Center for Health + Technology
Ray Dorsey, MD, MBA and Erika Augustine, MD, MS
The mission of the Center for Health + Technology (CHeT) is to advance knowledge and improve health through unprecedented research. Our vision is that novel approaches will modernize clinical research and enable anyone anywhere to engage in research, benefit from therapeutic advances, and receive care.
Neurological conditions are the leading cause of global disability and the prevalence of neurological conditions is on the rise. Great advances are being made in knowledge of pathophysiology neurological diseases and in discovery of novel therapeutic targets. This is especially true for neurodevelopmental disorders and rare neurological diseases. Yet, barriers to the development of these breakthroughs persist in the form of rising development costs, and long, large, expensive trials with high failure rates. High quality clinical trial science must be ready and responsive to meet the demand of preclinical discovery. Novel approaches are needed.
New research methods can help to delineate natural history and evaluate therapeutics more efficiently. Such strategies include technologies that enable remote participation in research and objective measurement of disease, such as smartphones and sensors, as well as disease modeling and simulation. These methods have had limited application in clinical research to date.
A “laboratory” to develop, evaluate, and disseminate these and other approaches for research can advance the clinical neuroscience field and will advance therapeutic development. Our center, focused on innovation in clinical research methods, will be a unique resource for the national clinical neuroscience community.
Over the past 25 years, CHeT has pioneered multi-center research studies that have enrolled 40,000 individuals in 120 studies that have led to seven FDA-approved therapies. More recently, CHeT has used technology to transform research and care for Parkinson Disease (PD). Among these PD initiatives are disease models that have identified novel clinical and genetic markers of disease progression, the first two virtual PD research studies, the two largest smartphone studies in PD, the first longitudinal wearable sensor study for PD, and the only national randomized controlled trial of telemedicine for PD. CHeT is leading the development of new capabilities for the next generation of clinical trials and currently has 80+ full-time employees.
To fulfill its mission, CHeT has developed multi-disciplinary collaborations spanning the University of Rochester, academic partners, pharmaceutical companies, advocacy groups, and research organizations. CHeT is uniquely suited to expand this model of clinical research innovation to other neurological disorders, including rare neurological conditions, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and disorders of aging.
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