Click here to close now.


Open Source Cloud Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Liz McMillan, Lori MacVittie, XebiaLabs Blog, Elizabeth White

News Feed Item

Siren Interactive Brings together Global Genes, MIT, and Bestselling Author And Geneticist to Hack a Diagnosis Tool for Rare Diseases

MIT's H@cking Medicine Program Will Deliver Technology Platform for Global Genes™ to Provide Novel Tools to Help Physicians Speed Diagnosis of Rare Disease Patients

CHICAGO, Feb. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Diagnosis is one of the most challenging problems faced by rare disease patients and caregivers. The Shire Rare Disease Impact Report found that it takes an average of 7.6 years for rare disease patients in the US to receive a proper diagnosis, with 2-3 misdiagnoses along the way. One reason is that, according to National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates, only 500 of the 7,000 rare diseases are likely to be in a physician's repertoire for diagnosis.

Author and geneticist Sharon Moalem, MD, PhD will be part of an unprecedented collaboration to create an open source solution that will help doctors save lives at Healthcare's Grand HackFest with H@cking Medicine at MIT on March 14-16. The hackathon is the final push that will follow more than seven years of research and investments by Dr. Moalem to develop an inexpensive facial recognition tool for genetic and congenital disorders by leveraging technology developed for the security industry. This disruptive technology may provide a way to help physicians screen for rare genetic conditions that would otherwise be missed.

"Right now the tool does only relative facial comparisons," Moalem explains. "I know it can do so much more and this hackathon will be what we need to take it to the next level—and ideally, arm doctors with crucial knowledge to help patients."

The hackathon is scheduled for March 14-16 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Staged by MIT and the Kauffman Foundation, the event brings together teams of engineers, entrepreneurs, designers, patients, and healthcare professionals to develop creative solutions and innovative breakthroughs in various tracks over the course of one weekend.

"The goal is to create an environment with enough support where these teams (usually pitched by clinicians) can really dive deep into the problems in healthcare, be matched with the right innovative people who provide solutions, and then work on the solution enough to have a product to demo at the end," explains Andrea Ippolito, co-leader of MIT H@cking Medicine.

The rare disease track of the hackathon emerged from a collaboration between Dr. Moalem and Wendy White, a rare disease caregiver and founder of Siren Interactive, a relationship marketing agency specializing in orphan drugs and rare diseases. They are partnering with the Global Genes Project, a leading rare disease patient advocacy organization, which will provide the resulting Recognyz software application to healthcare professionals.

According to White, "It's not realistic to expect physicians to be highly educated about 7000 different diseases–most of which they will never see in their practice.  I can tell you as a rare disease caregiver that leveraging technology in this way will be a huge leap forward in getting a timely and accurate diagnosis and, for some patients, more effective treatment."

Cross-functional teams will compete over the course of 3 days to refine Moalem's rare disease diagnosis software and the winning team will receive funding for their approach. Moalem is donating his Recognyz patents to Global Genes so the tool can be offered free of charge to physicians.

"We are honored to be a strategic partner in this opportunity to offer a potentially game changing new tool to physicians," commented Nicole Boice, president and founder of Global Genes. "Providing it at little or no cost for greater adoption and increased patient access is even more appealing."

For information about the rare disease hackathon, contact: Ayesha N. Khalid, MD, 1-503-789-2203.

For more facts on rare disease diagnosis, view and share Siren's infographic, Journey into the Unknown, The Search for a Rare Diagnosis.

About Sharon Moalem, MD, PhD
Sharon Moalem MD, PhD, is a physician, scientist, and inventor. He has been researching rare disorders for the last 15 years working to find novel treatments for orphan diseases. Dr. Moalem is also a NYT bestselling author and his highly anticipated third book, Inheritance: How Our Genes Change Our Lives, and Our Lives Change Our Genes, demonstrates what rare genetic conditions can teach us about our health and wellbeing.

