Partnership Highlights

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Multi-front collaboration with GE Healthcare

OHSU continues to collaborate with industry giants, pushing the boundaries of medicine and health care forward. In 2013, OHSU partnered with Intel to create computer architectures for sequencing cancer genomes and personalizing cancer care. In 2015, OHSU joined with Apple, Inc. to create a technology that detects the warning signs of melanoma through photographs taken with an iPhone. Since 2016, OHSU and GE Healthcare have been joining forces to collaborate on numerous health care projects, including cardiovascular research, imaging, and big data.

One particular project that attracted GE Healthcare to OHSU was the development of a new technology to improve heart attack detection. Invented by Sanjiv Kaul, M.D., director of the OHSU Knight Cardiovascular Institute, the Myocardial Contrast Echocardiography (MCE) technology has been used on over 5 million patients around the world and has since attracted many prospective industry partners to OHSU. For example, GE Healthcare has expressed interest in collaborative studies including, but not limited to, the investigation of ultrasounds as a health care tool in rural and underserved communities as well as the testing of magnetic resonance pulse sequences to enhance neurovascular studies.

Besides medical research collaborations, OHSU and GE Healthcare also partnered on improving clinical care delivery and hospital management by bringing to life the OHSU Mission Control, a modern command center that uses predictive analytics and a real-time data display to coordinate patient care from the time the patient enters the hospital until they are discharged. This system with up-to-the-minute data analytics helps improve a patient’s experience, reduce delays in care, and get the right treatment for patients at the right time.

Inspired by the MCE technology, GE Healthcare’s pursuit of partnership with OHSU is just one example of how innovative discoveries continue to bring industry partners to OHSU’s doorstep.

Welch Allyn/Hillrom-OHSU engineering rounds

Since 2015, Welch Allyn, now Hillrom, Inc., has partnered with OHSU to build a collaborative platform that allows medical equipment design engineers the chance to engage with doctors and patients. The long-term goal of this platform is to translate medical needs into focused innovations and eventually products. This platform was designed to allow both parties to utilize their respective expertise. OHSU offers the clinical expertise necessary to identify patient care problems and provide feedback on the practical applications of new innovations, while Welch Allyn/Hillrom offers the engineering expertise necessary to create physical solutions to the identified problems.

In the earlier stages of the program, the primary goal for the engineers was to gain an understanding of the clinical context surrounding shared projects that were currently in development. Though after several meetings, the engineers saw that their goals expanded and became more open ended. And By allowing engineers to ask questions and connecting them with physicians who are willing to steep them in a patient care environment, it opens the door to a wide variety of opportunities to improve medical care.

The chance to observe, ask questions, and receive feedback is essential to engineers in any industry, but is typically difficult in the medical industry. Often times, engineers are granted access to “shadow” clinicians but are not allowed to interact with the physician or the patients. This program, structured based on the clinicians needs, makes the doctors more passionate about seeing the innovations succeed and allows the engineers a better understanding of the products that need to be developed. This successful model fuels the continuous operation of the program, and more studies utilizing this platform are in planning to expand its horizon to various clinical departments.

Other partnership highlights

OHSU partners with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, a United States Department of Energy national laboratory, to be one of three national centers established by the National Institutes of Health in cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM). This new Pacific Northwest Cryo-EM Center has just received a $5.9 million award in 2019 from the National Institutes of Health to boost scientists’ ability to view molecules at near-atomic scale.

OHSU, University of Oregon (UO) and Oregon State University (OSU) are combining strengths to enhance our statewide reputation and the impact in the applied sciences by leveraging state-of-the-art facilities and infrastructure on all three campuses with the legacy of engineering at OSU; the excellence in science, communications and business at the UO; and the preeminent basic science and clinical research programs at OHSU. This broader collaboration builds on to the “Knight-to-Knight” partnership announced earlier this year, where OHSU’s Knight Cancer Institute and UO’s Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact combine efforts to establish a joint center in biomedical data science, empowering researchers at both institutions to attack cancer with big data.

A collaboration between OHSU Department of Family Medicine and OCHIN, Inc., a non-profit national network of community health centers, was awarded a $7.5 million grant by National Cancer Institute to improve strategies for implementing proven cancer screening and prevention practices.

OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, along with four other cancer research institutions, joined Microsoft’s new Cascadia Data Discovery Initiative.