JHF Awards $225K to Support Patient Safety R&D in the Pittsburgh Region

The Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF) announced $225,000 in Regional Autonomous Patient Safety (RAPS) initiative seed grants to support patient safety research and development in the Pittsburgh region.

The seed grant program was established in 2023 to provide early-stage funding to multidisciplinary research & development teams, start-ups, or tech companies in the Pittsburgh region that are developing, testing, or adopting an autonomous solution to prevent medical errors.

JHF and the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative created the RAPS initiative in 2022. Its goal is to establish Pittsburgh as a global tech hub for developing autonomous patient safety technologies.

RAPS seed grant awards include:

  • A $50,000 award to the University of Pittsburgh for the project, "Using Gait Data to Inform Prescription Practice Among Nursing Home Residents to Reduce Medication-Induced Gait Disturbances," to pilot test its remote wearable monitor, BioIntellisense BioButton, at UPMC Canterbury Place to identify gait disturbances that occur as a side effect of polypharmacy.
  • A $50,000 award to the University of Pittsburgh Center for AI Innovation in Medical Imaging's project, "Generative Artificial Intelligence Reduces Harms to Patients Receiving Magnetic Resonance Imaging," to build prototype generative AI models on MRI sequences for breast cancer and neuro-diseases to learn the gadolinium contrast uptake characteristics, with the overall goal of reducing or eliminating the gadolinium harms to ensure patient safety.
  • A $50,000 award to the World Tumor Registry to support the development and launch of a cancer registry prototype with an AI-compatible search engine to find a diagnosis based on the users' input of microscopic features.
  • A $25,000 award to the Winter Institute for Simulation, Education, and Research (WISER) with Lumis Corp. for gathering stakeholder input to improve training for medication safety using the InSight Platform, supporting the development of a Smart Peripheral for measuring intramuscular injections during simulation – the Smart Intramuscular, and develop learning content and simulations for the final application of the Smart Intramuscular.
  • A $25,000 award to Allegheny Health Network to support the pilot study with D. Sole entitled "Multimodal Sensing Insole for Early Detection & Monitoring of Foot Complications in Diabetic Patients with Neuropathy." The grant will be used to support the development of multimodal sensing technology with smart insoles to detect foot complications caused by peripheral neuropathy in diabetic patients.
  • A $25,000 award to the University of Pittsburgh with Aneurisk to pilot an AI-based algorithm to predict and prevent ruptures from untreated abdominal aortic aneurysms.

In addition to these new grants, other early efforts of the RAPS initiative include grants to and partnership with Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, a series of educational salons, and this year's Safety Innovation Summit, an event in partnership with the Pittsburgh Technology Council that highlighted the region's long history of safety accomplishments and shared safety interventions and approaches that have proven successful in multiple industries.

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