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Healthc (Amst). 2014 Sep;2(3):173-6. doi: 10.1016/j.hjdsi.2014.05.006. Epub 2014 Jul 11.

Academic Medical Centers as digital health catalysts.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, United States; Consortium for Affordable Medical Technologies, United States, India, Uganda.
Department of Internal Medicine, Stanford Hospital & Clinics, United States; StartX, United States.
UCSF Center for Digital Health Innovation, United States.
Partners HealthCare, Center for Connected Health, United States; Department of Dermatology, Massachusetts General Hospital, United States; Harvard Medical School, United States.
Division of General Internal Medicine, UCSF, United States.


Emerging digital technologies offer enormous potential to improve quality, reduce cost, and increase patient-centeredness in healthcare. Academic Medical Centers (AMCs) play a key role in advancing medical care through cutting-edge medical research, yet traditional models for invention, validation and commercialization at AMCs have been designed around biomedical initiatives, and are less well suited for new digital health technologies. Recently, two large bi-coastal Academic Medical Centers, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) through the Center for Digital Health Innovation (CDHI) and Partners Healthcare through the Center for Connected Health (CCH) have launched centers focused on digital health innovation. These centers show great promise but are also subject to significant financial, organizational, and visionary challenges. We explore these AMC initiatives, which share the following characteristics: a focus on academic research methodology; integration of digital technology in educational programming; evolving models to support "clinician innovators"; strategic academic-industry collaboration and emergence of novel revenue models.


ACO; Academic Medical Centers; Digital health; Health IT; Innovation

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