by Roy Cohen
The problem we solve: At approximately $40 billion per year, hospital readmissions are extremely costly to the healthcare system. Studies have linked readmissions to the poor understanding of hospital release instructions by patients. BitHealth turns any set of release instructions into a set of easy-to-follow image-and-text cards sent as GIFs directly to the patient.
About our solution: Based in Cornell Tech, we have developed this product under the guidance of healthcare experts and practitioners. One of our co-founders is an award winning filmmaker, who has deep expertise in visual communication. We leverage text summary technology that has been tested on millions of users, and are developing an original database of images tailored for this problem. We are constantly testing the product with patients as well as healthcare professionals, and are getting great responses.Progress to date:
We have a pilot customer at Weill Cornell and a partner who is interested in a collaboration at Sheba Hospital in Israel. We have received resonating enthusiasm from the healthcare industry, including some professionals whose names we cannot yet use but whose involvement would be an immense contribution to any project. We are at prototype stage in terms of our patient-facing product: we can create a GIF for any set of instructions. However, our goal is to adapt our technology to fit into future EMR systems at our partners' hospitals, so we could easily scale across large caregiver networks.
Creator: Roy Cohen
Education: Cornell Tech
Bio: Roy Cohen is a Master's of Information Systems student at Cornell Tech and a 2017 STEM Media fellow at the National Science Foundation. During his first year at Cornell Tech, Roy co-founded Ursa Technologies, which specializes in transcribing and synthesizing qualitative data. He is a producer and director of documentary film; his award winning film about artificial intelligence, "Machine of Human Dreams" (2016) was selected for dozens of festivals and sold to 12 TV stations worldwide. Roy has a B.A. in Neuroscience from Harvard University, and is passionate about effective and inclusive communication in the tech community.
Advanced Degree(s): M.Sc candidate
Student, M.Sc. Information Systems
Biography: I'm a dual masters candidate at Cornell Tech & Technion studying computer science as it pertains to health technologies. I'm currently taking coursework and pursuing projects at the intersection of digital health and information systems. I previously worked as a healthcare consultant leveraging data analytics for payers and providers and at a digital health accelerator.
Advanced Degree(s): M.Sc. Information Systems
Our product is primarily about patient engagement. All the monetary and systematic benefits would be a result of successful patient engagement. We want to engage patients with easy to read text, which we immediately create from the original release instructions. And we want to engage them with compelling visuals from a library that we will start to create once funding becomes avaialble. Right now, we are testing our proudct with images from the creative commons and with text generated from open APIs, and we are seeing amazing results. It is patient engagement that got us started, and it is what we will always aim for moving forward.
Physicians understand more than anyone that good release instructions are crucial. But when will they ever find the time to write and illustrate their instructions so that every patient could easily understand them? That's where we offer a solution!
Hospitals and insurance companies spend more than $40 billion a year on hospital readmissions. It has already been established that a large part of readmissions owes to patients not understanding the release instructions given to them. BitHealth aims to mitigate that problem by providing hospitals with a tool that is easy for nurses and doctors to use -- and easy for patients to read and follow.
Key Milestones Achieved and Planned
In our first six months, we have already managed to creat BitHealth stories for two clinical cases. We have found keen partners at two internationally renowned hospitals. We are now working with legal experts to tackle some of the complicated questions in incorporating our product into doctors' practices. In the next six months we expect to pilot the product at selected clinics, and to continue marketing efforts in the United States.
Our Competitive Advantages
At the moment, we are aware of three other teams working on similar solutions. Two of these teams are in academia, and their timeline for product launch seems much longer than ours. The third team we are aware of is focusing on video, as opposed to still-image-based GIFs; we aim for a more diverse group of customers. We believe we are ahead than our competition in tackling the legal questions involved in bespoke patient education, a crucial aspect for a company that is truly looking to scale.
Barriers to Entry
Traction, Funding and Partners
We have partnered with clinicians who are eager to test our product and potentially lobby to incorporate into their hospitals' systems: Dr Heather Yeo at Weill-Cornell and Dr Nathalie Bloch at Sheba Hospitl.
Really love this idea especially since many patients comprehend information differently. Also, kudos on answering how your product intends to help patients. It should always be first & foremost!
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