Technology to Connect and Empower Caretakers


Our January 19 Women Leaders in Conversation topic was Technology to Connect and Empower Caretakers with Geetha Rao, PhD, Springborne Life Sciences; Vice President of Strategy and Risk Management, Triple Ring Technologies.
Serial entrepreneur, community activist, and ground-breaking, business-minded technologist Dr. Geetha Rao candidly shared her career path, from civil engineering to medical device entrepreneurship, from safety and risk management to business management and outreach. A thread of her career is centered around better serving people, patients and caregivers, through the use of technology. Over the past 15 years in the medical device industry, she has seen how technologies have better served doctors, surgeons and hospital administrators than they have providers like nurses and lay-caregivers. But innovations in medical device technologies, advancements in IT, networking and software, the rising costs of healthcare and other factors have shifted the focus from the high-investment, high-stake, treatment intensive care of the very ill to a wider, broader treatment of the less ill, with a broader impact on the overall health of a community.
But much has to be done to facilitate this happening, including the following:
• A broader and deeper collaboration between entrepreneurial innovators and the larger companies such as the Baxters, Medtronics and J&Js out there with the markets and channels and resources to package, manufacturing and distribute these innovations into market which would welcome them.
• More collaboration between software IT giants such as the Intels and Qualcomms out there and healthcare companies so we can leverage the software, database, and networking advances in the high tech space and apply it for healthcare needs.
• A balance between privacy and information access and policy to support that balance so that it’s predictable for all parties.
• A collaboration between patients, caregivers, providers, hospitals, government and all other stakeholders, to help facilitate an electronic health care standard which is adopted, accepted and implemented as an integral part of the health care system.
Geetha mentioned the following resources which are supporting patients and caregivers in encouraging this shift toward lower-cost, more effective treatment of the masses:
• Entrepreneurial events that facilitate conversation and bring people in community:
o Bio2Device Group,
o Astia and
o FountainBlue
• Contract research and innovation lab Triple Ring Technologies Attend their monthly MedTech Frontier series to find out more about this Newark-based organization.
• Patient community resources which connect patients and encourages the sharing of information and resources and facilitates collaborative and proactive action.
o Patients Like Me
PatientsLikeMe is committed to putting patients first. We do this by providing a better, more effective way for you to share your real-world health experiences in order to help yourself, other patients like you and organizations that focus on your conditions.
o CureTogether
The smarter way to find the best treatments. Get access to millions of ratings comparing the real-world
performance of treatments across 590 health conditions.
o Everyday Heath is a leading provider of online health information. We’re here to help you manage your own and your family’s conditions and overall well-being through personalized advice, tools, and communities. We’re committed to bringing you the most credible and relevant health information available online, and to giving you the best possible user experience. Our information is easy to understand and incorporate into your life every day.
o WebMD
WebMD provides valuable health information, tools for managing your health, and support to those who seek information. You can trust that our content is timely and credible.
The bottom line is that there has been a lot of movement over the last decade in enabling technology to empower patients and caregivers alike. And patients and caregivers will play a critical role in ensuring that they get continued access to technology advancements that could help in their diagnostic, treatment, and management of care for themselves and those they care for.

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