Competition Shines Spotlight on Global Digital Health Care Solutions: ACC, Israel Innovation Institute Co-Host Vital Next Challenge

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How would you improve care and outcomes of patients in the year following a hospitalization for a cardiac condition? This was the challenge that the ACC and the Israel Innovation Institute posed to digital innovation companies interested in taking part in the Vital Next Challenge, which took place Oct. 3 in Tel Aviv.

Ten companies answered the call for innovation by submitting software, hardware or service solutions that would enable better patient engagement and/or reinvent health care in a way that supports more effective and efficient care management. Participating companies had opportunities to meet with ACC leaders and staff, including ACC Chief Innovation Officer John Rumsfeld, MD, PhD, FACC, and Harlan Krumholz, MD, SM, FACC, as well as Israel Innovation Institute Founder and President Leonid Bakman and other health care leaders from hospitals and health services providers in Israel about their products. They then competed against each other in a pitch event that resulted in four winners – each of which will now go on to implement “proof of concept” projects in clinical settings.

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Among the winning solutions: a medical-grade wearable sensor from BioBeat Technologies that can measure and report up to 20 medical parameters in real time and could lead to the development of a comprehensive rehabilitation program; automated tools for imaging analysis based on advance pattern recognition and machine-learning algorithms from Dia Imaging Analysis that can be integrated into ultrasound devices or health information technology systems; a unique, non-invasive diagnostic device from CardioSet that can assess the lung fluid status of heart failure patients both at home and at the hospital; and technology developed by Beyond Verbal that can leverage voice-driven emotion to alert patients and their caregivers when severe changes occur in a patients emotional or physical state.

“The digital revolution made the world better than before, everything became more efficient, and we would like to bring the same change and improvements to the health care system,” notes Rumsfeld. “We were excited about collaborating with the Israel Innovation Institute on this challenge because we believe that combining our knowledge and their innovation and technology will create something bigger that can have a global impact on health care now and in the future.”

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A panel discussion prior to the challenge event underscored the importance of companies, hospitals, health systems and organizations like the ACC and Israel Innovation Institute working together to find and implement innovative global health solutions. Rumsfeld, Rafael Beyar, CEO of Rambam Health Care Campus, Krumholz, a member of ACC’s Innovation Workgroup, and Moshe Flugelman, MD, head of Cardiology at Carmel Medical Center in Israel, shared their thoughts on how treatment methods and current practice could be redefined to implement digital health solutions in the U.S. and globally.

“Technology holds the promise of pushing medicine toward producing better care and outcomes and reducing wasteful, and even harmful, practices,” said Krumholz. “The ACC has emerged as a leader in supporting innovative approaches to improving health care and accelerating the progress of companies with novel solutions to challenges faced every day by patients, health care professionals and health systems.”

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