AMA launches online community to encourage physician-led technological innovation

Doctor with computer and gadgets
The AMA's Physician Innovation Network aims to match physicians with innovators to drive the next generation of digital healthcare technology.

Technological innovations in healthcare have the power to change the way physicians practice. When it comes to the next round of innovation in technology, the American Medical Association wants to get physicians involved earlier in the design cycle via a new online community it calls the Physician Innovation Network. 

The introduction of new healthcare technology can generate unintended consequences for physicians and patients. Consider the electronic health record, which many physicians still see as a net negative for patients. The AMA recently launched a push to consolidate the fragmented data generated by these systems to make it more useful in practice.

Now the AMA has created an online community, Physician Innovation Network, which provides a space for physicians to connect with technology companies and entrepreneurs in order to collaborate on the development of new digital health tools.

Combining physicians’ knowledge and experience with technology leaders will produce better results for everybody, AMA President David O. Barbe, M.D., said in the announcement. The AMA anticipates physicians on the network will be able to find opportunities to provide input via both paid and volunteer positions, as well as via participation in virtual panel discussions. That will allow companies to find physicians with specific areas of expertise and solicit feedback from them.

By giving companies access to physicians’ insights earlier in the design process, the AMA hopes to increase physician leadership and participation in identifying targets for new technologies and executing on innovations that improve patient care and the healthcare system generally. “The Physician Innovation Network will help ensure that physicians play a greater role in leading digital health innovations that expand the bounds of science, enhance patient care and shape a better healthcare system, and improve the health of the nation,” said Barbe.

The new network adds to a growing suite of digital health innovation efforts spearheaded by the AMA, including Xcertia, a collaboration with Partners HealthCare and the Mayo Clinic aimed at improving the reliability and effectiveness of mobile healthcare apps.