innovators, and see first-hand how their work is changing health care. Mark Smith, MD, Chief Innovation Officer for MedStar Health and Director of the MedStar Institute for Innovation, said, “The Maker Movement in health care is empowering individuals to find a better way—the fundamental impulse to innovate—using tools that are accessible and even commonplace. Staying open and curious and alert to novel ideas and approaches leads to innovation, and that’s a foundational attitude that MedStar Health has adopted. We are very pleased to join with other healthcare innovators in our area to showcase many of the ways we are working to advance health.”

Featured speakers at the afternoon reception are: 

  • Susannah Fox, Chief Technology Officer, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Mark Smith, MD, Chief Innovation Officer for MedStar Health and Director, MedStar Institute for Innovation
  • Mark L. Rorhbaugh, PhD, JD, Special Advisor for Technology Transfer, National Institutes of Health
  • Stephen Evans, MD, Executive Vice President, Medical Affairs, and Chief Medical Officer, MedStar Health

  Health care innovation demonstrations include:

  • Use of high-fidelity simulation techniques to teach clinicians to perform medical procedures, with simulation specialists from MedStar SiTEL
  • Monitoring patients’ health using wearable health sensors and other technology, with MedStar Institute for Innovation’s digital health team
  • Remote monitoring of pregnant women for weight gain and blood pressure, with BabyScripts, a startup company that grew out of 1776, Washington’s premier global start-up incubator and seed fund
  • Emotion Owl for autistic children, Comfortable Cane, Tremor Monitor, and more prototypes developed by NuVu, an innovation school for middle and high school students in Cambridge, Mass,
  • A smartphone app that uses image analysis and machine learning to examine red blood cells to diagnose malaria, from the National Library of Medicine and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease
  • Computer-aided design for making medical models and custom implants for wounded warriors, from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

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.