About

What is Health IT?

According to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, Health IT is “the application of information processing involving both computer hardware and software that deals with the storage, retrieval, sharing, and use of health care information, data, and knowledge for communication and decision making.”

Health IT touches almost every aspect of life sciences, healthcare and personal wellness. It embraces advanced technologies like big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing.

Health IT Pittsburgh is a broadly inclusive initiative, reflecting the
breadth of that definition. Our constituencies include:

  • Creators: Companies creating Health IT products, and researchers
    developing next generation technologies
  • Implementers: Those who deploy and administer Health IT solutions
  • Users: Including healthcare providers and consumers

Partners

The Health IT Pittsburgh team has a common vision: to make our region a leader in all aspects of Health IT. We share the goals of growing companies, creating jobs and attracting people into the healthcare workforce.

The Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse (PLSG) is western Pennsylvania’s only technology-based economic development organization with a pure life sciences focus. PLSG assists start-up companies and entrepreneurs who have promising innovations by applying deep and broad understanding of life sciences/healthcare industry, strong ties to local and national investors and life sciences corporations, and capital to make seed- and early stage-level investments in life sciences start-ups. PLSG serves as the hub of Western Pennsylvania’s life sciences industry.
Partner4Work (P4W; formerly the Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board) is the region’s one-stop shop in workforce development, serving employers, job seekers, training providers and other community organizations. Though regionally focused and dedicated, P4W has innovated nationally recognized programs such as Pittsburgh Works, Learn and Earn, and others. It serves as the integrating organization to a regional network that includes businesses of all sizes and types and virtually every secondary and post-secondary training program in the County.
The mission of the University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute (UPII) is to transform world-changing Pitt research into products or services with great commercial potential. It works with the university’s faculty, staff and student innovators, providing a complete suite of services including entrepreneurial education, mentoring, coaching and company formation assistance. UPII oversees all of Pitt’s intellectual property protection and licensing activities. It also cultivates partnerships with industry on scales ranging from regional to global.
The US Economic Development Administration, a unit of the Department of Commerce, is the Federal government’s lead agency for economic development. Among its many facets, EDA’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE) aims to foster innovation and the commercialization of new technologies, products, processes, and services with the goal of promoting productivity and economic growth in the United States. Its Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program helps build regional capacity to translate innovations into jobs through proof-of-concept and commercialization assistance to innovators and entrepreneurs.

Advisory Board

Our Advisory Board is a group of experts in the innovation and application of Health IT. They bring a wealth of knowledge, experience and perspective on current and emerging trends to help guide and shape the Health IT Pittsburgh initiative.

Jason Baim is Senior VP of Strategy & Corporate Development at Net Health Systems. He is responsible for the identification and pursuit of new business opportunities including mergers, acquisitions, partnerships, and strategic alliances. Jason has over 20 years of experience in a broad range of product management, product marketing, strategic planning and corporate development roles with emerging and established healthcare software, enterprise software, storage and networking equipment companies. Jason has led or supported over a dozen transactions and post-merger/acquisition integration efforts and has launched multiple new technologies and products to market. Before joining Net Health, Jason was the VP of Product Management at TeleTracking Technologies, a provider of patient flow and capacity management solutions for hospitals. Jason also served as the Managing Director of TeleTracking’s Business Analytics Division. Jason has also held roles in senior product management and strategic planning at EMC Corporation and Lucent Technologies, and held marketing, sales and business development positions at FTP Software. Jason has a BA in Social Sciences from Wesleyan University and an MBA from the University of Michigan.

Gilan El Saadawi joined M*Modal in June 2012. As M*Modal’s Chief Medical Informatics Officer, Gilan is responsible for their clinical informatics strategy, including the development and subsequent integration of clinical information models and Natural Language Understanding into M*Modal’s clinical documentation platform. With Gilan’s guidance, M*Modal has transformed traditional Natural Language Processing, which is typically used for retrospective analysis of data for research and reporting, into a technology that scales broadly across a number of applications. Gilan’s passion is to transform clinical documentation into the tool that helps healthcare personnel along the documentation lifecycle, whether it is a doctor, a CDI specialist, a coder, or a case manager. Gilan has previously managed consultants for College of American Pathologists and served as an Assistant Professor and Director of Medical Vocabulary Services at the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC. Gilan earned an MD and a PhD in Pathology from Ain Shams University in Egypt, as well as an MS in Medical Informatics from the University of Pittsburgh.

