Dr Zhan Zhang, a member of faculty at the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace University, recently made Pace history by earning grants from both the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The new NIH project investigates care coordination and communication between distributed medical teams – the EMS team in the field and emergency department (ED) teams at the receiving hospital. “The research team will explore how to leverage smart glasses and advanced system interaction mechanisms (e.g., augmented reality and hands gesture recognition) to better facilitate remote patient care guidance,” Zhan said. The scale of the new project is much larger. There are two study sites – New York and Colorado – and both EMS and ED professionals will be involved.
The study will involve the implementation of specially designed glasses that enable EMS professionals to communicate with ED physicians instantaneously. The glasses, infused with internet of things (IoT) technology, use hand gestures and voice control to transmit information efficiently.
“There are two aims of this study,” said Zhan. “In the first year, we will conduct iterative system design and evaluation with both paramedics and ED physicians, using participatory design, rapid prototyping, and usability testing. Then we are going to test the effectiveness of our system using simulated medical events. Paramedics and ED physicians will be invited to use our system to perform patient care.”
Zhan, who joined Seidenberg’s Information Technology department in 2017, specializes in healthcare technology – particularly how computers and technology can be used in helping healthcare professionals communicate and collaborate more efficiently. “My long-term goal is to digitize emergency care with novel technologies to improve patient outcome,” he said.
“This grant is extremely important to me because I have done a lot of preliminary work in this particular problem space since my PhD, and finally, with its support, I am able to use the knowledge I gained over the past few years to build a large-scale novel system that has a great potential to transform current old-fashioned method of pre-hospital communication and care coordination.”
Jonathan Hill, the Dean of the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace University, gave his support to the project. He said: “Dr. Zhang is an extremely talented and hard-working individual. He is passionate and popular with students, and a very busy person. When he’s not winning grants for truly exciting healthcare IT research, he’s heading up the new master’s in Human-Centered Design. I am excited to see how his career continues to unfold and trust that he will do great things for the healthcare industry and beyond.”
Furthering the achievement, Zhan is the first Seidenberg faculty member to receive an award from NIH, a nod to the increasing volume of interdisciplinary research taking place at Pace’s technology school.
In a time where bad news abounds, it’s essential to share the good – and the coronavirus can’t keep Seidenberg faculty down!
Information Technology professor Zhan Zhang of the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace University was recently awarded a $175,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to pursue research in wearable technologies for emergency healthcare workers.
“This is my long-standing research interest,” said Dr. Zhang, who has been doing research in the healthcare technology field since 2011. “Emergency care work is inherently important to society as it deals with life-threatening injuries and emergency situations. Improving the work efficiency of emergency care will lead to better patient outcomes and decreased medical errors.”
Dr. Zhang’s almost decade of work in the field has brought him to his current project: designing and developing novel technologies to support decision making and collaboration in highly dynamic medical environments where decisions must be made quickly and acted upon immediately, such as when paramedics have to keep someone’s heart beating while transporting them to a hospital.
Dr. Zhang’s prior research on emergency care teams enabled him to “identify an essential gap in real-time capture and integration of relevant patient data in the field by paramedics.”
Throughout the two-year term of the grant support, Dr. Zhang aims to develop wearable devices that can be used by paramedics to 1) collect real-time patient data in a hands-free manner, and 2) communicate with ER and trauma teams at the receiving hospital. For example, paramedics transporting a patient to a hospital can wear a smart glass device that transmits what they are seeing to colleagues awaiting the patient at the hospital, enabling them to act upon observations and instructions delivered by colleagues with relevant expertise. This would allow for more efficient and effective patient care until the paramedics could deliver the patient safely to the hospital.
What Dr. Zhang hopes to accomplish is threefold:
1) To establish an interdisciplinary area of socio-technical research that addresses real-world problems while also advancing the current state of computing technologies for enhancing human abilities to capture, integrate, and analyze critical data in a natural way.
2) To establish an excellent platform for an integrated education and outreach program. This aligns with several Seidenberg’s initiatives such as the upcoming Master’s in Human-Centered Design program (planned for Fall 2021). A diverse group of students, including underrepresented minorities and first-generation immigrants, will be involved in this research work so that they can gain first-hand experience in research, user-centered design, and software development.
3) To distribute research outcomes widely, through premium journals and conference publications to broaden the impact of this research.
“I feel extremely excited to work on this challenging yet understudied research problem that has significant scientific and societal impacts,” Dr. Zhang added.
