By: SOLVE Health Tech

Last Tuesday, we held our first annual SOLVE Health Tech Summit with nearly 200 attendees representing 30 digital health companies, 25 venture capital funds, ten foundations, eight health systems, and five design agencies.

Audience during the SOLVE Summit (Josh Robinson Studio)

The audience gathered to hear our vision for a new public-private partnership at the intersection of digital health and health equity, and to see the six finalist companies pitch their concepts — — all of whom are raising the bar in engaging diverse end users and addressing health issues impacting vulnerable populations.

By: Sarah Lisker

Health technology promises to revolutionize medical care. With it, we can manage and reverse chronic disease, track fitness and nutrition, electronically connect patients to their doctors, and even integrate artificial intelligence into health delivery.

But sadly, the medically underserved, who stand to gain the most from advancements in health technology and its potential to make healthcare more accessible and affordable, are being left behind. Most digital health products are created for technologically literate consumers who don’t face complex medical problems. …

By: Ashley McMullen, MD

Ashley McMullen, MD, is a Chief Resident at UCSF in San Francisco, CA

My Patient

The day I met you was early in my second year of Internal Medicine residency. After much of my internship had been spent on arduous inpatient rotations, I was finally ready to lead my own team of young doctors and students on a high-acuity wards service. Yet, in my continuity clinic, I was still fresh, insecure, and naive. The day I met you, your abdomen was swollen, your eyes were yellow, you were drowsy and seemingly apathetic. Years of heavy alcohol use had sclerosed your liver, leading to hepatic disease in its final stages…

By: Chloe Ciccariello + Kenny Pettersen

Quality improvement (QI) skills are becoming increasingly recognized as essential skills for the modern physician. These skills are even more critical for the primary care physician working in safety nets where technological and administrative support are lacking. While the American College of Graduate Education requires that internal medicine residents learn QI skills, there is no a consensus on how best to teach them. As graduating primary care residents, we believe there is only one way to learn QI: Dive in! …


Since the beginning of the year, EatSF has worked alongside the Common Cents Lab, a behavioral science research lab at Duke University, to better understand and identify EatSF program improvements through a behavior economics lens. The behavior economics framework considers the factors that inform the economic decisions and habits of individuals. With their insight, we hope to make changes to the EatSF program that will better encourage sustained, long-term health behavior change in our participants long after their completion of the program.

Read more about Eat SF’s success here.

By: Dean Schillinger, MD

While watching the World Cup, Dean Schillinger was reminded of the ongoing back-and-forth matchup between the soda industry and public health advocates.

Read more here

By: Sarah Lisker

Two years ago, I left a burgeoning tech career and the perks of Silicon Valley to work at one of San Francisco’s oldest public institutions: San Francisco General Hospital. As I began settling into my job at the Center for Vulnerable Populations, my coworkers were welcoming, but curious. What, they wanted to know, had pulled me from the well-resourced tech world to a public sector career in healthcare?

For me, the answer is simple. The switch has meant a chance to be creative and innovative while harnessing my skills to make a difference in the lives of…

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) was once called adult-onset diabetes. Now, T2D affects children of color at epidemic proportions. The Bigger Picture, a novel communication campaign co-created by UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations and Youth Speaks feature youth artists empowered to transform the conversation about T2D by confronting its social and environmental risks among youth of color. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and The New York Times (NYT) feature The Bigger Picture Campaign’s pioneering efforts to mentor and equip youth messengers to speak out and reverse this trend. …

By: Ryane Daniels, MPH

Providing metformin, an affordable and effective diabetes medication, to lower income communities in Mexico is productive at preventing and treating diabetes onset.

450 patients under 65 years of age and who are overweight are currently enrolled in the PRuDENTE Initiative (Prevencion de Diabetes por Nutricion, Tratamiento y Ejerciocio), a joint partnership with UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations and UCSF Institute for Global Health Sciences. Patients were recruited from various primary care clinics in Mexico City, Mexico (more here).

This partnership with UCSF and Mexico has promising benefits towards reducing diabetes among vulnerable populations. California has higher…

By: Ryane Daniels, MPH

End Hep C SF, a city-wide campaign dedicated to eliminating Hepatitis C virus in San Francisco, aims to increase awareness of risk of Hepatitis C and increase treatment for those most vulnerable. Through state and local funds, SF has employed various methods to provide Hep C vaccines to patients at community clinics and prevent spread of disease (see here).

Over 400 SF patients received treatment for Hep C since February 2016. …

Mission: Health Equity

Mission: Health Equity’s goal is to advance awareness of issues related to the health & healthcare of vulnerable populations.

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