Christopher R. Evans  is Founder/CEO of ToolKit, a sales and marketing firm helping companies achieve significant results in digital transformation and business development. He is also the CMO at Building Bridges for Business, and host of the popular educational broadcast show “Coffee With…™” on CBS affiliates. Leveraging 20 years of executive leadership in award-winning branding, business development, sales, and sales management in the IT space, Christopher’s clients have included Arconic, BMW, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Covestro, GE, Toyota, and many other industry leaders. His deep software background includes experience with enterprise software packages, CRM, custom software, systems integration, mobile/tablet application development, staff augmentation and executive search. Christopher was co-founder of CRM startup Blue Hammock, and founding member of RPOworldwide, a recruitment process startup. Christopher has held senior leadership roles at Savvior, iGATE, Mastech Digital, and PNC.  Christopher is Venture Partner to the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse (PLSG), adviser to the Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association (PVCA), a founding member of the Pittsburgh Entrepreneurs Forum, and former Chair of Sponsorship/Membership for BlueTree Allied Angels. He serves as an adviser to a number of early-stage and emerging market companies throughout Western Pennsylvania. Christopher earned a BS Political Science from Duquesne University.

Robert Gladden is a seasoned healthcare analytics leader with over 35 years of experience across multiple segments of the healthcare industry. This has included providers, consulting firms and payers with focus on commercial, individual, Medicaid and Medicare benefits. Currently, Bob is Vice President of Enterprise Analytics for Highmark Health, an integrated healthcare system headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where Bob leads both the Enterprise Advanced Analytics efforts and the development of an Enterprise Analytic Platform. Bob is also the CEO/Owner of Front Edge Analytics, LLC, a healthcare insights advisory services company. Over the past twenty years, Bob held leadership positions with CareSource Management Group, Ernst & Young, Northwestern Healthcare System, Advocate Healthcare System and McNerney Heinz, Inc. that have included Lead Analytic Executive, CFO, and CIO positions. Bob is a frequent speaker at international, national and regional conferences and has extensive experience with healthcare analytics, healthcare administration, healthcare research, information systems, data management, finance, actuarial science and underwriting. Bob holds an MA degree from Bowling Green State University.

John Halamka is Chief Information Officer at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Chief Information Officer and Dean for Technology at Harvard Medical School, Chairman of the New England Health Electronic Data Interchange Network, CEO of MA-SHARE (the Regional Health Information Organization), Chair of the US Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel, and a practicing Emergency Physician. John joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School in 1996. His research includes security/confidentiality issues, scalability issues, and implementation of standards for exchange of administrative and clinical information. John did his undergraduate studies at Stanford University and received a degree in Medical Microbiology and a degree in Public Policy with a focus on technology issues. John completed medical school at University of California San Francisco and simultaneously pursued graduate work in Bioengineering at the University of California, Berkeley, focusing on technology issues in medicine. John completed did his residency at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in the Department of Emergency Medicine.

Jianying Hu is Global Science Leader, AI for Healthcare, at IBM Research. In this role, Jianying is responsible for working across IBM Research and IBM Watson Health to define and drive an AI science leadership strategy for healthcare at IBM. Jianying also leads the Center for Computational Health at IBM Research, located in New York and Cambridge. The Center conducts scientific research and creates technical innovations in the broad areas of data driven healthcare analytics, with focuses on predictive analytics, disease modeling, real world evidence generation, translational informatics, connected health, and computational health behavior. Jianying has published over 120 peer reviewed scientific papers and holds 31 patents. Jianying chaired the American Medical Informatics Association Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining Working Group from 2014 to 2016. Jianying is a fellow of IEEE, a fellow of the International Association of Pattern Recognition, and a recipient of the Asian American Engineer of the Year Award. She studied Electronical Engineering at the Tsinghua University in China and earned a PhD in Computer Science from Stony Brook University.

Jim Jen has been an active part of the Pittsburgh tech community since 2002 and has mentored and guided the development of some of Pittsburgh’s fastest-growing tech companies. He is currently the Chief Operating Officer & Managing Director Software/AlphaLab for Innovation Works where he has led the initial investments in over 100 companies. As a co-founder of the AlphaLab accelerator programs, Jim helped launch one of the nation’s first software accelerators and one of the first hardware accelerators to provide funding, mentorship, education, network-building and space for high potential technology startups. Jim has also served on the Advisory Board of GAN, the world’s leading association of accelerators for high growth startups. Prior to moving to Pittsburgh, Jim built and launched software businesses at venture-backed companies in California and also advised executive management of Fortune 500 companies as a management consultant. Jim holds a BA and MA in Economics and an MBA from Stanford University.

