Building access to the Regenstrief Institute is restricted through early 2021. More on our coronavirus precautions.
See our coronavirus precautions.

The Uppstroms app from Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI won the top prize at the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) Pitch IT competition. The competition was looking for the best new ideas using information and informatics to improve patient care.

The Uppstroms app aims to help doctors be proactive in getting help for their patients. It looks at social determinants of health, like where a patient lives or his access to healthy foods. Then it helps doctors evaluate which patients could benefit from social intervention before the problems turn into a crisis. Evidence suggests that at least one in four adults, and possibly as many as one in two, have a need driven by social determinants of health. Addressing those needs can save a health system up to $2.4 million a year in avoided hospitalization costs alone.

“Nearly every single hospital is working to address patients’ social needs, and most are struggling,” said Regenstrief investigator and team leader Josh Vest, Ph.D. “Our project provides an innovative and feasible solution to help improve patient health and save health systems significant amounts of money.” Dr. Vest also is the director at the Center for Health Policy at IU Fairbanks School of Public Health.

The algorithm uses electronic health records (EHR) data, combining it with environmental and social context, public health data sources on neighborhood trends and statewide health information exchange data to predict the need for a referral to wraparound services like a counselor or a dietician. The app creates and scales a risk prediction score for each patient and makes it available to providers at the beginning of the day. The program is currently in use at nine Eskenazi Health primary care clinics.

Uppstroms was one of five projects to make it to the finals of the Pitch IT competition. The team won $12,500. This is the second year in a row that a Regenstrief project has won the competition.

Dr. Vest led the team, which also included Shaun Grannis, M.D. from Regenstrief and IU School of Medicine, Suranga Kasthurirathne, Ph.D. and Nir Menachemi, Ph.D. from Regenstrief and IU Fairbanks School of Public Health and Paul Halverson, DrPH, the founding dean of IU Fairbanks. They chose to name the project “Uppstroms”, which means “upstream” in Swedish, because it addresses upstream determinants of health.

Watch the presentation.

Related News

Oct 27, 2020 • News
Utilizing telecare to motivate depressed individuals who take opioids into treatment
Regenstrief and IU evaluate tool to help primary care physicians counter opioid epidemic Drawing upon their experience and expertise in telehealth, collaborative care models, substance use disorders, depression and health information technology, Indiana University School of Medicine and Regenstrief Institute faculty have been awarded $3.9 million over four years to collaborate with Kaiser Permanente Washington…
Continue Reading >
Oct 19, 2020 • News
Nursing home residents with cognitive impairment more likely to be admitted to hospital
Study sheds light on transfers of care and ways to improve care for nursing home residents Transfers from the nursing home to the emergency department (ED) or the hospital can have negative longer-term impact on the health of older adults. A new study from Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Medicine looked at which…
Continue Reading >