The Disruptive Health Technology Institute

Scientific Discoveries that Foster Patient Centered Outcomes

The Disruptive Technology Institute (DHTI) is a laboratory environment where disruptive healthcare innovations are tested in a clinical setting and then delivered to patients.

Disruptive technology is used as a synonym of disruptive innovation. Disruptive innovation describes a process by which a product or service takes root initially at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves up market, eventually displacing established competitors.

Innovation that is disruptive allows a whole new population of consumers at the bottom of a market access to a product or service that was historically only accessible to consumers with a lot of money or a lot of skill.

Thought leaders in disruptive innovation have long identified the innovator-to-investor step as the first of a set of resistive barriers in healthcare.

In teaming with The Disruptive Health Technology Institute (DHTI) at Carnegie Mellon, Highmark has taken the unusual position of replicating the process of mining automobile insurance data to identify and solve critical problems in healthcare, so innovation can take a path around the traditional barriers that have often kept good ideas away from patient care.

The goal is to use this data to help researchers sidestep barriers by identifying the problem—and hence the market for an innovation—and then creating a solution.

DHTI’s Approach to Fostering Innovation

CMU researchers with the Disruptive Health Technology Institute lead the development of engineering, science, biomedical, and healthcare delivery technologies in partnership with new institute clinicians. De-identified, aggregated claims data is used to support the research that is being conducted to create patient-centered solutions and establish real-time impacts.

A pool of national and regional resources works to identify key challenges and problems in clinical care that could be solved with the right technology. Using a unique combination of resources, DHTI has demonstrated that cross-disciplinary strategy validation teams can use claims data to identify both the challenges and the likely impact on value-based care of technological success.

The process begins with a series of SPARK Strategy Mapping mini-retreats that have been designed to utilize horizon mapping techniques to determine the areas of strategic importance where technology could increase the simplicity, affordability and accessibility of healthcare delivery. During these SPARK strategy retreats, partnership resources are targeted in areas of strategic importance that best define a mutual interest with partner and collaborative organizations. During a one and a half day strategy retreat, DHTI facilitates industry-led presentations , engages national subject matter experts, leads structured discussions and brainstorming breakout sessions to build consensus on the development of targeted programs, funding and partnerships opportunities. This “crowd-sourcing” model of obtaining needed solutions, ideas and content from a large group of relevant thought-leaders is the first step in our one or two-year technology development programs.

In the last two years alone, DHTI has organized 20 SPARK Retreats, gathering 323 participants from 59 organizations to discuss, strategize, build and then deploy internal “crowd-sourcing” payer/provider/innovator strategy validation teams (made up of Carnegie Mellon University subject matter experts, physicians, nurses, epidemiologists and statisticians) to use claims data to identify both the challenges and likely impact on value-based care of technological success.