Kit Needham is Director of Project Olympus and an Entrepreneur in Residence in the Swartz Center at Carnegie Mellon University. Kit provides students start-up advice; business strategy planning; and connections to industry experts, advisors and the business community. Kit is a technical advisor to and member of the Screening Committee of BlueTree Allied Angels, and is also an Advisory Board member of Chatham University’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship. In addition, she consults to Chambers of Commerce, individual entrepreneurs and non-profit organizations. Kit was formerly Senior VP for the Allegheny Conference on Community Development where she developed the Conference’s strategy to expand business opportunities in the region’s target sectors of Life Sciences and Information Technology, as well as the strategy to support innovation and entrepreneurship. Kit has served on the Board of the Women’s Center and Shelter of Pittsburgh since 2003 and The Neighborhood Academy since 2006. Kit was a member of Leadership Pittsburgh XIX. Kit graduated from the University of Maryland with a BS and later obtained a MS of Technology Management from American University, where she received the Graduate Scholarship Award.

Jim “Oz” Osborn is the architect of “Health IT Pittsburgh”, the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse’s initiative to grow companies and jobs in health information technology in Western Pennsylvania. As a consultant to the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, he led development of its “Virtual Senior Academy,” a program to connect older adults to each other through online group learning experiences.  Prior to that, he co-founded and served as Executive Director of the Quality of Life Technology (QoLT) Center at Carnegie Mellon University, which created intelligent systems to improve and enhance everyday living for older adults and people with disabilities. He also served as CMU’s Coordinator of University Life Science Initiatives from 2004 to 2015. From 2001 to 2006 he was Executive Director of CMU’s Medical Robotics Technology Center, as well as MERITS of Pittsburgh, a program that fostered collaborations between clinical and technological researchers. Earlier, he founded a regional economic development group, the Pittsburgh Robotics Initiative.  He held research and management positions in Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute and led several multi-$M robotics R&D projects sponsored by the US DOE, NASA and industry, including the first robot to explore an active volcano and robots for investigation of the Chernobyl and Three Mile Island nuclear accidents. He has worked as a consultant, advisor or director for local and national organizations including the Western PA HIMSS Chapter, Community Living and Support Services, Presbyterian Seniorcare, Fine Art Miracles, the Center for Aging Services Technologies and the American Nuclear Society. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Biomedical Engineering and a Master’s degree in Civil and Biomedical Engineering, both from Carnegie Mellon.

Rasu Shrestha is the Chief Innovation Officer for UPMC and also serves as the Executive Vice President of UPMC Enterprises, the innovation and commercialization arm of UPMC. Through strategic partnerships, joint development agreements and investments in promising health care startups, Rasu and the Enterprises team champion the development, implementation and commercialization of innovations that solve complex health care challenges. Rasu has been recognized by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of the 26 “Smartest People in Health IT,” and InformationWeek named him one of the “Top 20 Health IT Leaders Driving Change” and a “Top Healthcare Innovator.” Prior to joining the team at UPMC Enterprises, Rasu served as the VP of Medical Information Technology and Medical Director of Interoperability at UPMC. Rasu previously served as the Informatics Director at the University of Southern California, where he was also a Professor of Radiology Research at the Keck School of Medicine. He received his MD degree from CCS University in India, completed his fellowship in informatics at the University of London, and also earned their MBA from USC.

Jay Srini is the Chief Strategist at SCS Ventures, working with international startup companies and other organizations to help them with their business development, healthcare strategy, and expansion. Jay’s prior experience includes serving as Chief Innovation Officer for UPMC Insurance Services Division and Vice President of Emerging Technologies for UPMC. As VP of Emerging Technologies, Jay provided strategic direction and input regarding emerging technologies and solutions to UPMC and their Insurances subsidiary. Jay was the Managing Director for e-Health Initiatives at Internet Venture Works, leading technology and industry assessments of opportunities presented by strategic partners, investors, and external sources. Jay serves on the board of Medrespond, Icache, and the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative, as well as on the advisory board of several entrepreneurial companies and nonprofit healthcare organizations. Jay is also a commissioner at Certification Commission of HealthCare Information Technology and is an adjunct faculty at the University of Pittsburgh. Jay holds a MS in Computer Science from New York University, an MBA from Bucknell University, and did executive education at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.