BEYOND THE AWARDS, SKINPACT IS ABOUT MAKING A DIFFERENCE
An interview with the 2015 SkinPact Award winner in the Community Leadership category, Community’s vote: Dr. Chao-Kai Hsu
“The SkinPact Award is a tremendous opportunity to realize our vision of bringing a new dimension to dermatology and patient care, and achieving strong recognition of our team work that evolved through a global competition”
Dr. Chao-Kai Hsu, Project leader together with Dr. Hsing-San Yang, working with Dr. Sheng Pei-Wang and Hans I-Chen Harn
National Cheng Kung University Hospital, Taiwan
What motivated you to submit a project application to the SkinPact Awards?
There are two motives that brought the project together:
1) The needs of EB (Epidermolysis Bullosa) patients, and
2) The need to integrate mobile technology with medicine.
We have long witnessed the difficulties of EB patients in carrying out daily chores, and we are always looking for better ways to improve their quality of life. Use of an audio-controlled mobile app acts as a bridge to bringing the patient-doctor relationship much closer and facilitating better wound care and quality of life for the patients.
What is your project’s theme?
After winning the Award and grant, how did you proceed with executing your project?
We began by looking for the right IT collaborator to build the mobile app that we proposed. We were very fortunate to find a CEO that has provided all the services free of charge as a goodwill gesture for EB patients. At the same time, we also reached out to medical staff, international scholars and patients interested in the proposal, and invited them to join the project. Once the core team was formed, we programmed monthly teleconferences to ensure project progress.
What are the goals and measures of success for your project?
We hope that the mobile app (iAID) will provide an instant, audio-assisted e-secretary for bridging communication between patients and physicians. Patients will be able to take a photo of their skin and receive recommendations from the dermatologist. It will also serve as a social support platform for patient, family and physician communication. We will measure success via a satisfaction survey, evaluation of frequency of app use, an experience sharing conference, medical records, prognosis of wound condition, and educational outcomes.
What stage is your project at today?
The mobile app (iAID) is now in its testing stage with a beta-version. We are currently testing it with invited participants that include patients, scholars, and physicians. We will provide feedback to the IT team and allow them to adjust the app accordingly. Then, we will invite more EB patients and physicians to join the 2nd testing stage of the app.
Who is working with you on your project?
On the medical side:
Chao-Kai Hsu, MD – Assistant Professor, Department of Dermatology,National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
Hsing-San Yang, MD – Visiting Researcher, St John’s Institute of Dermatology, King’s College London, UK
Hans I-Chen Harn, PhD – Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Pathology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA
Sheng-Pei Wang, MD – Resident, Department of Dermatology,
Far Eastern Memorial Hospital, Taiwan
Chen-Chee Lim – Intern, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan
On the IT side:
Wei-Wen Chen – Head of Information & Technology, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, Tainan, Taiwan
Yong-Sheng Wang – CEO of Vigor Shine Technology Co. Ltd, Taichung, Taiwan
Ya-Han Hong – IT Specialist at Vigor Shine Technology Co. Ltd, Taichung, Taiwan
What would be the impact of your project? How do you think your project will make a difference in the real world setting?
In the foreseeable future, this project will connect patients, families, and physicians, and provide all-around aids from mental, social, and health networks. These will greatly improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Furthermore, patient compliance will improve and dermatologists will learn from the growing database.
In the long term, we also believe the impact of iAID could extend beyond dermatology. Any user with the need for tele-medical care will benefit from the platform. iAID should also facilitate better patient-family-physician communication and improve the patient-physician relationship.
What would you say to professionals who wish to apply to the SkinPact Awards?
We think that the SkinPact Awards are perfect for physicians or scientists in dermatology that have brilliant ideas too wild for NIH grants, too simple for entrepreneur start-ups, and too ‘non-academic’ for hospital grants.
Thus to apply for the awards, one needs to identify the unmet need, look around for free-minded teammates, and dream big!
Finally, could you give some words of encouragement to inspire those who have ideas and initiatives?
A little bit more about Dr. Chao Kai-Hsu and Hsing-San Yang…
“On a typical working day…
The daily routine is constituted of clinical meetings, outpatient clinics and inpatient care.
In addition, we also perform skin biopsy and genetic study for definite diagnosis. The latter is the major interest of our research that we perform daily as well.”