Shaan Chirag-Gandhi is an internist at MGH and a winner of the Year 2 Ether Dome Challenge for SmartRx, an automated natural language processing-based software platform. Dr. Ghandi co-developed the project with MGH cardiologist Dr. Maulik Majmudar, who also serves as Associate Director of the HTL and co-founder of health technology startup Quanttus.
The project came from Dr. Gandhi and Dr. Majmudar’s shared concern with rapidly changing clinical data preventing clinicians’ ability to ensure patients were on the best therapies for their health. “Individuals were receiving lower doses of medications than they actually needed, or were on the incorrect medications, or not hearing about promising clinical trials that could potentially benefit them,” said Dr. Gandhi. “The more we investigated, the more we were convinced that the analyzing the EHR held the key for revolutionizing this field.”
Smart Rx lifts the burden of patient data by allowing clinicians to enter their own or pre-built queries into an intuitive dashboard that the program links with the electronic health record (EHR). Clinicians then receive real-time results and can keep track of clinical appropriateness with ease. This platform is a versatile tool that streamlines operations including identifying patients who could benefit from certain therapeutics, optimizing recruitment for clinical trials and even identifying patients who should not be taking certain agents based on their chronic diseases.
Smart Rx’s emphasis on flexibility and real-time data reflects the healthcare industry’s changing landscape, which Dr. Gandhi describes as a future that will require innovators to go beyond their comfort zones to develop lasting, technological-focused that thrive upon constant change.
“Building a solution to a problem is extremely rewarding, but is challenging at the same time,” said Dr. Gandhi. “Innovation requires creativity and passion. Both allow me to push the boundaries of what I believed I could achieve, but both also require significant work and effort in the face of multiple barriers.”
Dr. Gandhi believes healthcare provides a unique environment for innovation as regulatory, economic, and technological factors can not only be obstacles to innovation, but also to professionals’ ability to provide optimal care. The industry is in a constant state of flux, which necessitates new solutions but complicates process of developing those solutions.
The Healthcare Transformation Lab strives to support providers like Dr. Gandhi draw from their expertise and turn their ideas into sustainable healthcare solutions.