At a conference & in the moment

On the morning of Oct. 3, the ballroom of the Blackwell at Ohio State University was filled with an unusual sight—professionals sitting relaxed, eyes closed, inhaling slowly, arms rising over their heads.

Maryanna Klatt, Associate Professor of Clinical Family Medicine and Associate Director of Education at the Center for Integrative Health and Wellness at Ohio State, led attendees at the Personalized Health Care Conference in a series of exercises designed to increase mindfulness.

Klatt’s exercises followed her talk emphasizing the impact of everyday stress on our lives and health. The problem with stress is that not releasing it has physiological consequences that sabotage health and cost lots of money, she said.

Mindfulness means paying purposeful and nonjudgmental attention to your present surroundings—living in the moment and paying attention to it while you’re there. Mindfulness techniques can be used to reduce stress, and Klatt wants those techniques to be used in stressful places like at work.

While we all know the tenets of good health—eat right, get enough sleep and maintain a meaningful social community—these behaviors are often what we avoid when we are stressed.

“You can’t change anything unless you’re aware of it first,” Klatt said. She recommends recognizing what you normally do when stressed and what helps you relax. Then, mindfulness techniques can provide strategies to help deal with stress in a more productive manner.

Klatt has tailored some of these mindfulness practices to the Ohio State workplace in Mindfulness in Motion, a program through the Center for Integrative Medicine that guides busy adults in stress reduction through meditation, yoga and community support.

Finding the solution to stress often involves walking through it together, Klatt concluded. While we may not be able to change our stressors, we do have the power to change our reactions to them.

By April Gocha, PhD

Converging on healthcare solutions

Convergence—the act of coming together from different directions—was the theme of panel discussions at the Personalized Health Care Conference at Ohio State on Oct. 2.

Panels included a wide range of accomplished individuals from an even wider range of backgrounds, including: Harlan Kleiman, an investment banker, one of the creators of MTV and Nickelodeon, and recent cofounder of the Self Health Network; Ronald Sega, a retired Major General in the U.S. Air Force, former NASA astronaut and current Vice President for Energy and the Environment at Colorado State University; and David Snowden, a former director of knowledge management at IBM and current founder and chief scientific officer of Cognitive Edge.

These seemingly disparate individuals put their minds together to converge intelligence on top issues in healthcare, like the ability of distinct fields to solve complex problems, the role of venture capitalism in healthcare advances and how to build productive healthcare ecosystems.

The discussions dovetailed seamlessly with Ohio State’s Discovery Themes initiative to find innovative solutions to today’s biggest problems in three specific areas—health and wellness, food production and security, and energy and the environment. The initiative has committed over $400 million over the next 10 years toward supporting faculty members who blur the lines between fields to tackle these issues.

David Williams, Executive Dean of the Professional Colleges and Dean of the College of Engineering at Ohio State, spoke about the intersection between engineering and medicine to solve the problems of today and beyond. Although the interface between medicine and engineering is “an interesting clash of cultures,” Williams expressed enthusiasm about how engineers can bring a fresh perspective to healthcare problems to initiate innovative solutions.

There is tremendous potential at Ohio State because of its size and research capacity, according to Gregory Wilson, Director of Business Development for Life Sciences at Ohio State’s Technology Commercialization Office. This potential can be translated into innovation, but the challenge is funding these early-stage projects. One solution is increasing collaborations between universities like Ohio State and companies to find innovative solutions to fund healthcare projects.

There are also exciting opportunities for venture capitalists in healthcare, said Sean Lane, a former U.S. Air Force Intelligence Officer and NSA Fellow and current inventor, investor and entrepreneur. Many current healthcare problems focus on data management – problems similar to those that have arisen and been addressed in the intelligence community. These solutions and others like them can cross over to healthcare to provide effective solutions. “It’s an exciting time,” Lane said.

Bob Schwartz, General Manager of Global Design and User Experience at GE Healthcare, left conference attendees with a rousing thought—“Be aspirational.”

By April Gocha, PhD

Technology to your rescue

The solution to your health problems may already be in your pocket.

Chris Anderson, former editor-in-chief of Wired and current CEO of 3DRobotics, spoke Wednesday afternoon at the Personalized Health Care Conference at Ohio State University about how technology is contributing to the future of personalized healthcare.

Anderson honed in on the explosion of personal technologies, such as healthcare monitoring apps for smartphones and devices like Fitbit, that allow users to easily track individual behavior and health. These technologies empower consumers by providing the ability to track health parameters like weight, pulse, exercise, sleeping habits and diet over time.