We feel excited to support Dr. Zhang in his efforts, bringing the Internet of Things (IoT) further to the medical world. Congratulations to Dr. Zhang, and we are grateful to the National Science Foundation for its support in his compelling research.
The third annual cybersecurity conference took place at Pace University’s Westchester campus on Thursday, October 3, 2019. The conference included a set of panelists and speakers from many top East Coast organizations and a guest appearance from a canine cybercrime specialist.
This year’s focus was the Economics of Cybersecurity in Healthcare: Understanding the Costs of Cyber Exposure to Protect Enterprises and Patients.
The conference got started with an opening conversation between Jennings Aske, the Senior VP and CISO at NewYork-Presbyterian, and Anthony Johnson, Managing Partner at Delve Risk. The topic of the conversation was a threat briefing on the healthcare landscape. Jennings and Anthony dove into a fascinating discussion on risk management, patient privacy, and leading cybersecurity initiatives.
After the discussion, the Dean of the College of Health Professions, Harriet Feldman, took to the podium to discuss the industry outlook. “The intersection of technology and healthcare could not be more important than it is now,” she said.
Following was a new addition to our conference program – an interactive cyberattack exercise. The exercise was run by Shawn Fohs, Managing Director of Forensics US Cyber Response & Privacy Leader, Ernst & Young; Kevin M. McGuire, the Commissioner at Westchester County Department of Social Services; Jonathan Bandel, Assistant VP for Strategic Service Lines at White Plains Hospital, Robert Largey, Co-Founder of East Post Road Ventures, LLC, the Innovation Accelerator Arm of White Plains Hospital, and Pace University’s very own Kit Lee-Demery, the Assistant Director for Emergency Management and Fire Safety.
The session consisted of a tabletop exercise that aimed to create an opportunities for conference attendees – stakeholders within the healthcare critical infrastructure sector – to enhance their understanding of key issues associated with a focused cyberattack, including coordination and information sharing amongst private entities and government agencies in response to such an attack. Participants got to come up with a response to a fake, albeit plausible, cyberattack based on current plans, policies, and procedures. It involved contact from the FBI, hacking from malicious agencies, increasing panic, media scandals, and stolen information – all the makings of a quality drama!
Once the exercise was finished, the first panel discussion of the day took place over lunch. The panel, titled Quantification of Risk Management of the Healthcare Enterprise, included guests Michael Corcione, Managing Director at Treliant Risk Advisors and Robert Zandoli, Global CISO and Chief Technology Officer at BUNGE LTD, both of whom are Pace alumni. Co-Founder and CEO of Sovy, John Popolizio completed the group alongside moderator and Seidenberg School faculty member, Li-Chiou Chen.
No cybersecurity conference at Pace is complete without an appearance from our four-legged friend, Harley the Cyber Dog. As in previous years, Westchester County Police Department’s Detective Brett Hochron and his K9 partner Harley gave a demonstration of Harley’s skills at sniffing out cybercrime. Trained to detect a particular chemical scent present in many tech devices, Harley is capable of discovering hidden USBs, SD cards, smartphones, and more – even if they are very carefully hidden. Detective Hochron explained that, as Harley only eats when she successfully finds a hidden device, she associates working with a worthy reward, making her quite possibly one of the happiest professionals in the cybersecurity industry.
Prior to the demonstration, Detective Hochron hid several devices around the conference room, including a micro USB taped to an electrical outlet and another one tucked under a pillow. Harley found them all within minutes.
Harley’s training has enabled her to assist police and the FBI’s cyber crime unit in convicting criminals. When police conduct physical searches, they may miss evidence that is hidden under floorboards, in electronic sockets, inside furniture, and other imaginative locations. Dogs like Harley are able to provide the backup that ensures no laptop is left unturned or undiscovered.
The final panel of the day looked to the past, present, and future. The panel was titled the Evolution of the Cybersecurity Program for the Healthcare Enterprise and featured Chris Hetner, Managing Director of Marsh Risk Consulting’s Cyber Risk Consulting; Steven Goriah, DHA, CHCIO, FACHE, VP of Information Technology/CIO, Chief Information Security Officer at Westchester Medical Health Network, Seidenberg professor and digital forensics expert Darren Hayes; and Jennings Aske, SVP and CISO at NewYork-Presbyterian. Seidenberg professor and Associate Dean, Jim Gabberty, moderated the discussion.
