The Challenges and Opportunities of Innovation in CV Care: Today’s Health Care Landscape Requires Us to Look at Innovation in a Different Way

Guest Commentary | An exciting competition featuring promising startup companies tackling major challenges in the areas of education, energy, cities and health has been taking place in cities around the globe – from Nairobi, Kenya, to Washington, DC.

Produced by 1776 (a partner with ACC), this global Challenge Cup competition provides an opportunity for companies to connect with prominent entrepreneurs, investors, customers, and partners over a 2-day period. To date, winners in the health care category have ranged from a company using mobile technology to help pregnant women reach their doctors between appointments, to others that are using SmartPhones to fit amputees for prosthesis’ or helping clinics in the developing world avoid “stock outs” in which their supplies run dry. One startup called OpenBeds allows providers to see unit and provider availability across a system or network of hospitals; facilitates communication between sending providers, coordinators and receiving providers; and provides analytics to better track bed and provider demand and use.

Several of the health care Challenge Cup winners had the opportunity, courtesy of ACC, to attend ACC.15 in San Diego and take part in a special session focused on innovation. “Cardiology as a specialty and the ACC as an organization have been on the forefront of health care innovation, both through technology and programs focused on measureable outcomes, guidelines and appropriate use,” said Jeffrey Soble, MD, who represented the ACC as a judge in the Chicago, IL, competition and helped moderate the ACC.15 session. “There is tremendous opportunity to bring together our expertise with the startup community to accelerate the next generation of cardiovascular innovation.”

Getting involved with the Challenge Cup and 1776 in general is part of the College’s innovation agenda. According to Kevin Fitzpatrick, ACC executive vice president and newly appointed chief innovation officer. “This is an unprecedented opportunity to mix with and learn from innovative people working on various problems in a novel way. Some of these solutions will be directly applicable to the College’s strategic priorities.”


  1. O’Gara P, Oetgen W. JAMA. 2015;313:1007-8.

Patrick T. O’Gara, MD, is the outgoing president of ACC.

Keywords: CardioSource WorldNews, ACC Publications

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