Skip to main content
Find a DoctorGet Care Now
Skip to main content
Search icon magnifying glass






Yale New Haven Health and Yale University celebrate Innovation Awards

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

New Haven, CT (June 11, 2024) – Yale New Haven Health (YNHHS) celebrated the second YNHHS Innovation Awards Ceremony, where five outstanding teams were each awarded $100,000 to bring their groundbreaking projects to life. The event was a highlight of the tenth annual Yale Innovation Summit, a gathering that convenes the innovation and entrepreneurship community for two days of impactful conversations, networking and pitch competitions. The event, hosted by Yale Ventures, drew over 2,200 entrepreneurs, investors, and industry leaders from around the world to New Haven, connecting innovators with partners, ideas and capital to help them succeed.

Sophie Chheang, MD and her team, comprised of Arman Cohan, PhD; Lorenzo Flores; Ryan Martin; and Kyle Tegtmeyer, MD; were recognized for developing JuniHealth. This technology platform uses advanced artificial intelligence (AI) to solve problems in radiology that slow patient throughput. The novel platform is expected to save each radiologist an hour a day allowing for more patients to be seen. In addition, it will recover lost revenue from inefficient billing, and will facilitate and improve the educational experience for residents and attending physicians. Furthermore, the JuniHealth platform is adaptable to additional radiologist needs and is easily deployed at scale while integrating with existing software.

Simulated Psychedelic Immersive Experience (SI-PHI): Healthcare Intervention for Depression was also recognized. Led by Mohini Ranganathan, MBBS with team members Kimberly Hieftje, PhD; Asher Marks, MD; and Jose Cortes-Briones, PhD. SI-PHI is a cutting-edge tool using hi-definition, immersive visuals and audio to create a simulation of the effects of psychedelic medications to treat depression. SI-PHI hopes to provide the benefits of psychedelic medications without the side effects that make them difficult for patients to tolerate. The potential impact of using extended reality interventions is significant given the large patient population who may benefit, while avoiding the high costs and challenges associated with medications. In addition to winning a YNHHS Innovation Award, the team also pitched and won a prestigious Blavatnik Accelerator Award at the Summit receiving an additional $30,000 to further advance their innovation.

Artificial Intelligence-Based Clinical Decision Support to Improve Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Diagnosis in Real Time was co-led by Mark Iscoe, MD and Richard Andrew Taylor, MD supported by Melissa Davis MD, MBA , and Beckman Coulter Diagnostics and was the third project awarded funding. The team is creating an AI tool that predicts a UTI based on urinalysis and other results in a patient’s electronic medical record. UTIs lead to more than three million Emergency Department visits a year and account for 1 in 12 hospitalizations. Diagnosis of UTIs is challenging because the gold standard for diagnosis, a urine culture, takes over 24 hours for a result to be received. The team hopes that by presenting the AI model’s predictions in real time they can augment clinicians’ clinical reasoning, leading to safer and more appropriate diagnoses and treatment decisions. Based on preliminary data, the team believes they can reduce both over-diagnosis and under-diagnosis by as much as 50 percent.

Clinical Trial Patient Matching was the fourth project awarded funding. Led by Guannan Gong, PhD and his team made up of Pamela Kunz, MD; Patricia LoRusso, DO; Maryam Lustberg, MD, MPH; Ian Krop, MD, PhD; and Neal Fischbach, MD, their goal is to ensure that everyone gets a fair chance to try new treatments in medical studies. The team created a special system called the Clinical Trial Patient Matching (CTPM) which uses advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technology to look at medical information in real-time. This system helps clinicians and study teams assess if someone is eligible to join a study and streamlines the process for all stakeholders involved. CTPM can much more rapidly review patient files and generate list of matching patients with suitable trials. Preliminary studies of the tool have shown 94.4 percent accuracy, a threefold increase in accrual numbers, and increased diversity in enrollment.

The final award went to Rohan Khera, MD, MS and Evangelos Oikonomou, MD, DPhil from the Cardiovascular Data Science (CarDS) lab for the project Artificial intelligence (AI) guided screening of under-recognized cardiomyopathies at the point of care. The team is developing AI technology that allows for early diagnosis of treatable cardiovascular disease by people with minimal experience through a portable device, attachable to a smartphone. A clinician can take video with the AI technology and automatically diagnose a range of heart muscle and valve disorders. This screening capability allows for easier and earlier diagnosis of heart abnormalities, which can be missed without further specialized testing.

The Innovation Awards were designed and implemented by the YNHHS Center for Healthcare Innovation. The Center’s goal is to challenge people from all areas, industries and backgrounds to identify problems in health care and find impactful solutions. Winning projects were chosen based on unmet medical need, likelihood of technical success, novelty, business model and competitive landscape, and team composition and skills/background.

Yale New Haven Health (YNHHS), the largest and most comprehensive healthcare system in Connecticut, is recognized for advanced clinical care, quality, service, cost effectiveness and commitment to improving the health status of the communities it serves. YNHHS includes five hospitals – Bridgeport, Greenwich, Lawrence + Memorial, Westerly and Yale New Haven hospitals, several specialty networks and Northeast Medical Group, a non-profit medical foundation with several hundred community-based and hospital-employed physicians. YNHHS is affiliated with Yale University and Yale Medicine, the clinical practice of the Yale School of Medicine and the largest academic multi-specialty practice in New England. Yale New Haven Hospital is the primary teaching hospital of Yale School of Medicine.