HITLAB shines a light on Elise Kang, Coordinator and our health innovator of the month.

HITLAB shines a light on Elise Kang, Coordinator and our health innovator of the month.

HITLAB kicks off a new monthly series called "Innovator's Spotlight" where we will highlight thought leaders, innovators, alum, staff, students, and fellows in the digital health/ health information technology industry. 

This month we shine the spotlight on Elise Kang, a Research Coordinator with HITLAB, who works on designing and implementing research studies to evaluate the impact of innovative technology on healthcare. 

The pace and change of innovation in the healthcare industry is fast and continuously evolving.   These changes will touch the lives of many people. Elise's interest in medicine started early on as she tapped into her passions for people, science, and health. A perfect combination in a health innovator.  This was evident in her work as a Teach for America corps member where she taught first and second graders in Brownsville, Brooklyn prior to joining HITLAB.

Elise believed that technology seemed like a potentially powerful way to improve health in a creative, innovative manner. She wanted to learn about novel ways to view and address healthcare issues that would ultimately help her become a better physician for future patients, and thus began working at HITLAB.

What drives her to be so passionate about her particular field is that digital health holds great potential to transform medicine, allowing for more accessible and affordable healthcare. The field of HIT fosters collaboration amongst various sectors to work together in innovative ways. The opportunity to work with unique individuals with diverse backgrounds including those from startups, NGOs, Pharma, and other healthcare  fields has really opened her eyes to opportunities for healthcare improvements in both traditional and non-traditional ways.

There are so many new and exciting changes happening in healthcare technology that some days it's hard to keep up with the trends.  Elise finds consumer-facing digital health—specifically remote patient monitoring and mhealth—particularly fascinating. 

These digital health tools offer an opportunity to bridge the communication gap between patient and provider, presenting a plethora of valuable data. The challenge lies in interpreting this data and making it meaningful for both the patient and the doctor. Additionally, such tools can provide a sense of awareness and empowerment to the consumer/patient, which may also improve an individual's overall experience with access to healthcare. With the boom of mhealth, wearables, and consumer-facing RPM tools, she's excited to see how this trend develops.

As Elise heads off to Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Ohio this summer, she shares with us her vision for health innovation.  In the future, she sees more personalization and accessibility in consumer HIT. This should give patients more control and say in their care.  For example, if diabetic patients have access to digital health tools that are specific to their demographic information, health status, and personal preferences, it will make it easier and more enjoyable for them to use these tools, ultimately improving their health.

We look forward to hearing about the great strides Elise with make and contribute to the Health IT industry and wish her well on her future endeavors.