As Stanford Medicine takes its place as a preeminent leader in Precision Health, I am excited to share information with you about a new program within the Department of Medicine.
In speaking with the faculty, I’ve learned that many of you have a strong interest in incorporating digital health in your research and clinical programs. To address this need, we are launching a new Department of Medicine Center for Digital Health under the leadership of Dr. Sumbul Desai (clinical assistant professor, General Internal Medicine) and Dr. Mintu Turakhia (assistant professor, Cardiovascular Medicine).
The Center will provide an integrated set of resources, including leadership, guidance, and infrastructure, to Department of Medicine faculty who want to engage in research and development, clinical implementation, and education in digital health. The Center will also promote and connect faculty experts to external stakeholders with the goal of enabling rich collaborations. And the program will provide educational and training opportunities for Department residents, fellows, and trainees. To ensure that we maximize synergy and alignment, we have assembled a broad advisory group across University stakeholders in innovation, informatics, mobile health, big data, and precision medicine.
The faculty leaders are well suited to their new role. Mintu Turakhia, a cardiologist and Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology at the VA, will lead research for the Center. Mintu has developed a successful, multidisciplinary, high-impact program in arrhythmia outcomes research. In partnership with Dr. Ken Mahaffey and the Stanford Center for Clinical Research (SCCR), Mintu has developed the core infrastructure required for digital health research as a result of his recent work in digital health trials in atrial fibrillation. Under Ken’s leadership, the SCCR has been highly successful in advancing innovative clinical research, in the process establishing a strong foundation upon which to advance the new Center’s research portfolio.
Sumbul Desai, a hospitalist and Vice Chair for Strategy and Innovation in the Department of Medicine, will lead strategy and will work with external partners to implement initiatives for the Center. Sumbul has rapidly developed and implemented digital health clinical programs, including ClickWell®, a primary care telehealth program. Sumbul also leads the Pathway of Distinction in Innovation for the Internal Medicine Residency program. She will partner with Mintu to build out education opportunities for faculty, housestaff, and medical students in the digital health space.
Dr. Lauren Cheung (clinical instructor, General Medical Disciplines) will work with Sumbul and Mintu to coordinate efforts across these areas with a focus on building strategic external relationships, faculty connections, and educational opportunities.
At its most basic, the new Center is designed to be our internal go-to resource to help faculty members’ ideas regarding digital health become reality. It is important to emphasize that this program complements other initiatives and programs in the Department, School, and University. We look forward to hearing how to best serve your needs.