‘Soft’ exoskeleton gains $2.9 million in DARPA funding

[grow_thumb image=”http://telecareaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/warrior-web-award-1.png” thumb_width=”120″ /]The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering an additional $2.9 million in development funding for its Soft Exosuit currently in prototype. The Wyss exoskeleton concept uses sensors, fabric that mimics muscles and tendons in addition to intuitive controls and a power supply. DARPA has been supporting several levels of research for some years as part of Warrior Web and other initiatives, which your Editors have been following. Exoskeletons in use right now are designed to assist humans in heavy lifting, or (more…)

Harvard Business School + Harvard Medical School = Forum on Healthcare Innovation

Definitely for your weekend perusal, the report issued earlier this month from the first collaboration between HBS and HMS, the Forum on Healthcare Innovation, is derived from the five-panel, two-day conference, ‘Healing Ourselves: Addressing Healthcare’s Innovation Challenge’, held last November at HBS. It centered on ‘Five Imperatives’ :

1. Making Value The Central Objective
2. Promoting Novel Approaches to Process Improvement
3. Making Consumerism Really Work
4. Decentralizing Approaches to Problem Solving
5. Integrating New Approaches Into Established Organizations

Dan Munro’s Forbes article is an excellent summary of a 26 page report. Additional content and videos are available on the Forum’s website. The one certainly worth watching is Clayton Christensen’s as moderator of Panel 4 – Improving the Patient Experience (link) which focused on decentralizing care–pushing care out to consumers via clinics and decentralizing the innovation process. (The Innovator’s Prescription discusses this at length.) What is notable from the initial reading is that no one is discussing ‘technology’, HIT or mobile health specifically or as a panacea–but it is shadowing everything : effectively using patient data, the quality of that data, and ways patients can use information to guide their choices. This doesn’t seem like a single shot effort, so we’ll be watching for Round 2.