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.

Dr. Abhay Moghekar, The Johns Hopkins HospitalAbhay Rajeshwar Moghekar, MBBS

Director of the Adult Hydrocephalus and CSF Disorders Program, Department of Neurology, The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Assistant 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 M. Skoch, Cincinnati Children's HospitalJesse M. Skoch, MD

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

Dr. Jesse Skoch is a practicing pediatric neurosurgeon at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital with clinical interests in the surgical treatment of epilepsy, brain tumors, and spinal deformity. His research interests are to better understand hydrocephalus and to improve treatment through bio-engineering approaches as well as developing imaging techniques to improve brain tumor removal.

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 completed his undergraduate training at Colgate University where he began his basic neuroscience research at the National Institutes of Health using advanced imaging techniques to study spinal cord pattern generator network activity.  He than began research relevant to Alzheimer’s disease at Harvard / Mass General Hospital and then to Parkinson’s disease-related research at the University of Colorado. His medical training was completed at the University of Colorado and his neurosurgical residency was completed at the University of Arizona, where he also completed a fellowship in spinal surgery including pediatric spinal deformity training at the Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. It was during his time at the University of Arizona that the HydroAssist™ Development Team came together and began working on the app.

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

Director of Communications and Marketing, Hydrocephalus Association

As the Director of Communications and Marketing, Amanda is responsible for the development, management, administration and implementation of all aspects of communications and marketing for the Hydrocephalus Association. As a mother of a daughter with hydrocephalus, Amanda joins her passion for the cause with her responsibility of raising awareness of the challenges of hydrocephalus and greater support for the work of HA.

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 met the needs of the wide breadth of patients who will use the app, Amanda oversaw the patient focus group that provided design input and testing feedback at all stages of development of HydroAssist.

Peter Dziedzic, MScPeter Dziedzic, MSc

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

Peter Dziedzic has been involved and served as the principle developer in several innovation projects that are centered on mobile technology at Johns Hopkins University. His research interest lies in the use of mobile apps in Telemedicine. He has been a lead developer of numerous apps for various institutions, including the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, the Kennedy Krieger Institute, and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Brian Berg, MediaKube, LLCBrian Berg, Programmer

Owner, MediaKube LLC

Brian Berg is an award-winning designer and software developer with more than twenty years of experience designing, developing, and deploying interactive applications for clients such as Sony, Disney, Whirlpool, and KitchenAid. He specializes in combining rich digital media with modern interface design techniques to create user experiences that are engaging, informative, and memorable. Brian is also a national speaker and workshop instructor who regularly presents on the topic of interactive mobile touch screen application design. One of several health-oriented apps he developed for Phoenix Children’s Hospital was awarded the Gold Aster Award for healthcare marketing and a Silver Communicator Award of Distinction.

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