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COVID-19 response and innovation at University of Washington Medicine. Plus, a call-to-action for medical technology entrepreneurs :: with Danica Little, Dimitry Levin, and Dr. Robert Sweet

In this episode of Ventures we look at the response to COVID-19 by teams involved with emergency preparedness and innovation at University of Washington (UW) Medicine in Seattle. We also discuss the need and options available for startups to collaborate with UW Medicine to help - not only with COVID-19 relief - but with general medtech and telehealth innovation to provide better care for patients in a post-COVID-19 world.

You can watch this episode below or listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.

My guests this week are Danica Little (Director of Preparedness at UW Medicine, https://www.linkedin.com/in/danica-little-mha-6b998a2b/), Dmitry Levin (see below for is current three roles: https://cardiology.uw.edu/research/center-cardiovascular-innovation-ccvi), and Dr. Robert Sweet (Urology professor and doctor, Executive Director of WISH - WWAMI Institute for Simulation in Healthcare - https://www.washington.edu/urology/people/robert-sweet/)  

2:38 - Danica intro, Director of Preparedness at UW Medicine

3:56 - Rob intro, Executive Director of WISH (WWAMI Institute for Simulation in Healthcare), Professor and Medical Director of Kidney Stone Programs

5:20 - Dimitri intro; he runs the Center for Cardiovascular Innovation (CCVI), the Center for Multidimensional Medicine, and chairs the innovations committee responding to COVID-19 at UW Medicine.    

6:29 - How did Danica and UW Medicine first respond/act upon the news that COVID-19 was going to be a serious threat in the US?

15:50 - What was information flow like to Danica and her team in the early days? How reliable was it?

18:29 - What was the story of Rob getting involved with the innovation response at UW?

24:08 - How was Rob and his team able to organize themselves so quickly to rapidly prototype new innovations at the beginning of the pandemic?

27:50 - What was Dimitri’s story of getting involved in the innovation group?

31:47 - Rob explains on how they focused the group on rapid prototyping and small-scale manufacturing

32:50 - How was the innovation team identifying the problems to address and what products to focus their work on?

38:48 - How did collaboration across campus and UW medicine in particular work?

40:14 - Dimitri comments more specifically about how the innovation team was able to move so fast to innovate.

42:07 - Danica giving a shout-out to the team’s willingness to put out PPE specs as open source to help out other medical systems.

43:20 - Rob commenting about their collaboration with Cornell in NYC.

44:26 - Danica commenting about the burn rate at the height (in April) of going through 3000 gowns per day.

45:00 - What specifically was open sourced?

47:20 - Did the innovation team focus on anything electrical?

49:50 - How the team served as a catalyst to help other innovation groups

50:17 - Danica commenting on the relationship with Microsoft to build reporting systems.

53:38 - What sort of things are Danica and her team focusing on moving into the fall and winter?

55:47 - Rob & Danica commenting on the future of telehealth, the needs today, and reimbursement details.

1:00:50 - Dimitri commenting on pre-procedural models in XR, which is another layer to the telehealth space.

1:01:57 - What telehealth platforms are clinicians at UW medicine using? How do external companies become approved? How is UW responding to new innovation in the overall market?

1:03:30 - How can Medical Assistants, Physician Assistants, interns, and new equipment/devices be a part of the future of telehealth?

1:05:10 - Brief comments regarding the science of the virus as it relates to urology and cardiology.

1:08:35 - Rob plugging the need and opportunity for external teams to partner with the simulation training center and innovation groups at the University of Washington.  

1:09:37 - What types of simulation opportunities and scenarios are available?

1:11:55 - Dimitri commenting on device development and putting them in tissue models with realistic disease patterns for testing.

1:13:58 - Rob commenting on a grant they won recently regarding direct 3D-print soft materials with electronic sensors embedded.  

1:15:00 - Final comments from Danica regarding the need for an integrated notification system for emergency responses

1:18:00 - Final comments from Rob regarding the need and desire for an industry partner to collaborate with UW medicine to bring new technology to market.

1:19:26 - Final comments from Dimitri regarding the need to connect with more people with ideas and/or investment resources to help innovate to provide even better care for patients.