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Mary's Center

Development of a ChatBot to engage clients in HIV/STI awareness


 In 2022 Mary’s Center awarded a grant to pilot a culturally sensitive, bilingual AI chatbot for use with participants seeking our HIV/STI services, which will allow for 24/7 accessibility to requesting a sexual health consultation. The benefits of an AI chatbot over more basic chatbots will allow Mary’s Center to use more advanced technologies to tailor our services to the participant. Additionally, we will be able to adapt the technology over time as we learn more about what participants are requesting. In order to create a chatbot that is both culturally and linguistically sensitive, we plan to leverage deep learning and natural language processing through a comprehensive testing process reflective of the diverse communities we serve. 

Mary's Center

The Mize Award: The Smithsonian Institution

The Mize Award: The Smithsonian Institution

Utilization of Archaeological Technology to Develop Insights Regarding Bone Health


An award was granted to the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History for the project Human Bone Density in 17th Century America. This study will use DEXA scan imaging technology to analyze the bone health and general health of the early settlers of Jamestown, VA and St. Mary's, Maryland.Douglas W. Owsley, Smithsonian Curator in the Anthropology section has started on this project that could enhance knowledge in health care in a way that could further stimulate today's ongoing study of bone health in a positive way.

Zamorano University

Zamorano University

The ITHC has funded Zamorano University Food Analysis projects since 2010. The hope is that as an agricultural college the diet of the surrounding population could be influenced in a positive manner.  The purpose of an agricultural college is not only to produce food, but to produce food that is healthful. The work of the students and professors has supported this mission each year since.

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Crudem Foundation

The Crudem Foundation

 Medical records constitute a critical foundation of healthcare institutions and have the potential to improve access to information and quality of patient care. Ready access to reliable, up to date and accurate patient histories support timely diagnoses, appropriate therapies, and treatment plans. The majority of developed countries use electronic medical records (EMR) to ensure optimum efficiency and effectiveness. 

Novel EMR implementations for low resource countries, such as Haiti, despite the considerable benefits, such systems are a luxury for most institutions in low resource countries.


Implementation of Electronic Medical Records in Haiti

Hôpital Sacré Coeur (“HSC”) in Milot recognizes the critical importance of EMR and has committed to upgrading its medical records system to an EMR model in order to provide their regional patient population with excellent, quality healthcare. That need is underscored by the steady annual increase in transaction volume: in 2019, Hôpital Sacré Coeur completed more than 590,000 patient transactions. Thankfully, HSC has both the infrastructure, staff competency and technical resources to entertain the inclusion of EMR in the hospital. 


The Institute for Technology in Health Care supports The Crudem vision and is pleased to assist in The Crudem Foundation's continuation of this effort in 2022 with Phase 2 with the training of superusers --- individuals who will serve as onsite trainers and supervisors for the hospital staff. Haiti Health Promise U.S. Medical Director, James Morgan, MD, Hôpital Sacré 2 Coeur Chief Medical Officer and Chief of Pediatrics, Michele Hanna, MD, Chief of Pharmacy, Marcelle Etienne, and Hôpital Sacré Coeur Communications Center Director, Emmanel Jeannite comprise the onsite superuser team. The three-month superuser training program under the auspices of Mekom staff included onsite and virtual (Zoom) group meetings supplemented with instructional manuals and displays in French and English. A comprehensive user guide detailed step by step instructions for all aspects of the EMR processes and troubleshooting. 

On Monday, October 19, 2015 the Cytopathology Laboratory at Hôpital Sacré-Coeur opened. Haitian women scored a life-changing victory. Thirty-seven Pap Smears were collected that day. They were prepared and stained. On Wednesday, October 21, all 37 Pap Smears had been read by Dr. Santos and the reports printed out. On Thursday, October 22nd, all 37 patients were notified of their results via a system devised by the clinical staff at Hôpital Sacré-Coeur. The following day some of those with abnormal reports had been seen, biopsied and were awaiting final disposition of their cases. One woman was unable to comprehend how such an important test, which had taken her two years to have performed, could have the results ready in only 3 days.

