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Dominique's Desk: Creating community

Christina Hernandez Sherwood, eMed Editor, MedCity News

Solving problems in healthcare isn’t easy, especially given the complexity of the space and the diversity of the stakeholders. Creating communities of engaged stakeholders around a common problem can be a powerful approach to prototyping, testing, and deploying solutions. That’s because these communities bring together people from multiple disciplines and perspectives.


H@cking Medicine, for instance, connects Boston-area physicians, engineers, businesspeople, designers, computer science students, and others to brainstorm solutions around areas with high unmet needs. Through events, such as hackathons with Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital, and resources, including a compilation of health data, H@cking Medicine works to disrupt medicine. The collaborative has given way to a number of healthcare startups, including Smart Scheduling and Pill Pack.


The movement can grow and become even more powerful when it involves institutions that provide care, payers, community leaders, and patients and their families. (H@cking Medicine, for instance, works in partnership with Massachusetts General Hospital.) My hope is that these types of collaborative, community-based approaches become even more common going forward.


(On a related note, the Kauffman Foundation will be releasing an intellectual property playbook at Partnering for Cures providing guidance on how to structure multi-stakeholder collaborations and on topics including attribution models and data standards. Stay tuned!)




Dominique Pahud

Director of Innovation and Networks

Kauffman Foundation

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