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Health IT Infrastructure Improves with AMA Collaboration Platform

As health IT infrastructure advances, organizations need to participate in the development of the technology they implement.

health IT infrastructure collaboration

Source: Thinkstock

By Elizabeth O'Dowd

- The American Medical Association (AMA) launched a new online platform to encourage collaboration between physicians and health tech companies and to further health IT infrastructure digital transformation.

The Physician Innovation Network aims to improve healthcare technology solutions by facilitating an online community that puts tech innovators in contact with physicians. New health IT solutions can then be built to meet the needs of medical professionals.

“The AMA is committed to shaping a future where digital health tools are evidence-based, validated, interoperable, and actionable to ensure patients are receiving high-quality care,” AMA President David O. Barbe, MD, said in a statement. “To make this a reality, the AMA is working with leaders across health care who are keenly focused on technologies that work better for patients and physicians and seeking ways to bring the physician voice into the innovation space.”

“We know that when physician expertise is aligned with input from partners on the leading edge of health technology, we produce meaningful results,” Barbe continued. “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 health care system, and improve the health of the nation.”

Physicians participating in the platform can influence the development of emerging healthcare solutions, discover healthcare tech companies that are working to solve current issues, and improve the end product by sharing expertise and experience with the developers.

Vendors can connect with physicians to get invaluable feedback on their solutions before they go to market. They can also recruit physicians to join the development processes and use their real-world experience to add features and make improvements.

AMA announced one of these vendor collaborations last week. The Integrated Health Model Initiative (IHMI) platform brings together healthcare providers and technology vendors to establish a standard data framework.

The platform aims to improve the organization of healthcare information so it can be shared easier. The healthcare industry does not currently have a shared framework, which makes interoperability between disparate systems difficult.

“IHMI fills the national imperative to pioneer a shared framework for organizing health data, emphasizing patient centric information, and refining data elements to those most predictive of achieving better outcomes,” said the AMA. “Evolving available health data to depict a complete picture of a patient’s journey from wellness to illness to treatment and beyond allows health care delivery to fully focus on patient outcomes, goals and wellness.”

The IHMI platform is one out of the growing list of collaborations AMA is supporting. Large vendors such as IBM and Cerner are participating in these projects as a way to better secure their solutions in the healthcare space.

Healthcare organizations are relying more and more on their digital infrastructure as the technology continues advancing. As a result, it’s more important than ever that organizations and their users contribute to emerging technology to ensure that the tools they need are being built.

Hyperledger Executive Director Brian Behlendorf previously explained the importance of healthcare organizations not sitting idly by as new technology is being worked into health IT infrastructure.

“Many of the health IT organizations I’ve met in the past realize that they are fundamentally a technology company and they can’t sit around and wait for IT vendors to deliver perfect finished solutions to them,” said Behlendorf. “They need to be more proactive in understanding where emerging technologies have an impact on their industry and putting aside a small chunk of the money they spend on IT into developing capabilities and skills.”

AMA is helping the future development of healthcare technology by giving physicians and vendors an easy means of communicating and collaborating to support future digital advancements.


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