“The Institute for Technology in Health Care has changed this dreadful reality for the better. Because of your generous support, Hôpital Sacré-Coeur in Milot has been able to equip a small pathology lab and acquire the services of Dr. Rene Santos, a Cuban born Pathologist and the only specialist of his kind in all of Northern Haiti --- a region with a population of more than 2 million people..."

This capacity is a really significant step for the women of Haiti, not only for the lives which will be saved, but for the relief of the anxiety and mental anguish that these women endure in fear of this dread disease. This reality was brought home by the pinched, anxious face of one of those notified that her result was abnormal. She happened to be a nurse on the Hôpital Sacré-Coeur staff and she raced to the door of the Operating Room, where an OB-Gyn team was working, with fearful questions about her fate. The fact that the surgery team was able to answer her questions, examine her and perform a biopsy that same day is almost unbelievable to those who know from past experience what a time consuming ordeal this usually is for the patient.”

The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI)


The ITHC approached AAMI to establish the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation Foundation / Institute for Technology in Health Care Clinical Solutions Award was established in 2005.  This is an award that recognizes career achievement in the field of Clinical Engineering.  

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The AAMI Foundation & Institute for Technology in Health Care’s Clinical Solution Award honors a healthcare technology professional or group that has applied innovative clinical engineering practices or principles to solve one or more significant clinical patient care problems or challenges facing a patient population, community or group. 

American Academy for HIV Medicine (AAHIVM)


AAHIVM/ITHC HIV Practice Award was established as an annual award in 2011, with the first awards given by the American Academy for HIV Medicine (AAHIVM) in 2012. Recipients are nominated for the award and an AAHIVM committee selects recipients.  Some of the awards have been given for use of social media to educate at-risk populations, telemedicine to expand clinical reach in urban, rural, and prison populations, and in focusing electronic health software on the needs of clinicians specializing in treating HIV positive patients. While the ITHC funds the awards, it has no involvement in the selection process.

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2023 Winner: Damien Cares, Indianpolis, IN

he American Academy of HIV Medicine and the Institute for Technology in Health Care (ITHC) have awarded the 2023 Cesar Augusto Caceres Award for Technology in HIV Practice to Damien Cares in Indianapolis, Ind. The organization and its president and CEO, Alan Witchey, are being recognized for developing and implementing a creative telemedicine program that helps to expand needed services to individuals who typically face barriers to care. Damien Cares offers individuals in central Indiana access to infectious disease care, primary care, HIV/STI testing, HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis and post-exposure prophylaxis, and mental health and substance use services.

Damien’s telehealth program helps to ensure that care is accessible to all clients, including those who may lack transportation, face housing instability, or are struggling with mental illness or substance use disorder. The program has provided patients, free of charge, with 100 tablets, each including an unlimited 4G data connection to allow them to connect with providers. Damien Cares focused on distributing the devices to those most in need: patients who are at the highest risk of complications and those who are low-income. Early patient surveys conducted by the organization indicated that clients agreed that having a tablet makes it easier to access services at Damien (81%) and they agreed that having a tablet helped them stay in care at Damien (87%).

“Damien’s telehealth devices are integral to patient care because they help us overcome a multitude of barriers faced by our most vulnerable clients, reaching patients who might otherwise not have access to telehealth activities,” said Mr. Witchey. “I am honored to be recognized by the Academy and ITHC and am committed to continuing this essential program for our patients who are most in need.”

Telehealth can improve continuity of care and health outcomes, but it is often inaccessible to many people because they do not have access to technology, such as a laptop or tablet, or connectivity to the internet. Damien Cares serves a large percentage of those patients facing the greatest barriers to access. A high percentage of Damien Cares patients are unstably housed or homeless, have experienced past incarceration, or are dealing with a mental illness and/or substance use disorder. The tablets ensure these patients can access care when and where they need it. In addition to direct contact with providers, the tablets offer clients access to educational videos, complete Google searches for medication and disease related sites, and connect to an online portal where patients can review their medical records, including viral load data and provider notes.

ITHC - AAHIVM Video Library