Following the panel, Dean Jonathan Hill gave his closing remarks and the conference was open for guests to network and meet with panelists.
We are grateful to our sponsor, Treliant, for the generous support in making this conference a success.
Thanks also go to Detective Brett Hochron of Westchester County Police Department for another fantastic presentation with Harley.
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital stands tall and proud next to the Pace University New York City campus. The building is located just across from 1 Pace Plaza, offering healthcare to a vast number of patients each day who are seeking the best services that the city has to offer. It is because of NewYork-Presbyterian’s unique focus on rendering services using artificial intelligence (AI) and telemedicine technologies that the Seidenberg School is presenting the Innovation in Information Technology (IT) award to NewYork-Presbyterian at April 24th’s Seidenberg Innovation Awards.
The award is being presented to the entire IT team at NewYork-Presbyterian, a team which has driven many exciting initiatives that use pioneering technologies to provide the hospital’s patients – and its medical and administrative staff – with excellent and effective service. These initiatives have been driven in large part through the leadership of Chief Information Officer, Daniel J. Barchi.
Many of us at the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace University first met Daniel when he visited campus in the fall semester of 2018. He was here to participate in the Tech Leadership Series, a run of guest speaker events that bring high-level industry workers to campus to share their stories, tips for success, and to inspire students to achieve. During that event, Daniel shared stories of hacking scares, the fascinating applications of AI in healthcare, data privacy, work ethic and leadership, and more – so when the opportunity to get to know him better in interview came up, we jumped at the chance to share more of his story.
Daniel has had a very interesting career, in which many of his experiences are what he attributes his success to. Before he became CIO of NewYork-Presbyterian, his life as a naval officer was his primary identity. After graduating from the United States Naval Academy in 1991, he spent six years serving at sea and was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal for Leadership. After deciding to leave the Navy for a new opportunity, he grew as a project manager within the telecom industry.
Daniel’s new job within the telecom industry “was full of many global challenges, and that experience of solving problems around the world led me to work for a health system and run a biomedical institute which needed to be improved.”
After running Carilion BioPhile Biomedical Institute as CEO and then President for several years, Daniel was invited to step into the role of Chief Information Officer – “and I’ve been doing healthcare IT ever since,” he says.
Once Daniel entered the world of healthcare IT, it was clear he’d found his niche.
“I think the amazing thing about healthcare IT is that people with technical and process skills can help impact patients’ lives,” Daniel says. “Without being physicians or nurses ourselves, our work is deeply critical to the outcome of patients. We develop and implement and maintain the systems that provide clinicians with the right tools they need to take care of patients, and the . . . analytics that they need to make decisions.”
While the tools that NewYork-Presbyterian IT specialists create and implement build a stronger service for patients, it’s the IT team itself that really stands out. According to Daniel, healthcare IT is “80% people, 15% process, and only 5% technology.” That means that alongside having smart and innovative individuals on staff, it’s also important to have open and attentive communication across all departments.
“The way we make this work best . . . is to listen to what the clinicians need and make sure the systems are working for them,” he states.
An example of these systems is one that is providing more accessible healthcare to all patients: kiosks. NewYork-Presbyterian has placed kiosks in Walgreens stores as part of their NYP On-Demand strategy. Patients can use these kiosks to get direct access to a physician on call. Daniel believes this is a fundamental part of NewYork-Presbyterian’s service.
“We have world-class physicians . . . but not everybody has immediate access to those physicians either from a time or geography perspective. We wanted to make sure that we could reach many more patients when and where they are via virtual medicine.”
Another example of the hospital’s drive to use technology to provide better service is its ‘mobile stroke ambulances’. If a 911 call is placed where the patient is displaying symptoms of a stroke, a radio ambulance (an ambulance that interrupts nearby car radios with information about whether the ambulance is responding to an emergency and which direction it is traveling, intended to assist drivers in moving out of the way as it passes) and one of the stroke ambulances are immediately dispatched to their location. “Right there on the side of the road, we take a CT of the patient’s head and beam the information back to a neurologist who can . . . start the treatment right there,” Daniel explains. This service speeds up the treatment process up as much as 45 minutes which can save critical brain cells. The ambulances don’t just save lives—they prevent life-threatening situations in the first place.
“Not only are we leveraging technology for the good of that one patient . . . we use telemedicine to allow one neurologist to provide care to all three, remotely,” Daniel says. NewYork-Presbyterian operates the largest fleet in the United States, including three mobile stroke ambulances.
