36 episodes

Health Tech is a GeekWire podcast that explores the cutting edge of digital health. On each episode, we bring you stories about innovative technologies for patients, doctors and more, giving you a window into the future of health. Our third season is sponsored by Premera Blue Cross. Learn more about Premera here: http://bit.ly/2rSK8mT

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Health Tech is a GeekWire podcast that explores the cutting edge of digital health. On each episode, we bring you stories about innovative technologies for patients, doctors and more, giving you a window into the future of health. Our third season is sponsored by Premera Blue Cross. Learn more about Premera here: http://bit.ly/2rSK8mT

    COVID-19 and the future of health tech

    COVID-19 and the future of health tech

    Much of the current focus in health care is rightly on the near-term challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. But beyond the current crisis, health care technology veterans are already seeing major changes that promise to become permanent realities -- from the sudden boom in telemedicine, to regulatory shifts impacting health care billing, to the use of location data to track the disease.

    "Most interesting is what's going to happen when this is over," says Anne Weiler, the co-founder and former CEO of Seattle health tech startup Wellpepper, recently acquired by Caravan Health. "I don't think people are going to be satisfied with going back to the status quo, because these other things are now working."

    "I think these regulatory changes represent a big shift in how health care will be delivered beyond 2020," adds Nirav Shah, CEO of Sentinel Healthcare, a neurologist and the former stroke director at Swedish Hospital in Seattle. Sentinel recently launched a real-time fever tracking app for COVID-19 cases, and today announced that UT Health Austin will roll out its quarantine management program.

    But it will be key to deliver solutions that actually work for front-line health care workers, says Doug Cusick, CEO of Seattle startup TransformativeMed, which is offering its electronic record keeping application to screen COVID-19 patients, monitor symptom checklists, and track lab results and other data.

    "Look to technology to solve problems, but don't forget about these poor clinicians who've been left out in the process," Cusick explains. "The view has to be into solving these big communication and collaboration problems, which will enable so much else to work across our ecosystem."

    We introduced these health tech leaders recently and brought them together for a conversation about the COVID-19 crisis. The conversation quickly turned to the long-term implications for hospitals, clinicians, startups, patients and health technology.

    As a bonus, here are some of Anne Weiler's recommended Twitter accounts to follow, which she alluded to during the show.

    • 34 min
    The Quest for Masks

    The Quest for Masks

    On this episode:FindTheMasks.com,GetUsPPE.org and Masks 4 WA.

    The coronavirus outbreak in Washington state has not yet reached the "peak" some public health officials anticipate but already ICU physicians like Mike Holmes are grappling with a dearth of necessary supplies.

    Holmes described an "extreme shortage" of masks he and his colleagues at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle need to treat COVID-19 patients. "We are now reusing single-use masks over and over and over again," he said.

    It's a challenge facing healthcare workers across Washington, who are asking the general public to donate any personal protective equipment (PPE) they have. Though Washington is receiving some supplies from the federal stockpile of protective equipment, people on the front lines of the crisis say it is not enough.

    But long before Washington became a hotspot for COVID-19, it was an epicenter of innovation, home to Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing, and hundreds of tech startups known for creative problem-solving. Many of those innovators are now stepping up to find ways around supply chain challenges and the global shortage of protective gear for healthcare providers. GeekWire's Monica Nickelsburg joins us with the story on this special episode of the GeekWire Health Tech Podcast.


    • 14 min
    AI vs. Coronavirus

    AI vs. Coronavirus

    A consortium of tech leaders — including Seattle’s Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence and Microsoft — today unveiled an AI-enabled database that’s meant to give researchers quicker, surer access to resources relating to coronavirus and how to stop it. GeekWire science editor Alan Boyle explains the initiative on this special episode of the GeekWire Health Tech Podcast.Read his story here.

    • 12 min
    Coronavirus and the future of vaccines

    Coronavirus and the future of vaccines

    A new generation of cutting-edge vaccines could dramatically accelerate the global response to future outbreaks such as the current coronavirus epidemic. On a special episode of GeekWire's Health Tech Podcast, we go behind the scenes with two University of Washington scientists pursuing these vaccine breakthroughs. Dr. Deborah Fuller is a professor of microbiology and a vaccinologist at the University of Washington School of Medicine, and Dr. Jesse Erasmus, a molecular virologist working on new RNA vaccine and therapeutic technologies.

