The American Medical Association is expanding its physician innovation network with a new effort centered on early-stage startups and investors.
The network, an online forum that connects physicians with digital health companies, on Tuesday launched an online hub in collaboration with RedCrow, a crowdfunding company focused on healthcare startups. The new hub is part of the AMA's broader push to encourage healthcare technology startups to work with physicians.
By connecting health technology startups and companies with physicians, the AMA hopes to help spur creation of new technologies that respond to the needs of front-line medical staff.
"Overlooking physician requirements is one reason new medical technology may not live up to its promise," Dr. James Madara, the AMA's CEO, said in a statement.
The AMA and RedCrow said they hope physician-startup connections created on the new hub will help promising healthcare startups access guidance and funding at an early stage. Access to the hub is free for physicians, healthcare companies and entrepreneurs.
The AMA has been building out its physician innovation network since its inception roughly 3½ years ago, said Meg Barron, the AMA's vice president of digital health innovations. The effort was in part spurred by physicians' frustration with existing digital tools, such as electronic health record systems.
"We wanted to help to ensure that their voice was really being heard" in the development of future technologies, Barron said.
Last year, the AMA partnered with Sling Health, a student-run biotechnology incubator, to launch a clinical problem database where physicians can submit problems they've experienced within care delivery and medical practice. Medical, engineering and business students affiliated with Sling Health can use those submissions to inform future projects.