May 29, 2024

Paige & Cornell Tech Students Collaborate to Advance Patient-Centric AI Technology

During the fall semester of 2023, Paige worked closely with graduate students at Cornell Tech through Product Studio, a course that challenges students to develop solutions to real-world problems posed by leading companies. As a program sponsor, Paige offered a thought-provoking question to inspire students to create technology that could address a genuine issue seen in healthcare and provided guidance from our experience as product development and AI experts. The collaboration resulted in not only a unique and compelling product idea but learnings for the students, Paige, and the industry at large that we believe could ultimately help shape the future of healthcare technology.

The Challenge

Following many years of experience both as practicing physicians and HealthTech providers, Paige asked students to consider “How might we educate patients about the possibilities of artificial intelligence-aided diagnosis in digital pathology?” A group of five master’s students who are passionate about bridging knowledge gaps in healthcare and improving health equity formed a team resolved to answer this question. The team, consisting of Mofopefoluwa Olarinmoye, MBA, Ananya Devarakonda and Subin Yun, Health Tech, Paige Williams, Operations Research and Information Engineering, and Kimia Naeiji, Computer Science, worked alongside Jan Bernhard, AI Engineer at Paige, as their company advisor, along with several other members of our AI, UX, and other expert teams. Jan offered feedback throughout the ideation and product development phases from his years as a seasoned AI leader and guided the team toward a solution that would be viable and impactful.

The Outcome: OncoTranslate

The students’ product idea is called OncoTranslate. This web app solution translates medical jargon into everyday language and provides patients with personalized suggested questions about elements of their reports that they can bring to their next meeting with their physician.

Specifically, the team designed the tool for breast cancer patients who may be receiving complex pathology reports well before they’ll have the chance to meet with their care team again and who would feel greater peace of mind having the tools to interpret this information on their own. They saw that there was a significant knowledge gap between what goes on behind the scenes at the pathology lab and what patients understood about their diagnosis and prognosis and set out to offer an easy way to bridge that gap.

To use the tool, a patient would simply log in to the web portal, upload the report provided by their pathologist, and click on words or phrases they’d like to understand better. A definition in layperson’s terms, along with ideas for a few questions they can pose to their clinician, would be presented for them to prepare for their next appointment.

While the tool does address the initial question posed by Paige, it also goes beyond and considers how we can create a world where better medical literacy for all is possible. This tool could help patients understand their reports better, improve the doctor/patient relationship, and ensure that both sides of the care equation have more productive appointments, ultimately enhancing the care experience.

Key Learnings

For the students we worked with, developing this product prototype revealed a few critical lessons. It helped them understand the very complex healthcare landscape and the pain points occurring behind the scenes, which, they noted, has inspired a continued desire to work at driving change in the field. Additionally, it clarified the nuances that must be considered when designing health-focused products and how to properly ideate, de-risk, experiment, and create products that best serve patients or doctors. This is, again, valuable experience that they can take into careers in HealthTech in the future.

For Paige, seeing the incredible reception of this project demonstrated a clear need for more patient-centric work in the field and validated that our mission and vision will be impactful for real-world patients. We feel strongly that working with these future leaders on new innovations can continue to improve healthcare, and we are proud to be part of a community driving the world’s cancer care experience forward.

As a New York-based company, Paige is proud to be part of the NYC tech ecosystem. Our collaboration with graduate students in this space not only provides us with unique insights into moonshot ideas, but also enriches our long-term development roadmap in ways that could benefit the community we serve – patients and physicians.