Digitalis Commons Dart Grants
Digital Medicine Society
Ethical Tech Conference with Sage Bionetworks
The Digitalis Commons offers quick, targeted $3,000 grants to individuals and groups working to develop public goods for better health.
The Commons Dart Grant process is designed to be painless: simply write on a single side of a single page (letter or A4, we’re not fussy) about what you propose to do, how it will create a public good for better health, how you’ll measure your own success, and how long it will take. To submit your single-page PDF, or to get in touch with us for any reason, including to check on your application status, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can anyone apply?
Yes—any age, any country, no credentials required.
What type of project qualifies?
Any project that will benefit human or animal health, and that operates as a public good will be considered. See some of the other Commons projects for examples..
What is required if I receive funding?
You’ll receive 50% up front, and we will check in with you during the project before sending the second half. At the end, we’ll ask for both a technical write up and another piece for a less-technical audience to be posted on the Digitalis Commons website. That’s it.
What are the key dates?
There are no key dates! Applications are rolling until all grant money has been allocated.
What kind of projects are you looking for?
We’re seeking proposals that help create public goods. This means something that provides a benefit for everyone. Examples include technology standards, mechanisms for information exchange, or even cloud services. But our examples don’t matter much: we’re keenly interested in new ideas.
How will you select the winners?
We are looking for smart people with a well defined problem to solve. We pay particular attention to how you will develop a public good—as it’s the mission of the Commons.
I have a job. Can I still apply?
Yes! Anyone can apply. You just need to make sure that you don't conflict with any IP policy or contract you've signed with your employer.
Can teams apply?
Yes. Multiple people can apply together as a team. Please fill out a single application, but provide background information for each person in the team. You should designate a lead person to coordinate the application as well as receive and distribute / spend the money.
Can I apply multiple times?
Yes, you can apply as often as you like. You can only win once.
I love this idea and I want to help! Can I provide additional funding, datasets, mentorship, or help reviewing applications?
Yes! If you want to contribute in any way, please email us at email@example.com.
Are there any strings attached?
The money is a grant. It's not an equity investment or loan. We won't own any of your intellectual property. Our only requirement is that your work produces a public good.
Where did you get the idea to do this?
This program is directly inspired by and borrows from the Unitary.fund, which in turn was inspired by, and directly borrowed from Nat Friedman and Daniel Gross and their AI Grant Program. That program was inspired by, and directly borrows many elements from Nadia Eghbal and her no-strings-attached grant program.
Geoffrey W. Smith
Project website: synthesis.bio
Synthesis.bio is a tool developed by the Digitalis Commons to help people stay current with scientifically-informed news about health. It does this by intelligently aggregating links that are currently being discussed on public forums by influential thinkers.
The goal of Synthesis.bio is to help busy problem solvers in biotech / biopharma / medtech / healthcare / data keep track of what is happening in their industry’s public sphere. It is designed to give people who are “time poor” a quick overview of what is happening, without the need to manually curate individual information sources.
Synthesis.bio is based on the Open Fuego software originally developed by Harvard’s Nieman Lab. Coming soon: we are cleaning up our code and will publish our updates in the Digitalis Commons GitHub Repo.
Geoffrey W. Smith
Project website: dimesociety.org
The Digital Medicine (DiMe) Society is a professional society for practitioners of digital medicine. Although organizations to serve companies in this field exist, none currently serve the individuals working to make digital medicine part of the standard of care. The computer scientists, healthcare providers, engineers, behavioral scientists, ethicists, clinical researchers, data scientists, and epidemiologists who are developing software and algorithms that measure, diagnose, and treat disease lack a convening body to support their work and collaboration. To meet this need, DiMe was born.
DiMe Society creates a community of experts centered on the concept of driving scientific progress and the wide acceptance of digital medicine as a professional discipline capable of significantly impacting public health through improved health measurement, diagnosis and treatment. Unlike the broader field of digital health and wellness, digital medicine practitioners are committed to conducting rigorous randomized, controlled clinical trials for their products with the belief that this field demands the very highest level of evidence. Composed of members ranging in skills and experience, the society empowers individuals within this evolving community to work in multi-stakeholder projects where members build and maintain bridges across tech, biotech, clinical medicine, regulatory, payers, patients, and related fields. Essential to this role is serving as a north star to ethically guide the adoption of such technologies by creating, maintaining and disseminating standards of ethical conduct in digital medicine.
Through conferences and roundtables for in-person interaction as well as a strong digital community operating via appropriate communication channels, DiMe provides the means to meet, learn and share the results of the digital medicine community.
The Digitalis Commons is excited to serve on the society’s advisory board as well as providing financial support for the society’s initial staffing and launch.
On September 12, 2019, the Digitalis Commons will help convene and host a group of experts, in conjunction with Sage Bionetworks, at the New York Genome Center to explore the ethical, legal and social implications of “unregulated” research conducted through mobile devices. While these devices are not truly unregulated—FTC and FCC issues still attach—they are not bound by HIPAA or traditional research protections like the common rule. Through this NIH-funded conference, we hope to host workshops among bioethics experts, patient advocates, entrepreneurs, and developers to explore problems and brainstorm solutions.
Geoffrey W. Smith