WASHINGTON — Today, several of the nation’s top medical societies, institutions, and boards announced a long-term partnership with the Human Diagnosis Project (“Human Dx”) to help address the gaps that exist in providing specialty care to underserved patients. The Human Diagnosis Project is an online system which allows doctors to directly help their patients and each other while simultaneously building a system to help patients and physicians worldwide. The newly formed Alliance will support Human Dx’s mission to create more accurate, affordable, and accessible health care for millions of underserved Americans.

Specifically, over the next five years, the Human Dx Alliance will scale the Human Dx system to support the U.S. medical safety net and help close the specialty care gap for 30 million patients. In the coming decades, Human Dx will work to expand the Alliance globally as it builds one open health system for all.

“Millions in this country and more than a billion people worldwide lack access to the health care they need, so they choose between paying for it themselves and being forced into poverty, or not getting it and becoming sicker or dying as a result,” said Jayanth Komarneni, founder and chair of Human Dx. “Thousands of doctors from over 70 countries are tired of this and have come together to build a solution. By contributing to Human Dx doctors will expand access to help people get the care they need, beginning with the underserved: first here in America, and ultimately worldwide.”

The alliance

The Human Dx Alliance includes organizations responsible for educating, training, licensing, and certifying every doctor in the United States. It also involves world-renowned experts and researchers from leading academic institutions.

The Alliance members include:

  • The American Medical Association: The AMA, the nation’s largest physician group, will engage its members from throughout the United States to volunteer on Human Dx.
  • The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) and ABIM Foundation: ABIM, which certifies physicians who practice internal medicine and its subspecialties, will provide technical expertise in validating Human Dx as a scientific measure of physicians’ clinical decision-making abilities. ABIM Foundation, which advances medical professional as a force to improve health care quality, is also partnering with Human Dx to develop clinical scenarios to help physicians determine when certain tests and treatments might not be necessary using evidence- based recommendations from the Choosing Wisely® campaign.
  • The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS): ABMS, the leading not-for-profit organization overseeing physician specialty certification in the United States through its 24 medical specialty Member Boards, will provide support for physicians to obtain learning and improvement credits through participation in Human Dx to satisfy medical licensure and certification requirements.
  • The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC): AAMC, whose members comprise all 147 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 80 academic societies, will help develop a training program for primary care physicians and specialists to improve clinical practice using the Human Dx system. This is based on first-hand experience in supporting eConsult implementation in health systems across the country.
  • The Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU): ACU, founded by alumni of the National Health Service Corps and representing the nation’s safety net providers, will help disseminate Human Dx and develop training materials for safety net providers to successfully use Human Dx in their practices.
  • The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC): NACHC, which represents the nation’s network of over 1,400 Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), which serve 25 million people through nearly 10,000 sites all over the U.S., Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam, will help implement Human Dx across the safety net system and facilitate a national learning collaborative for clinics across all 50 states.
  • The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice: The Dartmouth Institute, which has a 30-year history of national leadership in evaluating health system performance and innovative models of care delivery, will be the Alliance’s monitoring, evaluation, and learning partner.

“We look forward to working with Human Dx as part of this important Alliance to help more uninsured and underinsured patients gain access to the specialty care they need,” said AMA President David O. Barbe, M.D. “The AMA is committed to improving the health of the nation and achieving better health outcomes for all Americans. Improving access to specialty care is an important step toward realizing that mission.”

"Collaborating to find solutions to deliver the right care at the right time is a deeply held value in the medical community, and Human Dx is a tool that could accelerate and expand efforts to achieve better health outcomes," said Richard J. Baron, MD, President and CEO of the American Board of Internal Medicine and ABIM Foundation. "Having worked in a small community practice for nearly 30 years, I am excited about the possibilities Human Dx presents for physician learning and patient access to specialty care.”

“As the nation’s leading organization overseeing physician specialty certification, the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and its 24 Member Boards recognize the domestic and international gap that exists for the most vulnerable populations with regard to access to specialty care,” stated ABMS President and Chief Executive Officer Lois Margaret Nora, MD, JD, MBA. “Human Dx has the potential to improve the health and well-being of patients in this country, and ultimately across the globe.”

"As an Institute deeply committed to improving health care by evaluating new models of care delivery, including through innovative technologies, we are excited to partner with Human Dx,” said Elliott Fisher, MD, Director of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. “We firmly believe that the Human Diagnosis Project Alliance represents an extraordinary opportunity to use groundbreaking technology to improve care for disadvantaged populations, both in the U.S. and around the world."

In addition, Human Dx has active research collaborations with Harvard Medical School, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and University of California, San Francisco Medical Center.

The problem

Nearly 30 million uninsured Americans rely on the nation’s safety net system of roughly 1,300 community health centers and free clinics to provide primary care services regardless of their ability to pay. While many of these individuals are able to receive basic medical care, they lack access to timely and affordable specialist care. For example: when an underserved patient needs to see a cardiologist, oncologist, or surgeon, he or she often has to pay out-of-pocket or wait as long as a year for an appointment at a public hospital.

This specialist gap can result in expensive visits to the emergency room, or worse – critical health problems going untreated altogether. Often the answer is not more tests, procedures, or treatments, but rather the right medical expertise at the right time. Fixing this specialist gap requires building technology to house medical knowledge in a single, open, and universally-accessible system.

The solution

The Human Dx system allows doctors to obtain an electronic consult for their patients from specialist doctors and combines their perspectives using technology. A treating doctor simply inputs his or her patient’s background and medical findings into the Human Dx system, which then invites specialists to review the case and input their recommended tests and diagnosis.

The Human Dx system then combines and analyzes the specialist’s input, as well as the patient's symptoms, physical exams, medical history, medical imaging; diagnostic and laboratory tests and provides the physician with information to make an informed clinical decision. In the future, Human Dx will also incorporate genomics, epigenomics, proteomics, published medical research, and health outcomes data. The system uses technology to structure, encode, and analyze the data, so that the system is continually learning and improving.

Since 2014, more than 6,000 doctors across more than 500 institutions in more than 70 countries have helped collaboratively build Human Dx. Together, they represent more than 40 medical specialties, and their contributions have generated more than 10 million clinical data points in the system.

“Human Dx represents an important innovation in helping to address a critical issue — improving the accuracy of clinical diagnoses. An incorrect diagnosis can lead to the wrong treatment and cause harm to the patient,” said Dr. David Bates, Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “Generally, doctors can diagnose better than computers. But doctors supported by technology like the Human Dx system could help improve the accuracy of clinical decisions across the board."

“Clinical reasoning is a fundamental skill for doctors. However, we have no current method for measuring this skill aside from using a combination of the subjective opinions of more senior doctors and surrogate markers such as exams,” said Dr. Sanjay Desai, Director of the Osler Medical Training Program and Associate Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. “Human Dx is the first tool I have seen that begins to address this unmet need. It will allow us to measure clinical reasoning more accurately, objectively, and innovatively at scale. And it will help improve doctors’ clinical reasoning throughout their practice, which could affect countless lives.”

About the Human Diagnosis Project

The Human Diagnosis Project is a worldwide effort created with and led by the global medical community to build an online system that maps the best steps to help any patient. By combining collective intelligence with machine learning, Human Dx intends to enable more accurate, affordable, and accessible care for all. Human Dx is structured as a partnership between the social, public, and private sectors. Its partners include many of the world's top medical institutions, boards, and societies. Human Dx is currently a semi-finalist in 100&Change, a global competition from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The competition will award $100 million to a single group that seeks bold solutions to solving critical problems of our time.

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About the American Medical Association

The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care.  The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care.

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