He is also the founder of two biotechnology companies and is the recipient of 20 patents for his inventions in biotechnology and human health. Dr. Moalem's scientific work, based upon using rare conditions as a template to understand more common conditions led to the discovery of Siderocillin, a new antibiotic that specifically targets so called 'superbugs' or multiresistant microbes that have increasingly become a serious threat to our health.

His current invention, a mobile application called Recogynz, was developed to provide an accessible tool to assist healthcare practitioners in the identification of facial features that are associated with rare disorders. The desire to create a mobile medical application, that could help in the detection of rare disorders, was rooted in the desire to reduce the time to diagnosis and in so doing improve health outcomes.

About Siren Interactive
Siren Interactive is a rare disease relationship marketing agency with unmatched expertise in addressing the challenges and unmet needs of patients, caregivers, and physicians dealing with rare disorders. For more than 14 years, across more than 30 different disease states, we've had 1 focus: Finding rare disease patients and connecting them to our clients' brands. As trailblazers in recognizing that patient-driven decision making is central to successful orphan drug commercialization, we are constantly innovating to meet patients and caregivers where they live. To learn more about our proprietary approaches to building trust relationships with rare disease stakeholders visit

About Global Genes
Global Genes is a leading rare and genetic disease patient advocacy organization.The organization's mission is to 'Eliminate the Challenges of Rare Disease' by equipping patients to become successful advocates, and through education and empowerment, become 'activists' for their disease.  Global Genes does this through a growing portfolio of educational tools and resources, events, building out critical connections and funding innovations in science and technology that will impact patients within their lifetime.  Recognized worldwide by the Blue Denim Genes Ribbon™, Global Genes unites experts, advocates and patients of all ages to stand together in hope for treatments and cures for the estimated 7,000 rare and genetic diseases that impact approximately 30 million Americans and over 250 million people worldwide. For more information about Global Genes™, please visit the following links:



Twitter: @GlobalGenes -

About MIT H@cking Medicine
Mentored by Entrepreneur in Residence and Senior Faculty member Zen Chu, PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) H@cking Medicine's mission is to create an ecosystem at MIT, hosting the Boston medical community and beyond to teach engineers, entrepreneurs, clinicians, and designers the skills necessary to launch disruptive healthcare businesses.  Healthcare needs Hackers—clever innovators to re-architect healthcare systems and create new products and services to impact cost and quality. Some areas of healthcare are not hackable and must prove efficacy down a traditional plodding path. However, health professionals and engineers can accelerate medical innovation across many diseases and institutions by applying techniques from high technology to healthcare. Borrowing philosophies from Silicon Valley and MIT for rapid product design, lean startup methodologies, workflow re-engineering, novel data collection, big data analysis, and info publishing can have powerful effects in healthcare.

