LOS ANGELES, Oct. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The University of Southern California (USC) Center for Body Computing (CBC), the digital health innovation incubator of the Keck Medicine of USC medical enterprise, announced The Special Hope Foundation has joined its membership to ensure future digital health tools and services meet the needs of those with disabilities.
The Special Hope Foundation, based in Silicon Valley, has been a leading advocate in identifying the void in the American health care system when it comes to people with developmental disabilities, defined as a diverse group of chronic conditions due to mental or physical impairments such as autism, Down Syndrome and cerebral palsy. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, an estimated 48.9 million Americans – almost 1 in 5 citizens – have a disability. To fill the void and add a "voice" for people with disabilities in the rapidly evolving digital health world, The Special Hope Foundation chose the USC CBC as its partner to create awareness among companies focusing on digital health product development. The mission of the partnership is to encourage companies to consider people with developmental disabilities when designing and marketing digital health products and services.
Since its founding in 2006 as one of the nation's first academically-based digital health innovation centers, the USC CBC has been a global leader on innovating digital health tools and projects including wearable devices, smartphone apps, social media content, etc. – for a wide range of health care populations including people with chronic conditions, elite athletes, wounded warriors and more. By collaborating with private and public companies, the USC CBC has continued to develop tools and programs that disrupt existing health care models. It is also the country's first formalized training place for young physicians embracing digital health tools by announcing the nation's first Digital Health Fellowship this year.
"By partnering with The Special Hope Foundation and embracing the needs of millions of Americans with disabilities, we extend our role as a leading international center for digital health innovation," said Leslie Saxon, MD, founder and executive director of the USC CBC. "People with disabilities are a vibrant part of our communities and we believe encouraging companies to develop digital health tools with them in mind will enhance the efficacy and impact of the power of digital health for everyone."
"We know that health care is shifting dramatically over the next 15-20 years and the key role that technology will play in our communities of those with disabilities," said Lynne O'Hara, executive director of The Special Hope Foundation. "Our strategic partnership with the USC Center for Body Computing gives us an insider position to influence and leverage relationships with other USC CBC members for the good of all – everyone whether they are a weekend golfer, a youth soccer player, a Special Olympics athlete or a 'couch potato' – should have the tools that enhance their health care and their lives."
The USC CBC has developed and conducted private+public programs to synthesize technology, business, engineering, entertainment, design and medicine into new health care delivery paradigms that will innovatively enhance quality of life. Partners include leading influencers in various industries: AliveCor, Apple, BMW, Boston Scientific, Karten Design, IMS Health, Medable, Medtronic, NFL, Proteus Digital Health, Sanofi, VSP Global and others.
In addition, the USC CBC recently announced its Virtual Care Clinic, a first of its kind digital health platform developed that assembles the multi-disciplinary expertise unique to USC including: the medical and scientific experts at Keck Medicine of USC, the USC Roski Eye Institute and the USC Institute of Urology along with the USC Institute for Creative Technologies. Other projects include USC partners such as the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, USC Cinematic Arts and USC Stevens Center for Innovation.
Learn more about the USC Center for Body Computing at: uscbodycomputing.org
Learn more about The Special Hope Foundation at: specialhope.org
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SOURCE USC Center for Body Computing