BWH President Betsy Nabel welcomes attendees to the second annual Clinical Innovation Day.

The spark of an idea. A handshake. A subtle exchange of business cards. And so it began—“Collisions of Collaboration”—the theme for BWH’s second annual Clinical Innovation Day, hosted by Brigham Innovation Hub and the Brigham Research Institute. The June 14 event brought clinicians, scientists and business leaders together to share ideas for transforming patient care. Sessions explored BWH’s own recent innovations for improving health care delivery, and local start-up companies shared their pioneering products, such as a full-service online pharmacy and patient-monitoring systems. The day culminated with a keynote address and idea pitch session that introduced a captivated audience to objects and apps set to revolutionize how we care for our patients and ourselves. BWH Clinical & Research News shares some of the day’s highlights here. To view additional photos, learn more or submit an innovative idea, visit

BWHers Pitch Their Innovative Ideas

BWH’s Pooja Devendran glances at a program of events.

BWHers are full of ideas when it comes to improving patient care. This was evident during the BWH Idea Lab session, in which eight BWH employees pitched to a panel of four judges for the opportunity to receive funding and feedback to advance their ideas. Each presenter had three minutes to pitch, followed by a three-minute Q&A session by the judges, which included Chris Coburn, vice president of Partners Innovation; Jessica Dudley, MD, chief medical officer for the Brigham and Women’s Physician’s Organization; Cedric Priebe, III, MD, BWH vice president and chief information officer; and keynote speaker David Rose, CEO of Ditto Labs.

Proposals including hand-held language translation devices and cloud-based doctor to-do lists were presented. At the conclusion of the session, three presenters were each awarded $500 to help move their ideas forward.

Jane Brock, PhD, of Pathology, won for her idea to use high-resolution microscopes to quickly detect cancer in fresh biopsy samples, as opposed to the costly tissue preparation process currently in use. Alexandra Golby, MD, of Neurosurgery, proposed creating an inexpensive tablet 3-D sensor device that surgeons could use to map a patient’s brain when preparing for surgery. The NICU’s Stephanie Shine, RN, was awarded for her idea to use Google Glass to give mothers separated from their newborns an intimate opportunity to see, hear and interact with their babies while they are being cared for in the NICU.

From left: Jessica Dudley, Alexandra Golby, Stephanie Shine and Jane Brock

Surprising Brands Innovating Health Care 

You wouldn’t normally see these brands in the same space as paintings of BWH’s past medical leaders,” said Sachin Jain, MD, MBA, chief medical information and innovation officer at Merck & Co., as he introduced representatives from Johnson & Johnson, Philips Healthcare, Walmart and Xerox for the session “Big Industry Brands Innovating Healthcare” in Bornstein Amphitheater. The session focused on how big name brands not usually associated with health care are innovating the industry.

Daniel Stein, MD, MBA, director of Medical & Clinical Services at Walmart, talked about a pilot program in which the company is opening primary care clinics in its retail stores. Citing affordability and access, Stein shared that visits to the clinic cost $40 for the public, and $4 for Walmart employees and their families.

“This panel demonstrates that there is an explosion of energy in the big-brand world, and it’s not just start-ups that are addressing today’s health care issues head-on,” added Jain.

Leaders from Philips Healthcare, Johnson & Johnson, Xerox and Walmart participate in a panel discussion in Bornstein.

Xerox’s presence in the health care space has been paved in the development of wearable devices and camera technology to address challenges in medication adherence, cancer detection and neonatal intensive care. During the session, Johnson & Johnson shared its approach to health care innovation: anticipating consumer desires through surveys and then directing them to products and services that may benefit them.

Joseph Frassica, MD, chief medical informatics officer, chief technology officer and vice president of Philips Healthcare Patient Care and Monitoring Solutions, shared how the company employs “reverse innovation,” namely creating products for the developing world that would likely have an impact globally as well. To address high premature birth mortality in India, for example, Frassica shared how the company has used lighting technology to develop inexpensive infant warmers.