Emerging technologies such as digital health tools, big data analytics and precision medicine have the potential to transform health care. Yet, in practical terms, what does this really mean and how do we get there? And, how do we integrate these potential innovations as seamlessly and intuitively into the clinical care delivery, while ensuring we provide solutions for the real needs of clinicians and patients? The ACC held its first-ever Cardiovascular Innovation Summit: Moving Cardiovascular Care Forward at Heart House in September, signaling the College’s deepening commitment to shaping innovation in cardiovascular medicine. The one-day think tank was co-chaired by ACC’s Chief Innovation Officer John S. Rumsfeld, MD, PhD, FACC, and Harlan M. Krumholz, MD, SM, FACC, a well-known change leader and professor of medicine and epidemiology at Yale School of Medicine. The multidisciplinary group of participants was charged with identifying the principles for meaningful transformation of health care to improve cardiovascular care and health outcomes. In-depth discussions were facilitated on emerging technologies to support innovation, accelerating innovation and principles for evaluation, and the integration of innovation in care delivery. “Each table, each session, each report out began with a patient engagement, patient-centric objective, or a shared decision-making focus,” noted Leslie Kelly Hall, vice president of policy at Health wise. “What can be done to bridge the gap between what is possible and what is happening, and how do we get to a better future faster?” asked Krumholz. These key questions helped to frame the discussion and the objective for the think tank. In defining the road forward, Rumsfeld stressed that the focus must be improving health, not health care, which he noted aligns with the mission of the ACC: to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health. Participants recommended that the ACC use its robust infrastructure, networks, resources and voice to explore the specific needs that innovation can address and engage experts required for successful collaborations. The expertise of the College in implementation science and its vast data from the NCDR are invaluable resources for this effort. Prospectively defining the problems for which to seek innovative digital or technological solutions emerged as a guiding tenet from the discussions. Aside from the development of some devices, much of the digital tools and solutions have been created by tech companies with their outsider perspective, often meaning they are retrofitted into workflow or may miss the mark for a tool that could truly benefit care and outcomes. The solutions must be customized to meet the needs of clinicians and patients. Electronic health record (EHR) technology is a prime example of an innovation where frustration and challenges overshadow its great potential. Let’s ask ourselves, suggested Krumholz, why Google does not require us to spell correctly to access its knowledge resources and have a successful user experience, but this same experience is not found when using an EHR. Such thinking and questioning will be needed to unleash the potential for innovation that will improve quality of care, improve patient outcomes through targeted care and therapeutics, and reduce variation in care and waste. The Summit served as a catalyst for ongoing collaboration across health care stakeholders who share a commitment to accelerate meaningful health care transformation. One specific next step is the development of a Road map for Innovation in Cardiovascular Care document, informed by the presentations and discussions at the Summit. ACC Shares Guideline-Based Information via Google A Google search for heart conditions will now prominently display important questions patients should ask their doctor based on ACC's clinical guidelines. The ACC teamed up with Google to create a list of essential questions that patients should ask their doctors about conditions like heart attack, coronary artery disease, hypertension, high cholesterol and atrial fibrillation through a new "Ask a Doctor" feature that appears within Google Health Knowledge Graphs, the in-depth search result that appears for health related conditions. The "Ask a Doctor" information is the first listing under the "treatments" tab. "This is a unique opportunity to marry the broad reach and power of Google's Internet search engine with the clinical and scientific expertise of the ACC," said ACC Chief Innovation Officer John S. Rumsfeld, MD, PhD, FACC. "This project makes it easier for the public to get accurate answers to health and medical care questions, and will aid in promoting engagement between patients and their clinicians." The ACC reached out to leading experts who helped develop cardiovascular guidelines to create questions and answers for the public. The goal is to make it easy for patients to access guideline information in order to spark conversations with their doctors about recommended treatments and encourage patients to be fully engaged in decisions about their care. The Health Knowledge Graphs also include links to CardioSmart.org, ACC's patient engagement and empowerment initiative, directing users to information in line with ACC's guideline recommendations. CardioSmart.org has condition centers on all of the conditions that appear in the "Ask a Doctor" feature: heart attack, coronary artery disease, hypertension, high cholesterol and atrial fibrillation. The basic information is not intended to provide medical advice, but it can help educate people on what questions to ask their doctor. Given the importance of these topics in the treatment of patients, the knowledge graphs also include a share feature to facilitate sharing information with friends and family who may have heart disease. "This partnership serves as an example of ACC's commitment to innovation in health care. Yet, it is important to emphasize that provision of health information, although important, is just one component of patient engagement," write Rumsfeld; Patrick T. O'Gara, MD, MACC; and Kapil Parakh, MD, MPH, PhD, FACC, in a Leadership Page in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology."Working with Google and through multiple other projects and partnerships, the ACC will continue to strive to provide tools to its members to engage patients, support longitudinal medication and life-style adherence, and navigate the rapid changes in the health care environment."
Published by American College of Cardiology. View All Articles.