Children Health

The Geographically Unlucky. Our guest on the Pediatric Moonshot… | by Timothy Chou | Jan, 2024

Our guest on the Pediatric Moonshot Podcast is Dr. Laura Jana. Dr. Jana is a pediatrician, educator, health communicator and award-winning author. Her most recent books, The Toddler Brain: Nurture the Skills Today That Will Shape Your Child’s Tomorrow and Jumping Into Kindergarten, introduce the fundamentally important concept of QI Skills and convey the powerful role parents, educators, and other caring responsive adults play in children’s healthy development during their foundational first 5 years.

She finds connections across disciplines and crystallizes big ideas into far-reaching, real world applications, with a focus on social impact. Today she is Chief Innovation Officer of the Evidence to Impact Collaborative at Penn State University; Chair — Medical & Scientific Safety Council Chair and a long time spokesperson for the American Association of Pediatrics. You can guess she’s a frequent TEDx speaker.

Laura and I met a few years ago, introduced by the great connector — Toby Redshaw. I was surprised to learn I’ve known her twin sister for over ten years. From that day Laura has been part of the Pediatric Moonshot mission crew and among other things edited the series of Medium articles beginning with Why Artifical Intelligence for Children’s Medicine. The mission to reduce healthcare inequity locally, rurally and globally is a subject near and dear to her heart. In the podcast she shares her personal insights on where to locate her family when she got out of medical school as well as her person experiences working in rural Honduras.

Today if you’re not geographically lucky you won’t have access to pediatric expertise. Sixty percent (60%) of the rural counties in the US have no pediatric specialists. Three states have no pediatric emergency physicians (Montana, South Dakota, and Wyoming). India has only 300 pediatric cardiologists. Rwanda has one. There is no way we can build enough medical schools or provide enough economic enticements to change this. Building privacy-preserving, real-time AI applications is the only way to reduce healthcare inequity those who are geographically unlucky whether you’re in rural Nebraska and Honduras.


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