    • 39 min
    New Fred Hutch President, Dr. Thomas Lynch

    New Fred Hutch President, Dr. Thomas Lynch

    Dr. Thomas Lynch is in his first week as the new leader of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, but he already has a four-point plan to help guide the Seattle-based institute in its quest to treat and ultimately cure cancer.

    Given his new home, in the middle of one of the country's hottest tech hubs, it's no coincidence that one of those points heavily involves on the technology industry.

    "The intersection between tech and data and science is something we are really well-poised to be able to understand and exploit here in the Seattle ecosystem," Lynch said in an interview with GeekWire this week. He cited the quest to "look at very large data sets of electronic medical records, genomic data, proteomic data, and begin to understand who gets cancer, and why do they get it."

    Fred Hutch currently collaborates with Amazon to mine and decode medical records using artificial intelligence, and reduce the processing time needed to analyz the microbiome. It also partners with Microsoft on a Pacific Northwest data discovery program, and a new $40 million initiative to address global health challenges with AI. A collaboration with Pattern Computer for analyzing genetic variations is an example of the institute's work with smaller tech companies.

    Dr. Lynch, a veteran physician and scientist, is the sixth president in the 44-year history of the Seattle-based cancer research institution, which employs more than 3,000 people and is ranked first in National Institutes of Health funding among all U.S. independent research centers. 

    He’s a scientist and oncologist who was part of the first research team to discover how targeted therapies could help lung cancer patients with a specific genetic mutation. Lynch was most recently chief scientific officer of Bristol-Myers Squibb. Prior to that he held leadership roles as CEO of Massachusetts General Physicians Organization, director of the Yale Cancer Center, physician-in-chief at Yale’s Smilow Cancer Hospital, chief of hematology-oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

    • 34 min
    Scientists pursue new genetic insights for health

    Scientists pursue new genetic insights for health

    It has been nearly two decades since scientists accomplished the first complete sequencing of the human genome. This historic moment gave us an unprecedented view of human DNA, the genetic code that determines everything from our eye color to our chance of disease, unlocking some of the biggest mysteries of human life.

    Twenty years later, despite the prevalence of genetic sequencing, considerable work remains to fulfill the promise of these advances to alleviate and cure human illness and disease.

    Scientists and researchers are “actually extremely good at reading genomes, but we're very, very bad at understanding what we're reading,” says Lea Starita, co-director of Brotman Baty Institute for Precision Medicine’s Advanced Technology Lab, and Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington.

    But that is changing thanks to new tools and approaches, including one called Deep Mutational Scanning. This powerful technique for determining genetic variants is generating widespread interest in the field of genetics and personalized medicine, and it’s the subject of a symposium and workshop on Jan. 13 and 14, 2020, at the University of Washington.

    “I think approaches like Deep Mutational Scanning will eventually allow us to make better countermeasures, both vaccines and drugs that will help us combat even these viruses that are changing very rapidly” said Jesse Bloom, an evolutionary and computational biologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the University of Washington Department of Genome Sciences.

    Bloom, who researches the evolution of viruses, will deliver the keynote at the symposium, held by the Brotman Baty Institute and the Center for the Multiplex Assessment of Phenotype.

    On this episode of the GeekWire Health Tech Podcast, we get a preview and a deeper understanding of Deep Mutational Scanning from Bloom and Starita.

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

Ahoog69 ,

Optimistically Eye Opening

Well produced and very fascinating. I just wish the episodes would come more frequently!

luvfromabuv ,

Great Podcast

I just started listening today and already impressed. Very simple explanations for complicated topics (i.e., healthcare system, CAT-S, etc). Good for folks who are new to these topics and just want basic understanding. The host is great at keeping it simple.

Maui Doc ,

Amazon “fixing” healthcare

This podcast’s host sounds like someone who I has never played tennis doing commentary at Wimbledon. Unless you are a novice in healthcare, this is not valuable.

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