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AMA launches West Coast innovation hub

The American Medical Association launched a company today in San Francisco that aims to develop new products and tools to improve healthcare.

Chicago-based AMA, which has about 235,000 members nationwide, has invested $15 million in the new for-profit Health2047. The business seeks to be a hub to connect various parts of the healthcare community, from doctors to insurers to young Silicon Valley-based companies. The idea is to create new technologies and ideas that can scale nationally, such as ways to reduce the burden for patients managing chronic conditions, like diabetes and heart disease.

“What we need to do is pair that deep network knowledge (of the AMA) with a technology-base that can bring solutions rapidly,” said Dr. James Madara, CEO of the AMA and board chairman of Health2047.

The new company, a nod to the 200th anniversary of the AMA (founded in 1847), is home to a 4,500-square-foot, rapid prototype design studio. It has about 15 employees so far, including doctors, product designers and anthropologists, with plans to at least double in size.

Health2047 CEO Dr. Doug Given said the company will look to attract other investors, such as hospitals, insurers, pharmaceutical and medical-device companies, and wireless and consumer technology companies, to develop new ideas in a collaborative workspace. Being in an area close to venture capitalists also is key.

Among the ideas is tapping into the AMA's vast membership to learn from doctors how to make their jobs easier and work with patients better. They also can test ideas developed in the studio.

“We find ourselves in the situation where health care has changed progressively, yet the old way of doing things has just not kept up with the solutions we need,” Madara said. “At the end of the day, what we're looking for is a better environment for doctors to function in, better tools for them and better tools for patients.”

"AMA launches West Coast innovation hub" originally appeared on the Crain's Chicago Business website.


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