Physicians (finally) get a say in tech development


The future of health IT just grew brighter Tuesday with the unveiling of a new collaboration space that will ensure that physicians’ perspectives and needs are taken into account from Day 1 as entrepreneurs develop new technologies. This space will give physicians a chance to collaborate with health care entrepreneurs both physically and virtually on solutions to frustrating practice challenges and opportunities to advance medicine. 



The AMA Interaction Studio at MATTER, a health tech incubator in the heart of Chicago, will take opportunities for practical feedback into a new phase. The AMA-MATTER partnership launched in February, and so far hundreds of physicians have offered insight and feedback to entrepreneurs working on technological solutions to improve the health of the nation.

“This is a day we’ve been excited about since the day we opened,” said Steven Collens, CEO of MATTER. “If you are an entrepreneur, you need access to physicians.”

“This environment brings the interaction inside of the building,” he added.

The AMA Interaction Studio provides a space to create unique learning experiences and simulations using cutting-edge exam room equipment in order to build greater technology that streamlines work flows, saves time and allows physicians to spend more time providing quality care to patients.

“It’s not just about that space,” said James L. Madara, MD, CEO and executive vice president of the AMA. “[It’s] also about the dialogue that can change the technology that helps us become a healthier nation.”

In the front of the studio is a 130-inch projection screen for interaction between physicians from anywhere in the country through Skype and entrepreneurs seated before a webcam. Physicians tuning in to offer their experiences and insights can see the whole studio from this position as if they are in the room.

“A lot of people have an idea, and they fly blind and build [the product] with the idea that ‘if I build it they will come’—and that’s a horrible way,” said Danny Bernstein, CEO and founder of metaME Health.

Ali Manji, MD, an emergency medicine resident, noted how valuable the technology in the Interaction Studio could be. “If we can get to a point where these products are implemented into practice,” he said, “the time it takes to assess a patient’s condition could be reduced significantly and that will definitely save more lives.” 


Here are some of the products that populate the exam room:

  • An exam table that can take blood pressure readings, weigh patients digitally, calculate BMI and send the data to an EHR
  • An electronic wall board that allows for interactive conversations between physicians and their patients
  • A 49-inch high resolution monitor to display medical images for patient education
  • A 3D imaging device that provides immersive, virtual holographic experiences with CT and MRI content for education and research enrichment

The partnership with MATTER reflects the AMA’s commitment to investigating long-term paths to practice sustainability and professional satisfaction. The Interaction Studio was conceived to meet the need for easier connections between entrepreneurs and physicians to gain insights as to what challenges are faced in the day-to-day work flow of their practice so they can build the right solutions to the right problems.

In an effort to scale interactions between entrepreneurs and physicians nationwide, the AMA Physician Innovation Network is in beta development to connect and match physicians and health tech companies based on their interests and needs. Physicians can sign up today for an invitation for the beta release of the site.