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The Lyme Innovation “TOP Health” Teams in 2020

We’re kicking off 2020 by showcasing the ongoing successes of four Lyme Innovation “TOP Health” teams. One team received national recognition in the "Future of Healthcare Using AI" and won the TOP Prize Challenge, run by the U.S. Census Bureau in coordination with the White House Office of Management and Budget.

HHS dedicates this blog to the late David Maron, our colleague and friend at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs who championed Lyme Innovation and technology sprints.

The "TOP Health" technology sprint with Lyme Innovation concluded in January 2019, yet all four of the Lyme teams continued their momentum by building solutions through January 2020. This Lyme Innovation work shows how HHS engagement can be temporary, yet still have lasting impact. After only three months of HHS-led collaboration, the Lyme Innovation teams self-led and continued to deliver digital solutions related to ticks and tick-borne diseases.

What have these Lyme Innovation teams accomplished in the past 12 months? A lot!

Below are team updates to kick off 2020: 

CURA Patient for Lyme Disease (formerly the Clyme Health app) is a state-of-the-art ecosystem for managing Lyme disease and its associated chronic symptoms. The CURA Patient app uses artificial intelligence (AI) to customize treatment plans and make it easier for patients to follow individualized treatment protocols. Using both natural language processing (NLP) and AI-vision technology, CURA Patient helps both medical doctors and patients to identify and document symptoms. Its AI-driven virtual assistant is designed to help doctors customize treatment protocols and to help patients follow their unique treatment plans for complex chronic conditions like Lyme disease. The CURA Patient project received national recognition in the "Future of Healthcare Using AI" by winning the TOP Prize Challenge, run by the U.S. Census Bureau in coordination with the White House Office of Management and Budget. CURA Patient is being piloted at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. More info: http://curapatient.com//

Charles Rockefeller, David Maron, Kristen Honey, and Gil Alterovitz showcase the winning CURA Patient platform at TOP “Demo Day” 2019 at the U.S. Census Bureau.

Lyme Symptom Tracker app by Global Lyme Alliance and TrialX launched in 2019 with the HHS TOP Health tech sprint. The free app is designed for Lyme disease patients to easily track their daily symptoms and securely share with their healthcare provider. Users can search for and connect with relevant clinical studies. Data collected provides valuable insight into disease trends and statistics. Available for Android and Apple devices. More info from GLA: https://rb.gy/uy1yqd

TickTickBOOM! game is the first-ever gamification tool made by and for middle school children to learn how to protect themselves from ticks that may spread tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease. The full TickTickBOOM! video game is in development and on track for free, public release in various App Stores in late 2020. More info from the LivLyme Foundation: https://livlymefoundation.org/education/

TickTracker app is a real-time geo-location based tool that shows the distribution of ticks with heat maps, data visualization, and disease prevention information to keep users safe from tick bites and tick-borne diseases. The app will be incorporating tick-recognition AI as the first of its kind and expected to go public with beta testing in late 2020. The TickTracker app (not yet with AI) is available in various App Stores for free for download. More info: https://ticktracker.com/

HHS served as the convener and a resource “hub” for open data, scientific expertise, and interdisciplinary connection across silos for only three months. After this, industry and non-profit organizations continued delivering solutions without government.  

Complex problems like Lyme disease, by their nature, are too big for any one entity to solve. Cross-sector collaborations and public-private partnerships expedite progress and catalyze change faster than federal government alone. HHS Lyme Innovation does not in any way replace or supersede other government programs focused on ticks or tick-borne diseases. Rather, it augments federally funded science, disease control and prevention, and regulatory approvals for next-gen diagnostics, treatments, and technologies for Lyme and tick-borne diseases.

Lyme Innovation is forming unlikely allies and each one of us has a critical role to play — join us! #LymeInnovation #LymeTippingPoint


Editor’ s note: For this initiative, the HHS Office of the CTO broadly defines “Lyme” to include acute Lyme disease, chronic Lyme disease, post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome, and other tick-borne diseases that may co-occur with Lyme disease.


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