These strategies and innovations are the reason why NewYork-Presbyterian is so notable for its patient care system.
Adopting technology into healthcare creates widespread care at a smaller cost.
“We are rapidly adopting artificial intelligence as a way to improve operations and the care of our patients. Quality is delivering outstanding care at a good value, and we’d like to reduce the cost of delivering care,” Daniel says, going on to emphasize that the introduction of AI technologies was pulled from the vision of the organization’s CEO, Dr. Steve Corwin.
“Several years ago, he encouraged us to invest in telemedicine and advanced technology as a way to continue to grow the quality of care that we deliver, but also to reach a broader population.
“NewYork-Presbyterian serves more underserved New Yorkers than just about any other health system, and we wanted to make sure that we could meet the needs of everybody, not only the patients who come to one of our hospitals.
“We started implementing artificial intelligence in the back office, rolling it out on timekeeping, [invoicing], follow-up, and other financial areas as a way to make the work that we do more efficient.”
That efficiency has grown over time.
“We’ve now started rolling it out in clinical workspaces as well: sending nudges to physicians, letting them know when patients are due for specific tests or other things that we can do to speed up a patient’s discharge, so their length of stay in the hospital is reduced,” he states.
One thing that is clear is that NewYork-Presbyterian does not implement new technology just for the sake of doing so. Every decision leads toward achieving the goal of providing faster, better, and more efficient care to as many patients as possible.
“Telemedicine—over the past three years—with the support of NYP leadership, our trustees, and philanthropy has allowed us to invest in advanced technology as a way to provide that outstanding care.”
AI and telemedicine are the present and future of healthcare and NewYork-Presbyterian is at the forefront of utilizing those resources. During Daniel’s visit to Pace University, he discussed many of these innovations with the Seidenberg student community.
Daniel Barchi’s visit to the Seidenberg School was “fantastic.”
“I’m impressed by Pace and, particularly, the programs of the Seidenberg School. The quality of the students, the focus of the faculty and curriculum, and the idea that Pace is creating a learning environment which ties directly to the needs of New York and other institutions allows us to create this pool of advanced technologists who are ready to implement everything that they’ve learned at Pace in a real-world environment immediately.”
Daniel also took some time to discuss what this honor means to him and his team.
“I’m proud of what we’ve done, and I’m proud that we’re recognized by a great institution: Pace University, here in New York, for this advancement. I think that recognition like this is good because it encourages us to do more and it also highlights for other health systems what is possible.”
We will be honoring the achievements of Daniel’s team at the Seidenberg Innovation Awards on April 24th, where the IT group at NewYork-Presbyterian will receive the Innovation in Information Technology (IT) award.
The Seidenberg Innovation Awards (SIA) recognizes the remarkable work done by individuals and organizations in our community. Proceeds from the event will directly support our students as they progress into the “advanced technologists” Daniel described. Tickets, tables, and student sponsorships are available by clicking this link.
The 21st annual Leadership and Service in Technology (LST) Awards was a fantastic evening at Club 101, a gorgeous venue two blocks south of Grand Central terminal.
This year’s theme was “Celebrating Technology: Improving the Quality of Life” and honored our esteemed alumnus, Mike Capone, who graduated from Pace Seidenberg in 1993 and went on to have an incredible career in the healthcare tech industry. Mike spoke about his work as the COO of Medidata, a healthcare data analytics provider, where he oversees delivery of products and services, such as product management, software development, data science, professional services and marketing.
Prior to his role at Medidata, Mike spent 25 years working at ADP as the CIO and CVP of product development. In his address to the LST audience, Mike spoke about his wonderful experiences there and how he ultimately chose to move on to his dream job at Medidata.
The keynote speaker was Dr. Robert Darnell, the Founding Director and CEO of the New York Genome Center, with which the Seidenberg School recently formed a collaboratory relationship. Dr. Darnell gave a passionate address to the LST crowd that truly highlighted ways in which technology can change healthcare.
Very recent Seidenberg alumnus, Briana Vecchione (BS Computer Science ’16), also took to the podium to talk about the impact of technology in her life at the event, which just happened to be after her first day working at Microsoft!
Before and after the main event, the evening was filled with food, drinks and networking as guests from all kinds of backgrounds and industries flocked to celebrate Mike’s achievements.
We are incredibly grateful to all who attended this celebration, particularly to Robert Darnell and Mike Capone for their excellent participation.