George Tolomiczenko

George Tolomiczenko

University of Southern California, USA

Title: Teach one, do one, see one: App design for medical students


George Tolomiczenko is an experienced clinician, researcher, teacher and administrator helps him in his Administrative Director role to guide and run the Health, Technology and Engineering program at USC ([email protected]). After an interdisciplinary which undergraduate degree at Caltech, he trained in Clinical Psychology at Boston University, Public Health at Harvard University and Business Administration at the University of Toronto. He is now focused on developing USC’s interdisciplinary collaborative strengths applied to medical device and process innovation. He teaches courses designed to form and train teams linking engineering and medicine to create innovative technology and start-up companies.


The ubiquity and diversity of apps in everyday life have crossed thresholds that make them expected conveniences in almost all environments including healthcare. Sensors that gather health and behavioral information relevant to the overall aim of personalizing treatment are pervasive and cheap. Much data can now be gathered, but the devil still stubbornly resides in the details of developing algorithms that convert data into actionable information worthy of informing decisions related to health maintenance or improvement, illness prevention and treatment. At the same time, the aspiring app developer must ensure the targeted consumer or patient need is linked to a market compelling enough to attract investment of resources sufficient to create and develop a sustainable business around the app. The lure of digital health can outweigh lack of experience with coding, information technology development and technology assessment resulting in students dropping out of medical school before even starting with a residency program. This presentation describes an approach to immersing students in an experientially-focused elective that teaches a focused approach to need articulation, guides medical students to do customer discovery and development interviews and requires the students to create a wireframe mockup of their app that allows customers and partners to see a prototype. Students who complete the electivehave a more realistic sense of how this sphere of health informatics operates and are better equipped to make informed choices that will determine the future trajectory of their careers.