Alliance Event Ignites Fire Under Researchers

The Pittsburgh Health Data Alliance hosted researcher presentations in a speedy and fun format designed to test and challenge.


On November 2, the Pittsburgh Health Data Alliance hosted a Fall Collaboration Forum featuring an Ignite Talk competition in the Jared L. Cohon University Center at Carnegie Mellon University.

An Ignite Talk is a 5-minute presentation where the presenter’s slides are automatically advanced. The format challenges researchers to express themselves succinctly and clearly through fast-paced, visually compelling slides. The Forum highlighted six in-flight and six pipeline Pittsburgh Health Data Alliance projects.

The competition was judged based on message clarity, creativity, business case/commercial potential, and compliance with Ignite rules and timing. Winners received Phillips Hue Lighting Starter Kits.

Along with challenging the researchers, the event provided the researchers with an opportunity to collaborate with other professionals that they might not often get the opportunity to at Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, and UPMC Enterprises.

The event’s featured in-flight projects were:

  • Center for Commercial Applications of Healthcare Data
    • SPDx
      • Chakra Chennubhotla, Dr. Lans Taylor, Dr. Jeffrey Fine
    • DioneX-TDI
      • Xinghua Lu, Dr. Greg Cooper
    • OncoBioelectrx
      • Charles Horn, Dr. Gutian Xiao, Dr. Chris Bettinger
  • Center for Machine Learning and Health
    • Phylogenetic Models for Predicting Cancer Progression
      • Russell Schwartz and Dr. Jian Ma
    • Computational Modeling for Behavioral Rhythms to Predict Readmissions
      • Anind Dey, Dr. Carissa Low, Dr. Jen Mankoff
    • My Healthy Pregnancy (*WINNER*)
      • Tamar Krishnamurti, Dr. Hyagriv Simhan, Dr. Alex Davis

The event’s featured pipeline projects were:

  • Center for Commercial Applications of Healthcare Data
    • C-WIN
      • Rich Tsui
    • EDS-HAT
      • Lee Harrison, Dr. Artur Dubrawski
    • SmartCAT
      • Jennifer Silk, Dr. Bambang Parmanto
  • Center for Machine Learning and Health
    • Sepsis Phenotyping from Electronic Health Records
      • Jeremy Weiss
    • Automated Detection and Suppression of Brain Tsunamis with Applications to Migraines and Brain Injuries (*WINNER*)
      • Pulkit Grover, Dr. Shawn Kelly, Dr. Jonathan Elmer, Dr. Lori Shutter
    • Transforming the Patient View of Online EHRs to Align Clinician and Patient Goals
      • Carolyn Rose, Dr. Jodi Forlizzi, John Zimmerman