Your first job as an innovator is to persuade your colleagues that playing it safe is the riskiest strategy of all, says Bill Taylor, Fast Company’s cofounder and founding editor. During his keynote address, “A Practically Radical Prescription for Health Care,” Taylor urged health care innovators to embrace change and look broadly to other fields–even the circus–for lessons.
He invoked what George Carlin called “vuja de”: The opposite of deja vu, it’s seeing a familiar thing in new way. “We learn and grow the most when we meet with people unlike us,” Taylor said.
Ask yourself, “What are we offering that is hard to come by?” Fill a need before other organizations even see it. It may be hidden in plain sight. Here’s Taylor’s talk in full:
From a series on researchers and innovators at Boston Children’s Hospital
Improbable as it sounds, autism researcher Susan Faja, PhD, likens her job to improv. “I really like Tina Fey’s description of her days as an improv comedian,” says Faja, who joined Boston Children’s Hospital’s Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience in July 2014 as a research associate. “In improv, you have to say ‘yes’ to the lead handed to you by your partner and then add an ‘and’ with your own contribution. My research approach is similar. Understanding how a particular neural system is working provides a starting point. Designing a targeted intervention starting at that point is like saying, ‘yes, and…’”
Like an improv routine where new elements keep getting added, Faja loves to investigate how brain and behavior and research and clinical application can be combined. Currently, she is examining whether computer training can change brain responses and behavior in children with autism spectrum disorder.
She first investigates how neural responses correlate to symptoms of autism and then tests a targeted training, using electrophysiology to understand which aspects of brain and behavior it changes. Her work was recently recognized by the National Institutes of Health Career Development Award. Full story »
Inspiration for pediatric innovation is everywhere—from hackathons to waiting rooms to research labs—but getting from concept to clinic is a challenge. This panel discussion offers observations, insights and strategies for success in pediatric health, from drug development to caregiver support:
This post is first in a series of profiles of researchers and innovators at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Martha Murray, Braden Fleming and their children in San Francisco.
“I’d like to meet the innovator who made the tricorder that Bones used on Star Trek,” says orthopedic surgeon Martha Murray, MD. “A push of the button and things healed, no muss, no fuss. I’d like to know how he or she made that work because I could really use one.”
Murray has been on a 30-year quest to devise a better way to treat anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears. She recently crossed a major milestone: The Food and Drug Administration approved a first-in-human safety trial of a bio-enhanced ACL repair that encourages the ligament to heal itself. Murray expects the first patients to enroll in the 20-patient trial by early 2015. We had a few questions for her.
Last week, Boston Children’s Hospital’s Innovation Acceleration Program hosted a jam-packed Innovators’ Showcase where teams from around the hospital networked, traded ideas and showed off their projects. Here are a few Vector thinks are worth watching.
1. An imaging ‘biomarker’ after concussion
Thirty percent of people who suffer a mild traumatic brain injury—a.k.a. concussion—have ongoing symptoms that can last months or years. If patients at risk could be identified, they could receive early interventions such as brain cooling and anti-seizure medications. New MRI protocols that can measure free, non-directional diffusion of water, coupled with sophisticated analytics, are achieving unprecedented pictures of what happens inside the brain after injury. Full story »
2013 saw an accelerated crumbling of borders and boundaries in health care, fueled by technological and scientific advances. Boundaries between high-tech Western medicine and global health practices have begun blurring in interesting ways, as are those between home and hospital, patient and doctor and even a patient’s own body and the treatment used for her disease.
Vector has been deliberating about its predictions for 2013, consulting its many informants. Here’s where we’re putting our money this year; if you have other ideas, scroll to the bottom and let us know.
Genome sequencing scaling up at health care institutions
Last year we predicted genome sequencing’s entry into the clinic; this could be the year it goes viral. Technology companies with ever-faster sequencers and academic medical centers are teaming up at a brisk pace to offer genomic tests to patients. Just in the past two weeks, a deal was announced between The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and BGI-Shenzhen to sequence pediatric brain tumors; Partners HealthCare and Illumina Inc. announced a network of genomic testing laboratories; Full story »
At this Thanksgiving, we’d like to pause in appreciation of our researchers and innovators who work hard to find answers and build better lives for patients. We extend an equal thanks to the foundations, donors, investors, companies—and you, the public—who support their work.
Not everything we discuss here on Vector makes a big public splash. Most of these discoveries won’t bring a clinician or scientist fame or fortune. Nonetheless, these projects matter.
Among many, many efforts at Boston Children’s, we’re thankful: Full story »