AMA invests $15 million to launch Silicon Valley innovation hub Health2047

American Medical Association hopes incubator will bridge the gap between tech companies and the medical community.
By Bill Siwicki
01:17 PM
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The American Medical Association has invested $15 million to become founding partner of Health2047, a high-tech incubator that will explore innovative solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing the nation's 1.1 million physicians and their patients.

“Health2047 intends to transform the way that individuals receive—and physicians deliver—care by collaborating to make system-level advances in healthcare,” said Doug Given, MD, PhD, chief executive of Health2047. “Health2047 — an entirely new business model in the healthcare industry — combines strategy, engineering, design and venture disciplines to create new and important linkages between the physician community and the AMA’s content/regulatory experts with leading companies, emerging growth companies and individual entrepreneurs. We will develop, optimize and harvest disruptive ideas that enhance — at the system level — the practice of U.S. healthcare.”

While AMA is headquartered in Chicago, the standalone, for-profit Health2047 is headquartered in San Francisco. Silicon Valley is the ideal place for an innovation company like Health2047, Given added, because it’s the center of U.S. innovation, has a high density of exceptional talent, boasts the strongest venture funding environment, is home to several leading academic health research institutions and enjoys a networking culture like no other.

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The launch of Health2047 is right for the times, and will bridge the gap that has existed far too long between Silicon Valley and the medical community, James L. Madara, MD, chief executive of the American Medical Association, said.

“Physicians told us when cumbersome technology makes the care environment more complex, it actually creates less professional satisfaction by taking time that could be used to  interact with patients,” Madara said. “Many electronic health record systems are a prime example of promising technology gone awry. Physicians have found that most EHRs lack usability and interoperability as necessary features for supporting high-quality patient care. But if we could ensure new technology supports patient care, rather than hindering it, we can address a major contributor to physician burnout, while allowing physicians to focus on what’s important: the care of their patients.”

For the promise of these possibilities to come to fruition, the physician’s perspective on the realities of the modern medical care environment must be not only considered but incorporated at the ground level of technological innovation and design, Madara added.

“When physician expertise is partnered with input from partners on the leading edge of health technology, we can expect meaningful results,” he said. “Physicians can provide the best possible care for patients when their tools support that goal in every aspect of care.”

Madara said physicians face many challenges that Health2047 can help solve.

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“Health2047 will help leading healthcare and technology companies solve the key challenges that burden physicians’ pivotal role as healers, including: complexity, lack of data interoperability and usability, market fragmentation, regulatory requirements, and the growing need for data security,” he explained.

The AMA declined to go into specifics about how it will measure the return on its investment in Health2047, though Madara said the investment sends a message.

“The AMA’s financial commitment to establish Health2047 represents a major step in expanding its innovation ecosystem and influence,” Madara said. “Our significant commitment to Health2047 sends a clear signal that the AMA wants to leverage its position of centrality in American medicine to mobilize the right partners in the information economy in ways that will transform the market and drive a better future state.”

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT