From the Member Sections | On the Move: Health Care Innovation Section Looks Ahead

On the Move: Health Care Innovation Section Looks Ahead

Greetings from the Health Care Innovation Council! As with all our sister committees across the College, we have welcomed a new group to our Innovation Section and Leadership Team and are enthusiastic to tackle the coming years.

First, we want to recognize and thank our outgoing chair, David Cho, MD, FACC, for his tireless efforts over the past three years. He has continued to grow the footprint of the Health Care Innovation Section throughout the College, and we are grateful for his time, effort and dedication.

Moving forward, we want to build on the foundation of the efforts to date of our colleagues and address the stated needs of ACC members. Innovation has permeated every corner of the College and innovation initiatives abound! We will embark on a deliverable-based approach to communicate with ACC members and cardiologists beyond.

Part of this will include webinars, working groups, editorials, manuscripts and state-of-the-art reviews. Additionally, the Innovation Section will continue to work with industry partners and solicit applications from ACC members interested in participating in industry- based advisory groups, working groups, and other initiatives that meet their interests and needs.

Some main areas of focus of the section over the next year will include:

Developing a Cross-Sectional Committee on Artificial Intelligence

Recent advances in the technical capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI) have highlighted the potential transformative impact AI can have in cardiovascular medicine. ACC.24 showcased an increased focus on the role AI can play in augmenting diagnosis and treatment, as well as the way we care for our patients.

Furthermore, there was a focus not only on AI itself, but also on the critical steps needed for rigorous evaluation and adoption of AI-augmented care in clinical medicine.

To build on this momentum, ACC's Chief Innovation Officer Ami Bhatt, MD, FACC, recently announced the AI Resource Center, which offers clinicians a collection of curated AI resources to help understand and apply AI in the digital transformation of care delivery.

The AI Resource Center includes the fundamentals of AI, offers webinars and education, as well as information on the latest AI regulations and policies.

Additionally, the College is starting a cross-sectional council to strategically enhance communication and collaboration across member council members engaged in all aspects of AI work in cardiology. In the coming months, we will be hosting listening sessions to hear what members want from such a cross-section committee, and how we can best serve and catalyze work happening across councils.

In addition, we will ask Sections to participate in their regularly scheduled meetings to understand the current need of each section and how to collaboratively develop a functional council with the relevant stakeholders.

We strive to build a diverse and cohesive group that will catalyze and support further work in AI development, appropriate evaluation and responsible deployment. We look forward to working with those interested in joining us to build this cross-section committee in the coming months.

Beyond the cross-sectional committee on AI, the ACC Health Care Innovation Section Council will continue to spearhead initiatives at the intersection of AI and cardiovascular care. Most recent efforts include a two-part review of AI in Cardiology in the JACC.

Part 1 focused on recent advances in cardiovascular AI applications and their evaluations, spanning wearables, electrocardiograms, echocardiography, angiography and genetics.

Part 2 discussed generative AI, multimodal inputs, and the regulatory, reimbursement and evaluation considerations needed to support successful deployment of AI in cardiovascular care.

Understanding Innovation Initiatives Across the ACC

An early goal for our Section and Leadership team will be to understand the diverse innovation efforts happening throughout the College and share the breadth of these programs with ACC membership.

Like the AI cross-sectional committee, we will start with gaining a deeper understanding of Innovation efforts occurring at the level of member councils, and then advance those conversations to ACC leadership.

We hope to start highlighting the many innovation initiatives to the ACC at large and include information and engagement opportunities for some of these initiatives at the Future Hub at ACC.25.

Future Hub

The Future Hub (FH) has been the flagship event of the Health Care Innovation Member Section Council for the past few years, featuring cutting-edge technologies poised to disrupt the practice of cardiology.

In addition to serving as a platform to highlight and showcase these technologies, the Future Hub at ACC has also delved into aspects of implementation science, funding and regulation. Building on this legacy, FH.24 brought the cardiology community together around topics at the intersection of innovation and implementation in cardiology.

The sessions kicked off with a keynote session by Bhatt, Dipti Itchhaporia, MD, MACC, past ACC president, and Jennifer Silva, MD, FACC, chair of the Health Care Innovation Council, who shared their vision around innovation for the College.

FH.24 highlighted some of the hottest topics in the health tech world. It started off with a full-house audience for "Controversies in Medical AI," in which panelists discussed and debated core concepts in medical AI such as explainability, creating safety guardrails, how regulatory policies can best support the rapid pace of innovation in this space, and who should pay for medical AI technologies.

The "Scalability and Application of Innovative Care Models to Populations in Need" session highlighted the critical importance of equity in cardiovascular innovation; a key theme from this session was building trust with target patients and communities.

Given the integral role of funding in innovation, the "What are Investors Looking For?" panel invited a diverse group of investors to discuss the current state of health care investing and strategies for successfully raising money.

The "An Apple a Day" session highlighted how the Apple wearable ecosystem has enabled a whole new paradigm of cardiovascular research. The FH.24 Innovation Pitch Challenge, a principal event of the FH, showcased two pitch competitions this year, one in collaboration with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute where selected start-ups presented their technologies to judges and audience members; immediately following the Saturday pitch challenge, a networking reception hosted in the Future Hub allowed clinicians, founders and investors to connect.

It was exciting to see that these sessions were extremely well-attended, indicating a growing appetite to embrace technology as a means to enhance patient care, improve outcomes and drive innovation.

Planning for FH.25 will start in the next several weeks and we welcome those who are interested in developing content for FH to join our working group! Be on the lookout for emails soliciting interested ACC members!

Get Involved

With all the activities happening within the Health Care Innovation Section, ACC members may wonder how they and other clinician innovators can get more involved. We are a growing group of clinicians, both physicians and advanced practice providers, who are often developing solutions to unmet clinical needs often leveraging emerging technologies, such as AI and digital health.

The Innovation Section welcomes all innovators who develop care pathways within their health care system, entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and inventors – diverse phenotypes are welcome!

As the work of the section continues to grow, we must continue to focus on member needs, which will include career guidance and mentorship, along with advancing the technologies of the future.

Like a startup, the Innovation Section is nimble and willing to pivot, responsive to the needs of the market (in this case, ACC membership and leadership) and to try out-of-the-box, creative solutions. Not all will succeed, but they will all be learning opportunities.

If these are opportunities that may be of interest, please be on the lookout for emails from the Innovation Section. We look forward to you joining us!

Sneha Jain, MD, FACC Anjali Thakkar, MD, MBA
Tanvir Kahlon, MD Jennifer Silva, MD, FACC

This article was authored by Sneha Jain, MD, FACC; Anjali Thakkar, MD, MBA; Tanvir Kahlon, MD, and Jennifer Silva, MD, FACC. All are members of the Health Care Innovation Member Section Council.

Keywords: Cardiology Magazine, ACC Publications, Biomedical Technology, Delivery of Health Care, Electrocardiography, Mobile Applications, ACC Annual Scientific Session, Polymers, ACC24

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