On Friday, October 10, Congressman Fred Upton (MI-06) stopped at MCIRCC during his visit to the University of Michigan as part of the 21st Century Cures initiative, which aims to accelerate the pace of cures and medical breakthroughs in the United States. This initiative is sponsored by the House Committee on Energy & Commerce, chaired by Upton, which also oversees much of America’s funding for scientific research.
The 21st Century Cures initiative “will take a comprehensive look – from discovery to development to delivery – to determine what steps we can take to ensure we are taking full advantage of the advances this country has made in science and technology and use these resources to keep America as the innovation capital of the world.” This is a strategy that resonates with MCIRCC because our vision is to transform critical care medicine through multidisciplinary integration and industry partnerships for improved patient care and outcomes. This approach has the best chance of creating and accelerating the game changing technologies from bench to bedside.
Upton’s visit is significant because his 21st Century Cures initiative understands that while science moves swiftly forward, new approaches must be developed that close the gaps between advances in scientific knowledge and technology implementation. During his visit, MCIRCC underscored that changes could be made to the current federal drug and device approval process and NIH investment mechanisms to better align with innovation goals. The creation of a NIH-based institute or program dedicated to critical care could also have a major impact on the larger healthcare ecosystem.
The visit opened with MCIRCC Executive Director Kevin Ward, MD presenting the critical care story and how MCIRCC aims to transform care delivery. This was followed by two product demonstrations of solutions under MCIRCC development involving new vital signs and non-invasive patient monitoring technologies.
The first was a Resonance Raman Spectroscopy, which takes non-invasive measurements of tissue hemoglobin oxygen saturation for early intervention. This device could replace a highly invasive procedure with a potentially safer, cost-effective alternative that could be more desirable for both patients and medical staff.
The second demonstration was a vascular dynamics monitoring system that marries a non-invasive sensor technology with advanced data analytics and signal processing to identify and monitor new vital signs. This technology aims at detecting changes in a patient’s health condition for early intervention that could result in improved outcomes at reduced costs.
All in all, it was a productive visit. MCIRCC was able to share its thoughts on closing the gaps with critical care delivery given today’s federal funding models alongside the regulatory landscape.