Innovation Events: Big Ideas Pitch Event 2024-2025

May 3, 2024

The Big Ideas grant competition is excited to collaborate with the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative for the upcoming 2024-25 competition. In addition to the standard $50,000 Big Ideas grant, a selected team will receive an extra $10,000 from the Patient Safety Technology Challenge. This additional award is specifically designated for projects utilizing technology to tackle patient safety issues in the following areas: medication-related, medical complications with patient care, procedure/surgery-related, infections, and diagnostic errors.
Hear the 2024 finalist teams below present their Big Idea to a panel of judges from WashU School of Medicine and BJC HealthCare for a chance to win $50,000 in funding. To register to attend, please visit

Coaching Peripheral Nerve Surgery with Mixed Reality – The Time is Now
PI/Project Lead – Christopher Dy, MD, MPH, FACS | Associate Professor, Orthopedic Surgery Division of Hand and Microsurgery
Use Mixed Reality (MR) headsets to assess the efficacy of surgical training for highly specialized procedures, including peripheral nerve surgery.

Machine Learning Assisted Diagnosis of Delirium (ML-ADD)
PI/Project Lead – Robert Young, MD, MS | Associate Professor, Division of Hospital Medicine and General Medicine & Geriatrics at Washington University School of Medicine
Build an inpatient floor delirium machine learning (ML) model based on the BJH two-step delirium detection system to better risk stratify patients and deliver an intensive surveillance and management system.

Addressing Wait Time Issues in Primary Care
PI/Project Lead – Nicholas Roth | Patient Experience Manager
Leverage technology to improve patient communication and team member education/training to proactively reduce patient wait times for primary care visits.

Presenting Patient Histories as Stories
PI/Project Lead – Caitlin Kelleher, PhD | Associate Professor, Computer Science and Engineering
Utilize a story format for patient prior history and hospital care to enable clinicians to more efficiently review patient histories and more accurately recall the details for their patients.

Multimodal Patient Education Initiate to Improve Outcomes in Hepatopancreaticobiliary Surgery
Natasha Leigh, MD | Director of ERAS for Hepatopancreaticobiliary Surgery
Assess the use of multimodal patient education to impact postoperative complications, hospital length of stay, readmission rates, and adherence to postoperative milestones.

Harnessing Machine Learning for the Transition to Automated Healthcare-Associated Infection Surveillance
Jonas Marschall, MD | Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease
Create and assess performance of an automated, machine learning-assisted surveillance module for the three reportable HAIs in comparison to current state manual processes.

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