Docs & Hackers Meet-Talk About Mental Health, Diabetes ‘Apps’

A group of physicians and tech leaders meet about once a month at a Harvard Medical School Center for Primary Care event to brainstorm ideas on technology like new mobile apps and discuss tech start-ups that can make a positive impact on patient outcomes.

One doctor who works at a woman’s hospital created a text-based chat board for type 1 diabetes so patients can text the service as well as track their glucose via their phone, a tool that also allows the patient to speak with a “bot” to ask about their daily sugar levels.

Several ideas emerged this month: An app that can monitor your breathing to help stop infant sudden-death syndrome,  a phone-based appointment scheduler using “bots” not receptionists, and chat bots to give access to those with mental illness, important given the shortage of clinicians interacting with patients. Mobile apps like talkspace are connecting a therapist with a patient over text conversation on their phone.

Elizabeth Lamont, MD, attended the gathering. She founded a company to help people with dementia. For physicians like Lamont, these sessions are a way to test ideas and engage with software developers.

-Report from Erin O’Donnell




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