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News: Winter 2017

World Medical Innovation Forum 2017: The Future of Cardiovascular Care

Anthony Rosenzweig, MD, chief of cardiology and co-director of the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center at MGH, describes a paradox at the center of heart disease. On the one hand, the last half-century has seen a dramatic drop in death rates among patients hospitalized for a heart attack. On the other hand, survivors often go on to develop chronic conditions that are expensive and ultimately deadly. Add the aging of the world’s population and the epidemic of metabolic diseases, and heart disease remains the number one killer in the United States and most of the world, with its burden expected to increase over the coming decades.

The changing spectrum of heart disease has produced new clinical needs, and marshaling an effective response will require cooperation among a diverse array of stakeholders. Technology, patent insights and clinical management have combined to propel diagnosis, treatment and long term care into a new threshold. To accelerate this process, Rosenzweig and Calum MacRae, MD, PhD are co-chairing the World Medical Innovation Forum on May 1–3, 2017 to be held in Boston at the Westin Copley hotel.

Many top leaders from throughout the industry, government and investment communities will speak including the CEOs of a large number of leading organizations including Abiomed, AHA, Amgen, Bard, Boehringer Ingelheim, Boston Scientific, Cardinal Health, Edwards, GE Healthcare, LivaNova, Lilly, Medtronic, Mirna, Myokardia, Philips, Siemens, Yumanity, Zafgen and Zoll Medical. They will be joined by top investors, the heads of the FDA, NHLBI and key executives from CMS and other entities.

This year’s agenda captures the excitement of the newly emerging chapter of cardiovascular and cardiometabolic care. It will highlight the newest approaches to treating heart failure and atherosclerosis, personal monitoring tools, breakthrough devices, metabolic syndrome, changes in pricing and policy, flexible trial design and much more. Cardiology is at the leading edge of the ongoing revolution across biomedicine and the Forum will seek to understand how this will affect every part of the translational cycle.

The Forum will open with twenty rising BWH and MGH stars, Harvard Medical School faculty, describing the clinical potential of their work in cardiovascular and cardiometabolic care. Discovery Café workshops will follow, led by senior Harvard faculty addressing cutting-edge cardiovascular challenges. On the final day, a panel of clinical experts from BWH and MGH will announce their selections for the “Disruptive Dozen,” the technologies likely that will have the greatest impact on cardiovascular and cardiometabolic care in the next decade.

MacRae describes the goal of this year’s forum as “to bring all our expertise together around the problems that our current and potential industrial partners recognize as the barriers in the future, and really think through together with these partners how we can best overcome the challenges.”

“Too often,” says Rosenzweig, “we are in our isolated environments and not really reaching out and interacting with our counterparts on the other side.” But, he adds, “there is no more exciting time to be in cardiovascular medicine than now. The tools we have for attacking these problems are so much more robust than they have ever been before, and the ability to merge science and clinical medicine is unparalleled. We have a large unmet need, and the hope is that industry-academic partnerships will grow out of this to move that forward.”