These technologies are the beginning of an evolving trend to intensely monitor personal health. Numerous such devices are already available, including sophisticated gadgets like wireless body scales that measure weight and body mass index and glucose meters that directly plug into smartphones. Anderson predicts that future devices may reach even further to track more invasive health parameters.

Anderson demonstrated the power of tracking, visualizing and analyzing this information by citing how a friend predicted the return of his mother’s cancer. With the help of wireless scale and weight-tracking software, the friend saw a drop in his mother’s weight that would otherwise have gone unnoticed. A doctor’s visit confirmed his fears that his mother’s cancer had returned—and proved that just measuring and analyzing a noninvasive health parameter can predict disease.

The power of this information lies in correlation. By merging data from behaviors, habits, decisions and biological outputs, we can correlate how each component contributes to complex health issues. This information can then be used to modify behaviors and improve personal health.

Anderson says the biggest problem with this revolution in health information is the ability to meaningfully analyze the vast amounts of data that can be collected by these devices. However, these challenges will continue to be met by improvements in software and programs for data analysis.

By April Gocha, PhD

The Magic of Science and Empathy

The design of health-care environments tends to serve technological needs instead of patient needs, suggests Bob Schwartz of GE Healthcare, speaking at the Personalized Health Care Conference at Ohio State University. But change is on its way.

Click on the link to see the Twitter conversation about his talk.

Integrative Health and Wellness

kemperKathi J Kemper, MD, MPH
Dr. Kemper is the Director of the new Ohio State University Center for Integrative Health and Wellness.

What is integrative care?  How does research in integrative care impact the patient experience?

Integrative care is personalized, participatory, relationship-based care, promoting optimal health. It emphasizes healing of the whole person to achieve each individual’s unique physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and social health goals. The primary therapies used to achieve these goals are healthy habits (nutrition, activity, sleep, mindful self-care and fellowship) in a healthy habitat (social, natural and built environment). Integrative healthcare skillfully uses the best of both conventional and complementary strategies to attain patients’ health goals.

Ohio State University is ranked #12 in NIH National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine research funding. Kemper is passionate about boosting OSU into the top 5. To help achieve this lofty goal, the Center is offering the first Research Awards in Integrative Health and Wellness at IDEA Studio’s personalized health care conference. Conference participants will get to help vote for the research most likely to improve health outcomes in the next 5 years.

Kemper’s own recent research has focused on three areas:

1)    Analysis of the National Health Interview Survey on data about use of complementary therapies by pediatric patients. For children with headaches, and emotional/behavioral health concerns, use of complementary therapies is much more common than the general population. Users nearly always have more than 1 chronic condition and are high users of conventional medical services and products as well as complementary care. A third study in this area examined use of complementary therapies among pregnant and nursing women and found similar rates of use during these critical periods as at other times in women’s lives. Women between the ages of 18 – 65 are the greatest users of complementary care AND they tend to make most health care decisions for their families. Health care institutions may decide it is in their long-term economic interest to provide and market integrative services to women.

2)    Descriptions of pediatric patients who seek integrative care at a tertiary care center. These studies confirmed the epidemiologic data that patients who seek integrative care tend to have multiple co-morbid conditions (5- 8 on average), including mental health concerns. This means that practitioners providing integrative care are faced with the most challenging patients, and they must help coordinate care among multiple specialists – serving as a back-up medical home.

3)    Evaluating the interpersonal effects of meditation. Every parent knows that it’s easier to calm a crying baby if the parent is calm instead of upset. Most meditators know that it’s easier to reach the “zone” when meditating with a group of experienced meditators rather than alone. Through a series of studies, Kemper and her colleagues have established that meditation is good not just for the practitioner, but for those around him or her. In fact, being aware of the fact that someone is meditating is not necessary; even blind exposure to someone who is calm, centered, and compassionate, creates a resonance or mirroring in the central and autonomic nervous systems, as if one “catches” the positive vibes just by being around them. Future research will build on this to determine whether teaching clinicians and informal caregivers these mind-body-spirit techniques can help patients feel better.

Visit the Center for Integrative Health and Wellness for more information.

Big IDEAs!

BigIDEAsBigIDEAs2.jpgBig IDEAs!

We just finished our first Big Ideas for Healthcare competition at the OSU Wexner Medical Center and in my admittedly biased perspective, it was great!! Big IDEAs is a new forum for The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (OSUWMC) faculty, staff and students, and the general Columbus community, to pitch new ideas for healthcare products, services or companies and get immediate feedback from a panel of notable business leaders and healthcare experts.

