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The new Regional Autonomous Patient Safety initiative is funding tech to prevent medical errors

Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative's $300,000 grant is the second phase of the RAPS program launched in February.

Hospital tech. (Photo by Pexels user Anna Shvets via a Creative Commons license)

Could Pittsburgh become a hub for autonomous patient safety tech?

The Jewish Healthcare Foundation has approved a one-year, $300,000 grant to support patient safety research and development as a part of the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative. This grant is the second phase of the Regional Autonomous Patient Safety (RAPS), an initiative announced in February that seeks to put Pittsburgh at the forefront of developing tech to prevent medical mistakes.

“We have a problem in healthcare,” Jewish Healthcare Foundation President and CEO Karen Feinstein said at the RAPS launch event. “There is no dedicated team working on patient safety, and exploring the opportunities that modern technologies bring.”

According to the organization’s Tuesday announcement, this latest incarnation of the initiative includes a new $200,000 seed grant program. Under what’s called the Collaborative Seed Grant Program, the initiative will provide early-stage grants to companies and researchers in the Pittsburgh area that are working on autonomous solutions to prevent medical errors.

The Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative will also commission “an economic analysis to capture the region’s potential for becoming a global tech hub for autonomous patient safety solutions,” per a release, and host “Patient Safety R&D Salons” to further discussions on the topic.

The Collaborative Seed Grant Program will accept proposals starting June 1. After that, the program will award funding to applicants that most align with the objective to allow healthcare providers to work in safe environments while enabling potential federal funding opportunities, per the org.

Atiya Irvin-Mitchell is a 2022-2023 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Heinz Endowments.

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