- OVERALL American healthcare is rapidly evolving to a state where efficiency and quality in health care are co-dominant drivers. Several emergent trends are driving fundamental changes in health care: 1) increasing numbers of patients in accountable care organizations with bundled payments to providers; 2) emphasis on quality metrics such as reducing readmissions for heart failure and improving control of hypertension; and 3) increasing focus on the patient as a driver of medical decisions and a partner in care. There is now an urgent need to develop technologies that provide rapid feedback to both caregivers and patients in order to effect timely changes in patient self-care, symptom detection, diagnosis and treatment delivery. In particular, there is a critical need for new evidence-based, user-friendly, patient-centric, point-of-care technologies (POCT) to monitor health/medical status in people as they go about their daily lives out of the clinic and to deliver actionable reports to the point of care. The Center for Advancing Point of Care Technologies (CAPCaT) in Heart, Lung, Blood, and Sleep Diseases will be an offshoot of a highly successful medical product incubator, the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2) at the University of Massachusetts (Lowell and Worcester campuses). The founding goal of M2D2 was to accelerate the development of medical devices, using the combined expertise of UMass Lowell (UML) in engineering and business, and the clinical expertise of UMass Medical School (UMMS) in Worcester. Expanding upon the vision and success of M2D2, the goal of CAPCaT is to develop and optimize novel POCT to improve the diagnosis and management of heart, lung, blood and sleep (HLBS) diseases. We have focused on these diseases because of the significant morbidity, mortality, and cost associated with these diseases. Combined, these diseases account for 41% of deaths in the US and lead to over $400B in direct health care expenses plus lost income to affected patients and caregivers. UMass has an established track record of clinical expertise and technology development in the HLBS diseases. Our objectives are to: 1) identify, through stakeholder engagement, the most promising POCTs to address unmet medical needs; 2) support developmental plans, including pathways to adoption at the point of care; and 3) train and disseminate developing POCT to the different stakeholders.
The Center for Advancing Point of Care Technologies (CAPCaT) in Heart, Lung, Blood, and Sleep Diseases identify, evaluate and support point-of-care technologies in heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders for diagnosis, monitoring and interventional delivery. Point of care technologies have the potential to improve both the quality and efficiency of health care in these diseases, as well as increase the role of the patient as a decision-maker in care.
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