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Patients, families, doctors, clinicians, and researchers all collaborating for better health care outcomes? This might have been impossible prior to the introduction of the internet, but a new learning health network (LHN) model is evolving and becoming more popular for many diseases and chronic conditions.
Hive Networks is a technology software company whose sole purpose is to put this model into use.
An important element of the LHN model is patient input. Sami Kennedy was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at the age of 14. While she felt she had her doctor’s ear, she didn’t realize the value of her perspective.
“It wasn’t until I started college and discovered the ImproveCareNow network that I learned that my voice truly mattered. This learning health network brought together patients, doctors, clinicians, and researchers to share their findings and experiences in a collaborative setting,” Kennedy said.
William Hoos, the executive director of 1440 Cancer Research and Collaboration, stresses the importance of a network like LHN.
He said, “There is a need to create a network, where brilliant minds, inspired to provide patient-centric, innovative, comprehensive and compassionate care, can be brought together in support of the patient’s cancer journey.”
As such, the 1440 Foundation launched a project to bring hope to living beyond a pancreatic cancer diagnosis, by co-creating a best-in-class pancreatic cancer care system, using a sustainable learning health network model.
While the early learning health networks worked well for individual diseases, they were not very customizable, nor did they scale well to other diseases and chronic conditions. Enter serial entrepreneur John Bostick, who cut his teeth founding successful national IT consulting firms based in the Cincinnati area, focusing on database services and business analytics.
When Bostick became an executive in residence at CincyTech, he was introduced to Dr. Peter Margolis at The Anderson Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. It was through this introduction that he learned about LHNs, including ImproveCareNow.
Bostick immediately saw the value of ICN, but he asked, “How do you build more of these learning health networks not only for pediatric diseases and conditions but adult ones, too?” He saw an opportunity to create a technology platform that would accommodate an unlimited number of disease states. A “hive” or network of networks, if you will.
Hive Networks was formed in 2019. It is a mission-driven technology software company whose sole purpose is to improve the quality of life and health outcomes of people with chronic conditions.
Using a science-based platform that quickly delivers tangible, measurable step-change improvements in healthcare outcomes, it brings the power of collaboration, shared expertise, and technology to enable people to live healthier lives and get better faster. Hive Networks is a national organization, and Cincinnati Children's Hospital is one of the founding members.
Hive Networks is not limited to chronic conditions. Its platform can also be repurposed for other healthcare needs very quickly. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Bostick’s organization has brought together more than 2,300 doctors and clinicians from over 70 countries into a virtual space where they can collaborate and share expertise and best practices.
The team mantra at Hive Networks is “It takes a lot of bees working together to make honey.” In today’s environment and in these uncertain times, we could certainly use more honey.