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In this episode of "The External Medicine Podcast," Mitch Belkin (UMSOM) and Daniel Belkin (Albert Einstein College of Medicine) speak with Daniel Burka about his work at Resolve to Save Lives and the project Simple.org, a hypertension reduction application. They discuss the importance of iterative building processes that trial various ideas and then quantifiably measure success. Burka stresses the importance of understanding the goals of all users — physicians, patients, public health care experts — when designing successful health care applications.

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Who is Daniel Burka?

Daniel Burka is the director of product and design at Resolve to Save Lives, where he works on the web-based, open-source hypertension reduction application Simple.org. Previously, he was a design partner at Google Ventures, the creative director for Digg.com, and the director of design for Tiny Speck, which later became Slack. Among many notable projects, he designed the Firefox logo and Mozilla’s website.

What is Resolve to Save Lives?

Resolve to Save Lives is an initiative to prevent 100 million cardiovascular deaths over the next 30 years. The initiative is funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Gates Philanthropy Partners, and the Chan Zuckerberg Foundation. Methods to reduce deaths include hypertension reduction, trans fat elimination, and sodium reduction initiatives. In addition, Resolve to Save Lives aims to increase epidemic preparedness.

What is Simple.org?

Simple.org is a project of Resolve to Save Lives. It is an ultralight weight electronic health record system designed to manage patients with hypertension and diabetes. As of January 2022, 1.4 million patients in India, Bangladesh, and Ethiopia use the application.

"The External Medicine Podcast" explores nontraditional ideas and innovation through longform interviews. Co-hosts Mitch Belkin and Daniel Belkin are medical students and brothers with diverse interests. Mitch, a former Fulbright scholar, and Daniel, a former filmmaker, examine new ideas and innovation on the outskirts of medicine.

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