SP2 student launches remote health care Kickstarter project during COVID-19

For Linya Liu, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit very close to home. Liu, who goes by Leah, hails from Wuhan, China, where the virus outbreak first began—and where her family currently resides. A first-year student in the Master of Science in Social Policy + Data Analytics Certificate (MSSP+DA) program at Penn’s School of Policy & Practice (SP2), Liu has oriented much of her research and work toward analyzing the ongoing pandemic’s impact on our daily lives, including ways to better assist both patients and healthcare workers.

Linya (Leah) Liu standing outside wearing a coat, hat and scarf.
Linya (Leah) Liu. (Image: SP2 News)

Recently, Liu has applied the MSSP+DA curriculum’s comprehensive training in data analytics to a number of timely projects. These included an ArcGIS (a mapping and analytics platform) mapping based on John Hopkins University’s real-time coronavirus data, in which she forecast the number of U.S. infections based on multiple machine learning techniques, as well as a multilevel modeling analysis that examined preventable hospitalization rates in counties across the state of California.

While healthcare workers continue to fight on the front lines of the epidemic and millions of people—particularly those who are immunocompromised, elderly, or otherwise at higher risk for severe illness—remain isolated at home, the need for medical professionals and patients to stay connected has increased tremendously.

To this end, Liu is currently working with a Kansas-based health IoT [Internet of Things] startup, Nexusera, which works to respond to the surging need for remote care by connecting patients with their families and caretakers through a medication adherence management system. Specifically, the company is launching its first smart pill organizer, O’kase, through a Kickstarter campaign. Liu is involved as part of the campaign’s leadership team.

“O’kase is a smart pill container that organizes, reminds, connects, and finally optimizes the daily dosing experience. It also gives family and caretakers the ability to manage and monitor the patient’s medication adherence online,” Liu explains. “I’m helping with both sides of the work, in terms of product management and also on the operations side.”

This story is by Alina Ladyzhensky. Read more at SP2 News.