Pitch Perfect

We had three outstanding pitches that were varied in focus, aspect of innovation and timeline to delivery.

The first pitch was by Tyler Nelson, a biomedical engineering student at OSU (the bar he is functioning at and his commitment to making a difference is compelling – I could barely successfully find my classes at his age). Tyler approached the difficult problem of circular stapling instruments for minimally invasive surgery (surgery without a big incision). The device used today is big and bulky, which makes it hard to advance through the small incision. Tyler and a group of very bright students came up with a stapler that folded up during insertion (navigating the small incision sizes) and then deployed to full size in the organ needing the staples. He is working with Dr. Scott Melvin, MD, director of our minimally invasive surgery program and if successful, could redefine a critical issue for the field.

Following Tyler was Lara McKenzie, PhD. Lara is a faculty member at Nationwide Children’s hospital who also has two year old triplets. Lara’s big idea is a childproof spray nozzle that protects young children from accidentally delivering the contents into their eyes, mouth or skin.  I joked with her that her interest in this was both professional and personal. She wowed the judges and audience with her elegantly simple solution to a big problem for preventable accidents, poisoning and parental stress. This solution could be introduced almost immediately and could fit on virtually any container produced today that has a spray pump.

The last presentation by Mark Byrne, CEO of ProteoSense was one with an amazing opportunity for disruption. This big idea involves a new antibody-based protein sensing device deposited on a transistor that can shave hours off of identifying key answers that may save lives in healthcare. Mark presented flawlessly and created quite a stir with this potential transformational technology.

The Experts Weigh In

Our four expert judges were Mike Hooven, President and CEO of Enable Injections, LLC and medical device expert; Peter Kleinhenz, General Partner, CID Equity Partners, entrepreneur and venture capitalist; Wayne Poll, MD, Founder and CEO of Minimally Invasive Devices, and celebrated entrepreneur; and Ray Shealy, CEO of SafeWhite and Co-Founder/Partner of Founders Factory who provided supportive and critical feedback to each presenter.  Their deliberations were informed, but given the quality of the presentations, they had a difficult time deciding on the best presentation, but ultimately, they decided on Dr. Lara McKenzie, PhD, the winner of our first competition.

Special thanks to Brenda Akins from our IDEA Studio for Healthcare and Design for her leadership in planning and coordinating the event.  The next competition is November 1, 8 am at the Prior Health Sciences Library on the 6th floor. New applications are due Oct 18 and be submitted at Big IDEAs. We hope to see you there and are excited to work with our creative and highly skilled community to celebrate your Big Ideas for Healthcare (twitter #bigideas4health).

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Clay Marsh, MD; Chief Innovation Officer, Executive Director of the IDEA Studio for Health Care at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

Innovators and Google Glass at OSU Wexner Medical Center

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (OSUWMC) has recently gotten a lot of great coverage for the use of Google Glass in a live surgery performed by Dr. Christopher Kaeding, MD, Director Sports Medicine and Lead OSU Team Physician. While this is a very exciting early application of a terrific technology, the real credit for the opportunity rests with Dr. Ismail Nabeel, MD, who is a member of the Google Explorer program. Ismail is an early adopter and has a passion for understanding how technologies like Google Glass can be used to help improve the lives of others. In this application of Google Glass, we used the video chat, Google Hangouts to broadcast the surgery to a group of trainees, who watched the surgery real time and interacted with the surgeon in the Operating Room. This ability to share the process, procedure, and to see through the eyes of the surgeon, created a unique learning opportunity. Untested, but exciting opportunities with the Glass is the ability to call up critical information (from Electronic Medical Records, radiology tests, laboratory tests, etc.) that may help a given patient at the point of contact hands free; the ability to connect immediately with consulting help; the ability to bring family members or trainees from distant sites into the procedure room; and the ability to contribute expertise to distant sites to navigate interventions (perhaps in a military battle field forward position). Like other technologies, innovation is the value that is created, captured and delivered to be valuable to improve the lives of others. We are very fortunate in being the first to test this technology live for the applications outlined above and to have visionary faculty like Dr. Nabeel.

For more information on how OSUWMC is using Google Glass to create the future of medicine:






Created by:
MarshClay1 for web_wm

Clay Marsh, MD; Chief Innovation Officer, Executive Director of the IDEA Studio for Health Care at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center