A medical vest that can predict heart attack or stroke? Ear buds that measure your cardiovascular signals? It’s not science fiction, it’s just part of the technologies that are in use at the Center for Innovation at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, which opened its doors Sept 14.
The Center for Innovation is a partnership between RWJUH and Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and its goal is to develop new technologies – see above – to address both common and complex health issues through the collaboration of clinicians, researchers and private industry.
“The collaboration and innovation that will take place within this center is what differentiates the academic medical center’s mission to not just treat illness, but to analyze it, create new pathways to prevent it and then share the solutions across the global medical community,” RWJUH President and CEO Bill Arnold said. “Bringing private industry into this mix adds the crucial ingredient of new technologies – whether they are widely used already or in the incubator phase at a startup. It is exciting to imagine what we can create to improve the health of our communities and to change the course of the health of our vulnerable populations.”
The center was made possible via donor funding from the RWJ University Hospital Foundation.
Already at work
With more expected to launch before the end of the year, the Cardiovascular Services team has two clinical trials underway:
- Evaluating an FDA-approved remote robotic ultrasound system to effectively capture expert quality cardiac ultrasound images remotely
- An AI mobile health trial for a digital platform to study the use of wearable sensors that collect health data from patients diagnosed with high blood pressure or early-stage heart failure; the information is then used to initiate guideline-directed medical treatment remotely.
The concept and design for the center was led by RWJUH’s Cardiovascular Services team under the direction of Dr. Partho Sengupta. Despite his expertise, RWJ says the center is designed to be used across all clinical teams and disciplines.
“We’re advancing the design of a technology and innovation hub where diverse people including RWJUH and Rutgers RWJMS faculty, community physicians and staff, can come together to create new ideas and designs for clinical care and identify technologies that help find solutions to health care challenges,” said Sengupta, who is also the Henry Rutgers Professor of Cardiology and chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Disease and Hypertension at RWJMS; chief of cardiology at RWJUH; and is a member of the Combined Medical Group of RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers Health.
“It’s important to create a space and environment that is optimized for creativity, innovative thinking and collaboration,” he added.
The center’s core team for digital transformation will be led by Naveena Yanamala, director of artificial intelligence and data science in the Division of Cardiovascular Disease and Hypertension at RWJMS.
“The Center for Innovation is a model for how therapies of the future will be developed, welcoming physician-scientists of all specialties to a makerspace for scientific ingenuity, where they can create and experiment with clinical diagnostics and techniques for the benefit of our patients,” said newly appointed RWJMS dean Dr. Amy Murtha. “Our collaboration as a premier academic medical center facilitates scientific advancement throughout the region and most importantly, improves health outcomes and offers hope for the residents of New Jersey and beyond.”
Join our NJBIZ panel of experts Sept. 27 who will answer questions on various topics dealing with health care technology during our next virtual panel discussion. Save your seat here.