Announcement & Events

  • Calling all BCH Staff: What’s the hardest part of your day? IDHA wants to hear about pain points (e.g. inefficiencies, challenges, problems or obstacles) that might have digital health solutions. Post about challenges that affect our patients, providers, or staff here and/or vote on posts from others!
  •, a collaborative effort between HealthMap, Google, Harvard, Northeastern & Oxford to track infectious disease outbreaks, launched on February 24th. is a centralized resource of verified case-level data from around the world aiming to improve the response to future pandemics.
  • VaccineFinder has recently launched two major initiatives to ease the burden of finding the COVID-19 vaccine:
  • In partnership with the CDC, VaccineFinder has been expanded to include COVID-19 vaccination sites, allowing the public to find available locations, appointments, and eligibility requirements, read more here.
  • Google Maps, powered by VaccineFinder, now surfaces COVID-19 vaccination sites, more information here.
  • IDHA also released Outbreaks Near Me, a crowdsourced surveillance system that maps data to help identify current and emerging hotspots for COVID-19 and influenza. With over 5 million data points, the platform also provides insights into health utilization, vaccination, and testing.
  • The first clinical research study on Google’s Health Studies platform was conducted to better understand respiratory illnesses, including influenza and COVID-19. A study has also been published in The Lancet on mask-wearing’s effect on transmission of COVID-19 in the United States.

Portfolio & Partnership Updates

  • Virtual pediatric behavioral health care provider, Brightline has launched in Massachusetts! Brightline provides care for your family with licensed therapists, confidential video visits, progress tracking, and support for parents at every step.
  • IDHA is advising two new companies through MassChallenge Health Tech:
  • Semantic Health, a startup aiming to automate medical coding with ML and NLP to build an actionable data layer for hospitals.
  • SafeDose, a software application to reduce medication administration mistakes and improve related safety efforts in the hospital and at home.
  • Congratulations to the Caremap team for winning the HRSA Maternal & Child Health Bureau’s Grand Challenge and receiving $130K in grant funding. Caremap is a mobile application that allows the storage and sharing of medical information for families of children with complex medical needs. To learn more about Caremap, check out the interview with Dr. Richard Antonelli below.
  • IDHA has been co-developing pediatric blog content around key awareness months with partner RubiconMD,  an eConsult service that connects primary care clinicians to same day specialist insights. Chief Innovation Officer, John Brownstein, PhD and IDHA Clinical Advisor, Dr. Salim Afshar were recently interviewed for Handwashing and Birth Defects Awareness months.
  • IDHA officially welcomes HERA into the portfolio! HERA is a mobile application that sends notifications for timely medical care and keeps electronic medical records for Syrian refugee women and children in Turkey. IDHA will be providing UX/UI design and business strategy support to the HERA team.
  • IDHA portfolio company React Neuro was recently featured in BostInno on their holistic approach to brain health leveraging AI and VR. React Neuro partnered with the IDHA team to develop an iPad application that allows users to administer and review neurological tests and trends.

Advisory Spotlight: Richard Antonelli, MD, MS

Richard Antonelli, MD, MS is the Medical Director of Integrated Care at Boston Children’s Hospital and one of the innovators behind Caremap, a mobile application that allows the storage and sharing of medical, behavioral, and social information for families of children with chronic and complex care needs. His research focuses on the outcomes, cost, and efficacy of care coordination services for children and youth with special health care needs and their families in diverse care settings. Dr. Antonelli is also an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. 

A lot of your work as a clinician has focused on care coordination. What sparked your interest in this area? How did this interest lead to the development of Caremap?

Families of children with special health care needs often spend more than 20 hours per week doing care coordination because systems are generally not designed to facilitate collaboration across multiple providers. The absence of comprehensive care coordination has significant implications with respect to equity of outcomes. My passion for care coordination was fueled by the realization that bridging the gaps between providers of all disciplines and putting families at the center of care, will empower patients and families and thereby improve outcomes.

The idea for Caremap really came a decade ago from family partner, Cristin Lind, who demonstrated all the necessary elements of her son’s care team in a pictograph (visit to view the pictograph). We wanted to make this knowledge more accessible and so, Caremap was developed.

Caremap recently won the federal Maternal & Child Health Bureau’s Children and Youth with Special Healthcare Needs (CYHSCN) Grand Challenge. Congratulations! Tell us about that experience.

With the help of Nitin Gujral from IDHA, and the Boston Children’s Department of Accountable Care and Clinical Integration (DACCI), we created a simulation for family experience testing across the US for the Grand Challenge. We measured the outcomes and functionality of the app via a simulated family whose child had complex behavioral, social, and medical needs. The results supported our hypothesis that this innovative technology would be accessible and useful to families. We were especially pleased to find that Caremap’s design could support an improved care experience for Spanish-only speaking families, suggesting that this tool might also improve equity of outcomes.

Casey Fee, MS the Program Director of Clinical Integration at DACCI comments, “the simulation led us to gain perspectives far beyond the borders of Massachusetts. Through our partnership with Family Voices, 38 families of children and youth with special health care needs participated in the Caremap simulation from across 19 different states. It was a wonderful learning experience that new approaches can lead to much greater results.”

Sara Pateras, MSW, LCSW the Project Manager at DACCI adds, “working with family partners who are parents and advocates of children and youth with special health care needs not only enriched the Caremap simulation and field testing, but elevated it to a level unattainable without their partnership. The collaborative work between the project team, families and advocates, allowed the team to build a solution that was informed by those who are at the source of truth, which produced a more meaningful tool.”

What’s next for Caremap?

In the coming months we aim to conduct feasibility assessments across North America, and we’ve had inquiries from the European Union. We’ve also had discussions with potential collaborators who believe our design can be adapted to support care coordination for adults with chronic conditions. We’re not in a position yet to say that Caremap is the ultimate solution until we do broader implementation and measurement. So for next steps, we would like to explore some critical issues such as EMR integration, the impact on care team workflows, and the impact on outcomes for families.

What role do you think digital health innovations play in care coordination?

There is no question that digital solutions can improve care. However, when I reflect on digital innovations in the last decade, I have not seen any convincing evidence of improvement for care coordination. With Caremap, we now have the opportunity to measure the impact digital technology can have on outcomes of care coordination. Caremap’s design, placing families at the center of the multidisciplinary care team, has the potential to show that digital health innovation can empower patients and families to measurably and equitably improve their care outcomes.