Center for Health Insights director leads medical wearables challenge

Mark Hoffman, Ph.D., is director of UMKC's Center for Health Insights.
Mark Hoffman, Ph.D., is director of UMKC’s Center for Health Insights.

Mark Hoffman, director of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Center for Health Insights, is a leader in the Wearables in Healthcare Pilot Challenge. Voting ends Saturday, March 28, and requires a short registration on Medstro, a social network for physicians, medical students, researchers and the interested public.

Winners of the seven initial awards are given the opportunity to pitch to Google’s Boston headquarters to win up to $10,000 to support the project. With less than a week remaining in the voting, Hoffman’s two entries — both emerging devices rather than inventions — were in the Top 5 of 89 entries and were leading their categories.

“For me, this is about more than prizes; it is about the opportunity to do some work at the leading edge and about broadening precision medicine and putting a very personal face, in this case some special children, on a technology initiative,” said Hoffman, who also is director of Translational Bioinformatics at Children’s Mercy.

Hoffman’s entries for wearables projects were inspired by the multiple health challenges facing the Szajnuk family, the three grandchildren of the choir director at Hoffman’s church. The three children struggle with pain, inability to cool down when they become warm and other symptoms. Hoffman’s #Research blog post includes more information.

Here are the voting site links to Hoffman’s entries:

Before joining UMKC in 2013, Hoffman spent 16 years leading genomics, public health and research initiatives at Cerner, where he was a vice president.