Four research projects in Health Informatics will be funded as part of the Office of Research’s first Jumpstart process.
In November, Jumpstart brought together faculty from across the University for two days of brainstorming and collaboration. The emphasis was on connecting faculty that had never worked together, said Dr. Michele Marcolongo, Senior Associate Vice Provost for Translational Research. Drexel was the first university in the country to try Jumpstart, which models the National Science Foundation’s Ideas Lab.
“Great discoveries happen at the interface of disciplines,” Dr. Marcolongo said. “We wanted to facilitate that opportunity.”
Dr. Prudence Dalrymple said the interdisciplinary nature of Jumpstart was key to its success.
“I continually heard people say they met people they never would have otherwise met,” said Dr. Dalrymple, Director of the Institute for Healthcare Informatics at Drexel.
About 30 faculty, chosen in a competitive process, met for two days of interactive, free-flowing workshops on the topic of Health Informatics. Jumpstart was facilitated by Knowinnovation.
Health Informatics was selected as the focus for several reasons, including the potential of leveraging the expertise at Drexel, the University’s location in an area of medical and pharmaceutical excellence and the increasing importance of harnessing the power of electronic medical records, which are required to be in use by 2015.
“We will finally have data about the healthcare system,” Dr. Dalrymple said. “We need to know what to do with all that data.” Dr. Kenny J. Simansky has a unique perspective on informatics from his position as Vice Dean for Research in the College of Medicine.
“Nationally and internationally, a broad consensus has emerged that we must understand the vast sets of data related to delivering healthcare, assessing outcomes of treatments, and preventing disease in the first place,” Dr. Simansky said. “Creative, thoughtful analyses of these data promise to lessen the disease burden on our citizens, decrease the costs of prevention and therapeutics, and identify paths to new drugs, devices, methods of clinical care, and public health interventions.”
“Jumpstart is Drexel announcing we intend to be a major player in this effort,” Dr. Simansky said.
Dr. Marcolongo said the Office of Research hopes Jumpstart participants will become the community that continues to drive Health Informatics at Drexel. Descriptions for the inter-disciplinary research projects were submitted to the Office of Research following Jumpstart. The following projects will receive up to $50,000 in seed funding.
“Computational Algorithms for Data Quality Control in Electronic Medical Record Systems” by Yuan An, Assistant Professor in the College of Information Science and Technology, Edgar Chou, Clinical Informatics Chief in the College of Medicine, Longjian Liu, Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health in the Department of Epidemiology in the School of Public Health and Tony Hu, a Professor in the College of Information Science and Technology and founding co-director of the National Science Foundation’s Center for Visual and Decision Informatics.
“Mapping the Biomedical Informatics of a Hospital Over Time: A Geographic Information System to Track Nosocomial Infections within a complete biomedical informatics context” by Uri Hershberg, Assistant Professor in the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science & Health Systems, Gail Rosen, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Yasha Kresh, Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science & Health Systems, Ole Vielemeyer, Assistant Professor in the College of Medicine and Eugenia Ellis, Associate Professor in the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design.
“The Financial Impact of Electronic Medical Records” by Michael Howley, Associate Clinical Professor in the LeBow College of Business, Howard Miller, Professor of Medicine and Vice Dean of Clinical Affairs in the College of Medicine, VK Narayanan, Stubbs Professor and Associate Dean for Research in the LeBow College of Business, Edgar Chou, Clinical Informatics Chief in the College of Medicine, Jeffrey Eberly, Associate Dean for Operations and Chief Financial Officer in the College of Medicine and Nancy Hansen, Clinical Informatics Manager in the College of Medicine.
“Interdisciplinary Studies of the Impact of Information Diffusion on Prescribing Behaviors: A Complex Adaptive Systems Approach” by Leonard Samuels, Attending Physician and Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine in the College of Medicine, Chaomei Chen, College of Information Science and Technology, Ani Hsieh, Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering & Mechanics Department, Lucy Robinson, Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health and Jian-Min Yuan, Professor in the Department of Physics.
“Jumpstart was very successful,” said Dr. Deborah Crawford, Vice Provost for Research. “Congratulations to the faculty that will have their projects funded. We look forward to their work.”