NEOMED teams win Best in Digital Health at Utah competition

Congratulations to the Dream AI team, comprised of second-year students in the College of Medicine, for earning Best in Digital Health at the University of Utah’s Bench to Bedside competition.

Two students in coats stand with a poster describing their project.

The Dream AI team includes students Zachary Oatley, Tyler Nguyen, Ricardo Velez-Hernandez and Danny Jaber, as well as Jeremy Glasgow, a business analytics graduate student at Kent State University. Their award includes $5,000 to continue development of their innovation.

According to teammate Oatley, Dream AI is an electronic health record add-on that aims to revolutionize the diagnosis of sleep apnea by leveraging modern health record advancements and machine learning.

“The product integrates into the health record to identify patients at high risk for sleep apnea and prescreens them using existing data in a proprietary two-step process at a very low marginal cost,” he said. “Our goal is to advance efforts to address 23.5 million undiagnosed sleep apnea patients and an associated $149.6 billion health care burden by bringing an economically viable, proactive screening protocol to the primary care setting.”

Dream AI also aims to address evidence gaps identified by a 2022 study by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which found there was insufficient evidence to recommend screening for sleep apnea.

The team is currently pursuing a non-provisional patent for Dream AI, as their data validation continues in an industry-funded study at a Veterans Affairs medical center using a medical-grade wearable device and a planned study in the primary care setting.

“I will be pursuing this over the next year during an enrichment leave of absence alongside other research, and through work as national chair of medical education at the American Medical Student Association,” Oatley shared. “At AMSA, I plan to pursue various efforts related to medical student education on AI and emerging medical technology, premedical student education on financial aid and student loans, and initiating student led, state level and inter-organization education advocacy.”

The Dream AI team was invited to Salt Lake City, Utah, to compete in UofU’s bench-to-bedside program as a result of their participation in the NEOvation Bench to Bedside competition and their work in the program last year.

This year UofU's competition had over 30 teams from across Utah and the country, including a team comprised of Ph.D student Gabrielle Robinson and Ernesto Solorzano Zepeda, Ph.D. (’23).

“NEOMED's bench-to-bedside program, now run by Dr. Fayez Safadi, was originally brought to NEOMED by President Langell, who is the former director of Medical Innovation at UofU before he came to NEOMED,” noted Oatley. “At the competition, I noted several judges were happy to see students excited to be involved in a similar program under leadership of their former colleague and Dr. Safadi. Each of them had wonderful things to say about Dr. Langell and wished him the best at NEOMED.”

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