The American Medical Association (AMA) and Sling Health, a student-run biotechnology incubator, are expanding their joint efforts to allow the voice and experience of physicians to inspire technologies that resolve unmet needs in healthcare delivery and clinical medicine.
The two organizations have launched the Clinical Problem Database to compile insights from physicians on needed improvements to clinical efficiency and patient care. These real-world experiences are shared with Sling Health’s network of young entrepreneurs to foster cutting-edge medical technology development with attention to the clinical challenges faced by physicians.
“Physicians and entrepreneurs are passionate about transforming health care, and by engaging collaboratively they can advance innovation that makes the health system work better for everyone,” said Michael A. Tutty, Ph.D., M.H.A., group vice president of professional satisfaction and practice sustainability at the AMA. “Through our collaboration with Sling Health, the AMA is helping physicians and medical students take on a greater role in driving technology forward that responds to real clinical needs. Gaining insights from physicians will help make medical technology an asset, not a burden.”
“The best medical technologies directly tackle pressing clinical needs, enabling higher quality, less expensive, and more efficient care,” said Sling Health President Stephen W. Linderman. “Working with the physicians nationally through the AMA, teams of innovative students across the country are able to create new medical technology to address problems impacting providers on the front lines of patient care. We look forward to expanding our collaboration with the AMA and enabling students everywhere to advance clinical care.”
Too often, physicians are treated as an afterthought during technology development. Overlooking physician requirements is one reason medical technology may not live up to its promise. An AMA study demonstrates that nearly half a physician’s office day is filled by clerical tasks performed on cumbersome technology. This burden has left physicians feeling they are neglecting their patients as they try to keep up with an overload of type-and-click tasks.
Recognizing the importance of physician feedback for health care entrepreneurs to improve solutions, the Clinical Problem Database will be an added feature on the AMA’s Physician Innovation Network (PIN), an online community that connects and matches physicians with digital health companies and entrepreneurs. Through the use of the PIN platform, the voice, experience and needs of physicians can be heard and incorporated into new products as they are developed.
Since PIN was launched in 2017, more than 3,000 physicians and medical students, as well as about 1,800 entrepreneurs, have participated in the online network and there are already stories of successful physician-entrepreneur connections. Physicians matched with entrepreneurs through PIN have consulted in a range of areas, such as improving operating-room workflow, assisting to eliminate the guesswork for spinal punctures, piloting emerging solutions and identifying developers to co-develop solutions for pressing needs.
The AMA says it is committed to “successfully integrating technology into healthcare and attacking the dysfunction in healthcare by removing the obstacles and burdens that interfere with patient care. The AMA continues to work on every front to help physicians engage and shape innovation.”