Innovator Spotlight Q&A Series: Jared Conley, MD, PhD, MPH
The CIDH Innovator Spotlight is a Q&A series that celebrates innovative ideas, highlights the important work that digital health innovators are doing to advance patient care and outcomes at Mass General Hospital, and shares key learnings about the innovation journey.
We are pleased to feature Jared Conley, MD, PhD, MPH, Emergency Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Instructor of Emergency Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Q: Tell us about your innovation and the challenge(s) you were trying to solve.
JC: The Healthcare Transformation Lab (HTL) at Mass General Hospital has just launched the AHA ACLS app, together with the American Heart Association (AHA) for use by the six million clinicians trained in advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) around the world. This app represents a digital health solution to enhance clinicians’ ability to deliver life-saving cardiac care. In such challenging cardiac situations, seconds matter, and stress is high; the opportunity was to solve ways digital health could provide cutting-edge research and code-running functionalities to the clinician team to enhance their ability to care for their patients at the highest level.
Q: The innovation process can be long and challenging, but also rewarding. What inspired you to begin this journey?
This app represents a digital health solution to enhance clinicians’ ability to deliver life-saving cardiac care.
JC: Absolutely; we’ve been working on this project for three years. As with the beginning of most innovation, it is often about the adjacent possibility. HTL had significant success working with the MGH Corrigan Minehan Heart Center to deliver a digital health solution for ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) with considerable positive reception from clinicians. With this momentum and critical input of front-line clinicians, we thought there was an opportunity to impact other life-threatening emergencies using similar digital health solutions. ACLS was top of mind, given that its protocols were utilized every minute across the U.S. and globally to avert patient death when possible. Dr. Andy Chu, MD, MBA, MPH, and I co-created the app, initially called MGH ACLS, working closely with our phenomenal HTL team.
Q: Please tell us about your overall experience and some of the major milestones you’ve achieved so far. What are the next steps?
JC: Our overall experience has been enriching, working together as a team to leverage technology to enhance life-saving care. With the initial app development work, we garnered over 50,000 clinician users across 180 countries in just two years. Given this success, AHA has desired to co-brand the app with us at MGH and make it a commercial product offering for its six million clinician users worldwide. The following steps will include broad AHA promotion across its ACLS instructor and user bases and upcoming product features and enhancements to further assist clinicians in delivering life-saving cardiac care through digital health.
Q: What resources have been most helpful to you, and that you think other MGH innovators would benefit from?
JC: We have leaned on the great expertise of Mass General Brigham Innovation—specifically Mike Freni’s group—and the Office of General Counsel to navigate our path toward commercialization within this newer digital health space. Securing executive sponsorship from Dr. Adam Landman, MD, as Mass General Brigham CIO, has also been incredibly helpful. In addition, we have greatly benefitted from expertise at MGH Information Systems, including working with Doug Kelbaugh.
Q: What advice would you give to other innovators at MGH that you wish you had been given early in your innovation journey?
JC: Link up early with the great resources Mass General Brigham and Mass General Hospital have to offer to assist clinicians in executing a digital health idea into a successful free or commercial offering. Continually study the science and history of innovation and carefully apply its principles to your work to rethink healthcare delivery as we undergo the digital transformation of care.
CIDH would like to thank Jared Conley, MD, PhD, MPH for participating in our Innovator Spotlight series and sharing valuable information with our digital health community.
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