American Medical Association Launches For-Profit Tech Company

The AMA’s physician members want a say in new healthcare technology development, so the association is making that happen.

To speed along the development of healthcare technology while including the physician’s voice, the American Medical Association launched a for-profit entity, Health2047.

“Improving the health of the nation is at the core of the AMA’s work, and Health2047 will build partnerships to create new solutions for physicians and their patients that improve health care delivery and health outcomes,” AMA CEO James Madara, M.D., said in a statement. “Health2047’s product orientation and entrepreneurial DNA will help forge new paths and bring commercial solutions to market faster.”

The company will be a San Francisco-based “design prototyping innovation studio” where teams gather attractive ideas and build them into investable prototypes. Technology will be created by combining AMA’s knowledge of healthcare and the teams’ knowledge of technology development—and physicians themselves will be able to test it.

“We thought we would take this deep, rich knowledge of the physician workflow and of healthcare across multiple geographies, multiple practice types to find solutions that need to be brought forward, and then have some bridge to a technology-rich center that utilizes the skills and talents and cultures of a place like Silicon Valley,” Madara said in an interview with Associations Now.

Health2047 aims to change the development process by creating measurement technology that fits well into the current healthcare system and its means of data gathering.

“Having a systems view of healthcare—what I would call a full body scan of our healthcare system—is a required starting bundle of knowledge one has to have for innovation, and rather few innovations in healthcare have brought to the table that kind of understanding,” he said.

Madara said physicians are rapid adapters of new technology, so when they do not use a new tool, it’s because the technology isn’t optimized. Having physicians test the technology in prototype form would avoid this disconnect.

AMA invested $15 million to become a founding member of Health2047. While its physician members already want to be part of tech testing, Health2047 also allows AMA to further connect its members with prototype development.

Additionally, choosing to make the company for-profit also allows AMA to harness the power of the technology community when drawing talent and investors.

“We do want to have the advantage of utilizing the culture of the AMA and leveraging a different kind of culture: a rapid-prototyping, multifunctional, design-oriented culture as exists in Silicon Valley,” he explained.

AMA hired Doug Given, an infectious diseases doctor, as CEO of Health2047, but Madara will stay on as board chair.

“This is an incredibly exciting adventure,” Madara said, “and it is part and parcel of the AMA’s intent, which is to be on the forefront to defining what an association of the 21st century looks like.”

Alex Beall

By Alex Beall

Alex Beall is an associate editor for Associations Now with a masters in journalism and a penchant for Instagram. MORE

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