2017 Symposium: Engineering & Entrepreneurship: Innovation in Healthcare

Wednesday, Oct. 11th, 9:00am - 3:00pm

Harvard Business School
Spangler Auditorium, HBS
Soldiers Field Rd
Boston, MA 02163

Join CRCS for the third in our annual series on Engineering and Entrepreneurship. This year’s symposium will be on the subject of Innovation in Healthcare. It is presented as part of Boston’s week-long Hubweek event, in conjunction with the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Harvard Business School. Participants will enjoy a Harvard Business School case study and lightning talks by experts in fields such as digital health, precision medicine, and technology & management. The symposium will culminate in a trip to the Harvard Innovation Lab (i-lab), a collaborative educational space designed to foster entrepreneurship and innovation across Harvard, where students and other members of the Harvard community add to Boston’s wealth of visionary research.

Please register here.



8:00-- 9:00 am Registration & Breakfast

9:00 – 9:15 am Welcome by Profs. Margo Seltzer (SEAS) and Rob Huckman (HBS)

9:15 – 10:35 am 4 Ted-style talks

Maurice Smith, Gordon McKay Professor of Bioengineering, SEAS
"Using motor control theory to understand neurologic disease"
Despite dramatic advances in genetics and brain imaging, the role that different regions of the brain play in generating actions is still beyond our understanding. Much of what we do know comes from analysis of the dysfunction caused by neurologic disease. I will discuss recent advances in understanding the neural basis of motor function that have been achieved by combining engineering-based theories of motor control with studies of Alzheimer’s disease and cerebellar atrophy.
Leslie John, Assistant Professor of Business Administration, Negotiations, Organizations, and Markets, HBS
"Getting Healthy: A Behavioral Scientific Approach"
Individual behavior plays a substantial role in many of the worst health problems plaguing the U.S. and beyond. Despite it being well-known that the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers can be reduced by engaging in healthier behavior, negative behaviors (sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating, smoking, and drinking) persist. Behavioral science to the rescue. This talk will outline general principles and specific research-backed examples to illustrate how behavioral science can help people to change their behavior for the better.
Barbara J. Grosz, Higgins Professor of Natural Sciences, SEAS
"Designing Systems for Health-Care Provider-Patient Partnerships"
Technology able to effectively support teamwork has the potential to significantly improve the health-care of patients with complex health conditions who get care from a large, diverse team of caregivers. Although the use of integrated team-based care plans has been shown to improve care coordination for complex-care patients, such plans are rarely deployed effectively in practice and current health information technologies do not provide adequate support for doing so. My research program addresses the challenges of building AI-enabled computer systems smart enough to work effectively with people, in groups as well as individually. In this talk, I will describe our research on methods for effective information sharing for loosely coupled teamwork, which is a major challenge for plan-based complex-care coordination, showing how prior work on computational models of collaboration can inform the design of systems to support provider-patient partnerships in care.
Cynthia Dwork, Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science, SEAS
"Why Not Why"
As automated and “programmatic” decisions increasingly affect many aspects of our lives, calls for “interpretability” have multiplied apace. We explore some possible interpretations of “interpretability.” What is really being asked for? Can we distinguish the uninterpretable from the interpretable? Is the concept mathematically meaningful?

10:35 – 10:50 am Break

10:50 – 12:00 pm Case Study

12:00 – 1:00 pm Lunch, Williams Room, HBS

1:00 – 2:00 pm 3 Ted-style talks

Conor Walsh, John L. Loeb Associate Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences
"Soft wearable robots: a chance to connect the clinic with the community"
Abstract: This talk will briefly given an overview of next generation soft wearable robots in development at Harvard that use softmaterials such as textiles and elastomers to provide a more conformal, unobtrusive and compliant means to interface to the human body. Examples will be given for robots to assist with mobility for patients with limited walking capacity (e.g. patients poststroke, with Parkinson's Disease or the elderly) as well as grasping for those unable to perform activities of daily living (e.g. patients with muscular dystrophy or spinal cord injury). These technologies hold the promise for allowing patients to begin therapy in a clinic and then bring it home and continue therapy on a daily basis as they went about their day to day activities in the community. These devices can also include sensors that enable a therapist to remotely monitor the patient and collect data to provide feedback on their progress.
Robert D. Howe. Abbott and James Lawrence Professor of Engineering, SEAS
"Technology for Equitable and Accessible Medicine"
A team of researchers at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences is working to develop new approaches to delivering healthcare; to formulate creative, equitable solutions to healthcare problems for the benefit of all members of society; and to enhance access to quality healthcare. By integrating Harvard’s strengths in technology, medicine, and life sciences, we aim to develop innovative approaches to healthcare that improve the lives of patients.
Karim R. Lakhani is Professor of Business Administration, HBS
Should we go to the crowd first? Lessons from running crowd contests in life sciences
Over the last decade crowd-based models of innovation have been shown to be highly complementary to a range of academic and industrial algorithmic and scientific problems. The work of the Crowd Innovation Lab | NASA Tournament Lab at Harvard University has shown that crowd-driven solutions for algorithmic challenges in computational biology, image analysis and space sciences routinely outperform internally developed solutions from elite organizations. The talk will review the results, provide a systematic framework for understanding the place of crowd contests within academic life science research programs

2:00 – 2:15 pm Break

2:15 – 3:00 pm Closing remarks by Deans Nitin Nohria (HBS) and Francis Doyle (SEAS), Spangler Auditorium, HBS