ACC’s Innovation Roadmap Provides Framework for Future of Care Delivery
Document tackles digital health, big data and precision health arenas

In a new health policy statement, the American College of Cardiology identifies how to best support health care advances in three arenas—digital health, big data and precision health. The document was published Nov. 20 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC).

Health care transformation is the product of a shared vision between a broad range of stakeholders to establish the future of care delivery and to develop new models that are patient-centered, evidence-driven and in which value is rewarded over volume. Important within this transformation are newly developed and rapidly evolving technology-based innovations, including:

  • Digital health – wearable, smartphone and sensor-based technologies
  • Big data – the aggregation of large quantities of structured and unstructured health information and sophisticated analyses with artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing techniques
  • Precision health – approaches to identify individual-level risk and the determinants of wellness and pathogenicity

The overarching Innovation Strategy of the ACC is elaborated in a Leadership Page in the same issue of JACC. The strategy is designed to enable the ACC to lead, facilitate and partner in the digital transformation of healthcare to achieve its vision of creating "a world where innovation and knowledge optimize cardiovascular care and outcomes," state Mary Norine Walsh, MD, FACC, president of ACC, and John S. Rumsfeld, MD, PhD, FACC, chief innovation officer of ACC.

In September 2016, the College convened an inaugural health care innovation summit to provide a framework for determining how the advances in these three arenas can meaningfully transform the delivery of health care. It was designed to understand the needs and perspectives of stakeholders across health care including patient advocacy groups, clinicians, academia, government, health care administration, business, entrepreneurship and industry.

"Health care transformation requires collaboration," said Sanjeev Bhavnani, MD, physician scientist and cardiologist at Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation and chair of the document. "The ACC Roadmap for Innovation harnesses an 'Innovation Collaborative' between key stakeholders that allows early phase ideas to grow into scalable solutions, facilitates new stakeholder partnerships, promotes collaborative efforts to identify unmet clinical needs and implements new ideas."

The College's priorities for health care transformation are developed upon human-centered design principles and the key factors important to various stakeholders within five main categories: identification of the high priority clinical problems to solve; facilitation of meaningful communication and information exchange; heightening patient, caregiver, and physician activation; streamlining health care resources and information technology infrastructures; and promoting cultural empowerment.

As new health care innovations are developed, the College proposes several key accelerants for organizational governance as new programs are designed in research and patient care. These accelerants include developing new methods for data transparency and data sharing for patients and clinicians; recognizing the role of patients as partners in new technology-enabled models of shared care; moving from episodic care to virtual and remote monitoring; and utilizing big data and data analytics in next generation learning health systems to improve clinical workflows.

"By organizing new developments in digital health, big data, and precision health, and by creating learning methods that lead to continuous performance improvement and optimal practice management, the ACC will be well-positioned to bring value to patients, clinicians and stakeholders and to play a key role in the future delivery of health care," Bhavnani said.

According to Walsh and Rumsfeld, a number of projects and activities from the past year demonstrate the promise of pursuing this innovation strategy. Along with the Innovation Summit and 2017 Roadmap for Innovation, a new Member Section on Healthcare Innovation is being established. ACC is partnering with angelMD to provide an opportunity for ACC members to evaluate start-up technology companies and access educational materials on topics such as entrepreneurship – and on "shark tank" competitions for digital health and medical devices at ACC.18 in Orlando.

An Institute for Computational Health is being launched through a partnership between the ACC and the Yale Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation. Through collaboration with Stanford University and the Cardiovascular Research Foundation, the ACC is pursuing the development of a Clinical and Digital Research Ecosystem to advance novel, efficient clinical research across the spectrum of health technology.

The 2017 Roadmap for Innovation – ACC Health Policy Statement on Healthcare Transformation in the Era of Digital Health, Big Data, and Precision Health was published online in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Keywords: United States, Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Natural Language Processing, Information Dissemination, Patient Advocacy, Universities, Caregivers, Workflow, Virulence, Biomedical Technology, Cardiology, Academies and Institutes, Government, Health Policy, Outcome Assessment, Health Care, Ecosystem, Patient Care

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