HITLAB shines the light on Sandeep Burugupalli as this month's Innovator Spotlight.

HITLAB shines the light on Sandeep Burugupalli as this month's Innovator Spotlight.

Sandeep Burugupalli is originally from Houston, Texas and grew up going to NASA on a regular basis. Needless to say, he was obsessed with space and exploring new frontiers, which may have had something to do with his passion for innovation and design.

He went to school at the University of Texas at Austin where he received his degrees in Rhetoric and Writing and Government.  In 2011, he saw a TED talk by Daniel Kraft about the future of medicine / digital health and was inspired by the talk. So much so that he made the leap to digital health. Digital health combined all Sandeep's interests in healthcare, business and entrepreneurship, innovation, design, and policy in one area. He decided to pursue a Master’s in Healthcare Management at Columbia in order to understand existing problems in healthcare and learn the language.

While at Columbia, Sandeep worked at Johnson & Johnson in its Global Public Health and Global Market Access divisions. There, he made the business case for investing in and acquiring a point-of-care device that would revolutionize diagnosis of an infectious disease in resource-poor countries. This project reaffirmed his passion for using technology to solve pressing healthcare problems. This is why he chose to come to HITLAB. He wanted to work on cutting-edge projects in the digital health space and further HITLAB's innovation strategy efforts. He worked on a broad spectrum of digital health projects — including mobile health and apps, remote monitoring technology, wearable devices, health sensors, and wellness platforms.

Wearable technology and data collection is where Sandeep sees the latest health innovation trend happening. "Everyone is in love with data right now — there's an emphasis on using data to drive informed medical decisions and empower patients. We’re on the verge of making the next step with the data that we collect from wearable devices and sensors. When you can pair this data with physician insights and make that data actionable for patients, you can empower patients with information to prevent or manage a disease. I’m eager to see where this goes."

Sandeep sees digital health—particularly the trifecta of cheap genomics and diagnostic tests, remote monitoring technologies, and quantified self with wearable sensors -- driving the future of healthcare. "With quantified self, we can empower patients to manage their own health and we can keep patients out of the hospital through remote monitoring technologies and intervene before a serious problem arises. All this will lead to cheaper, more effective healthcare."

This week, Sandeep is starting a new position at Massachusetts General Hospital in their Healthcare Transformation Lab. He will primarily be responsible for developing and scaling a brand new healthcare startup incubator and digital health practice in the hospital. He's hoping to bring the vision he was first inspired by to Mass. General.  HITLAB wishes him all the best.