Office of Discovery and Translation Supports Innovations to Improve Healthcare Equity

The University of Minnesota CTSI’s Office of Discovery and Translation (ODAT) aims to improve Minnesota’s healthcare accessibility and equity. ODAT has been partnering with local physicians and researchers to support the development of new medical and technical advancements to service and reduce healthcare disparities due to various factors including geographic location, race, gender, disability, socioeconomic status, and sexual identity and orientation. By designing products that meet the needs of all, the goal is to reduce the healthcare disparities marginalized communities face.

Some physicians and researchers in the Department of Pediatrics including Michael Pitt, MD, Gwenyth Fischer, MD, Tina Slusher, MD, Ashley Bjorklund, MD, Matthew Ambrose, MD, and Michelle Rheault, MD, have all collaboratively contributed projects used locally and internationally to improve healthcare access. Dr. Pitt and research colleagues, aiming to improve healthcare access barriers in Minnesota, used the funding to advance the development of the Q-rounds software tool. This tool could be applied to improve healthcare and hospital rounding procedures for the providers, patients, and families. 

Looking more at low-resource settings both locally and globally, multiple projects were supported by Dr. Fischer and the Pediatric Device Innovation Consortium (PDIC) via ODAT’s funding. One of the projects directed by Dr. Slusher, Dr. Bjorklund, and colleagues, aimed at developing safe, effective, and  low-cost pediatric respiratory support devices. Another innovation developed by Dr. Ambrose and One Heart Health, uses telemedicine techniques and software to remotely transmit patient data that can be used to detect congenital heart defects. Lastly, Dr. Rheault and colleagues have started a project aimed at increasing access to peritoneal dialysis for pediatric kidney disease patients. To read more about these projects directed by some of the University of Minnesota’s Department of Pediatrics physicians and other collaborative projects, please follow this link.