HydroAssist® Development Team

Meet the members of the development team for HydroAssist®. In addition to the inventors below, the app was tested by a focus group consisting of individuals living with hydrocephalus, parents, caregivers, and the staff of the Hydrocephalus Association, allowing for feedback and enhancements at each stage of development. We are grateful for the community’s involvement in the development of the app and look forward to continuing to enhance the app with your feedback.

Abhay Moghekar, MD, Johns Hopkins

Abhay Rajeshwar Moghekar, MBBS

Director of the Adult Hydrocephalus and CSF Disorders Program, Department of Neurology, The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Associate Professor of Neurology, The Johns Hopkins University

Dr. Abhay Moghekar leads the Adult Hydrocephalus and Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) Disorders Program and has expertise in Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia, Intracranial Hypertension, Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus, Pseudotumor Cerebri, and Venous Sinus Stenosis. While caring for his patients with hydrocephalus and pseudotumor cerebri, he realized the lack of an easy system to track the shunt settings and surgeries his patients underwent. In an effort to assist both medical practitioners and patients alike, he decided to team up with his colleagues and the Hydrocephalus Association to develop a smartphone app.

Dr. Moghekar is on the faculty at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is board certified in Neurology and Clinical Neurophysiology and has over 40 publications in peer-reviewed journals. His research focuses on understanding biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid in patients with hydrocephalus and Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Jesse Skoch, neurosurgeonJesse M. Skoch, MD

Pediatric Neurosurgeon, Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital

Dr. Skoch completed a pediatric neurosurgical fellowship at Cincinnati Children’s. Prior to residency training at the University of Arizona, he completed undergraduate study at Colgate University where he also began basic neuroscience research at the National Institutes of Health. He graduated with a degree in cellular neuroscience and went on to complete additional research at Harvard / Mass General Hospital before obtaining his medical degree at the University of Colorado.

Dr. Skoch’s clinical interests are the surgical treatment of pediatric epilepsy, brain tumors, craniofacial disorders, and spinal deformity. His research focuses on applying optical imaging techniques to help better define epileptic foci in the brain to make surgical treatment smaller, safer, and more effective.

Dr. Skoch believes that patients with accurate and up to date data regarding their shunt history are more likely to get proper medical care, but that tracking of this information is cumbersome.  While it can be managed well by a single physician, there are not good systems in place for allowing different care providers to synchronize care.  He believes that by empowering patients to become managers of their own medical histories with a little help from their physicians and technology, better care can be achieved even for patients that are not able to see the same provider every time.  Shunt systems continue to become more complex, and he has been working with HA to develop a solution that can help patients and providers remain knowledgeable about individual differences in hydrocephalus treatments.

Dr. Skoch has published more than 50 papers in peer-reviewed journals, authored book chapters, and garnered several awards for his scientific research. He is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

Amanda GarzonAmanda Garzon, MA

National Director of Program Services and Communications, Hydrocephalus Association

As the National Director of Program Services and Communications, Amanda is responsible for the development and oversight of education and advocacy initiatives, patient-centered support services as well as the management and implementation of an aggressive communications and marketing strategy for the Hydrocephalus Association (HA). Amanda’s passion for enhancing  education and support programming, and building greater awareness of the challenges of hydrocephalus and the work of the organization stem from a personal connection to the condition as the mother of an adult daughter with hydrocephalus. 

Serving as the staff representative on the development team for HydroAssist®, Amanda was able to bring a parent and patient perspective to the group, with a keen interest in the use of technology to allow teens and adults to manage their own care and, particularly in the case of teens, move toward greater independence. To assure the app meets the needs of the wide breadth of patients who use the app, Amanda oversees the patient focus group that provides design input and testing feedback at all stages of development of HydroAssist®.

Peter Dziedzic Johns HopkinsPeter Dziedzic, MSc

Director of The Center of mHealth and Innovations, Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University

Peter Henryk Dziedzic is the founder and director of the Center of mHealth and Innovations at Johns Hopkins University, Department of Neurology. Peter Dziedzic received his Master of Science Degree in Applied Information Technology from Towson University, Maryland and Master of Science in Technical Innovation Management from Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering. Mr. Dziedzic holds a faculty position as a Research Associate in the Department of Neurology. Mr. Dziedzic’s area of interest is in data informatics and modern computational technologies role in current Clinical Decision Support Systems. Mr. Dziedzic has developed enterprise-level software to support clinical research laboratories and groups as well as standalone mobile applications to improve patient outcomes, delivering clinical education, and improving the clinical decision process. Mr. Dziedzic championed and oversaw the implementation of the multimodality clinical and research acquisition system at the Neuro Critical Care Unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

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