SOURCE Global Genes

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi's VP Business Development and Engineering, will explore the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context w...
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, will keynote at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Developing software for the Internet of Things (IoT) comes with its own set of challenges. Security, privacy, and unified standards are a few key issues. In addition, each IoT product is comprised of at least three separate application components: the software embedded in the device, the backend big-data service, and the mobile application for the end user's controls. Each component is developed by a different team, using different technologies and practices, and deployed to a different stack/target - this makes the integration of these separate pipelines and the coordination of software upd...
The IoT market is on track to hit $7.1 trillion in 2020. The reality is that only a handful of companies are ready for this massive demand. There are a lot of barriers, paint points, traps, and hidden roadblocks. How can we deal with these issues and challenges? The paradigm has changed. Old-style ad-hoc trial-and-error ways will certainly lead you to the dead end. What is mandatory is an overarching and adaptive approach to effectively handle the rapid changes and exponential growth.
Mobile messaging has been a popular communication channel for more than 20 years. Finnish engineer Matti Makkonen invented the idea for SMS (Short Message Service) in 1984, making his vision a reality on December 3, 1992 by sending the first message ("Happy Christmas") from a PC to a cell phone. Since then, the technology has evolved immensely, from both a technology standpoint, and in our everyday uses for it. Originally used for person-to-person (P2P) communication, i.e., Sally sends a text message to Betty – mobile messaging now offers tremendous value to businesses for customer and empl...
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new data-driven world, marketplaces reign supreme while interoperability, APIs and applications deliver un...
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
WebRTC converts the entire network into a ubiquitous communications cloud thereby connecting anytime, anywhere through any point. In his session at WebRTC Summit,, Mark Castleman, EIR at Bell Labs and Head of Future X Labs, will discuss how the transformational nature of communications is achieved through the democratizing force of WebRTC. WebRTC is doing for voice what HTML did for web content.
The IoT is upon us, but today’s databases, built on 30-year-old math, require multiple platforms to create a single solution. Data demands of the IoT require Big Data systems that can handle ingest, transactions and analytics concurrently adapting to varied situations as they occur, with speed at scale. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chad Jones, chief strategy officer at Deep Information Sciences, will look differently at IoT data so enterprises can fully leverage their IoT potential. He’ll share tips on how to speed up business initiatives, harness Big Data and remain one step ahead by apply...
Nowadays, a large number of sensors and devices are connected to the network. Leading-edge IoT technologies integrate various types of sensor data to create a new value for several business decision scenarios. The transparent cloud is a model of a new IoT emergence service platform. Many service providers store and access various types of sensor data in order to create and find out new business values by integrating such data.
The broad selection of hardware, the rapid evolution of operating systems and the time-to-market for mobile apps has been so rapid that new challenges for developers and engineers arise every day. Security, testing, hosting, and other metrics have to be considered through the process. In his session at Big Data Expo, Walter Maguire, Chief Field Technologist, HP Big Data Group, at Hewlett-Packard, will discuss the challenges faced by developers and a composite Big Data applications builder, focusing on how to help solve the problems that developers are continuously battling.
There are so many tools and techniques for data analytics that even for a data scientist the choices, possible systems, and even the types of data can be daunting. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Harrold, Global CTO for Big Data Solutions for EMC Corporation, will show how to perform a simple, but meaningful analysis of social sentiment data using freely available tools that take only minutes to download and install. Participants will get the download information, scripts, and complete end-to-end walkthrough of the analysis from start to finish. Participants will also be given the pract...
WebRTC services have already permeated corporate communications in the form of videoconferencing solutions. However, WebRTC has the potential of going beyond and catalyzing a new class of services providing more than calls with capabilities such as mass-scale real-time media broadcasting, enriched and augmented video, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Luis Lopez, CEO of Kurento, will introduce the technologies required for implementing these ideas and some early experiments performed in the Kurento open source software community in areas ...
Internet of Things (IoT) will be a hybrid ecosystem of diverse devices and sensors collaborating with operational and enterprise systems to create the next big application. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Bramh Gupta, founder and CEO of, and Fred Yatzeck, principal architect leading product development at, discussed how choosing the right middleware and integration strategy from the get-go will enable IoT solution developers to adapt and grow with the industry, while at the same time reduce Time to Market (TTM) by using plug and play capabilities offered by a robust IoT ...
Today’s connected world is moving from devices towards things, what this means is that by using increasingly low cost sensors embedded in devices we can create many new use cases. These span across use cases in cities, vehicles, home, offices, factories, retail environments, worksites, health, logistics, and health. These use cases rely on ubiquitous connectivity and generate massive amounts of data at scale. These technologies enable new business opportunities, ways to optimize and automate, along with new ways to engage with users.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Through WebRTC, audio and video communications are being embedded more easily than ever into applications, helping carriers, enterprises and independent software vendors deliver greater functionality to their end users. With today’s business world increasingly focused on outcomes, users’ growing calls for ease of use, and businesses craving smarter, tighter integration, what’s the next step in delivering a richer, more immersive experience? That richer, more fully integrated experience comes about through a Communications Platform as a Service which allows for messaging, screen sharing, video...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dyn, the worldwide leader in Internet Performance, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dyn is a cloud-based Internet Performance company. Dyn helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Through a world-class network and unrivaled, objective intelligence into Internet conditions, Dyn ensures traffic gets delivered faster, safer, and more reliably than ever.