From left: Joseph Loscalzo, chair of the Department of Medicine, moderates a fireside chat with former FDA Commissioner Robert Califf.

More than 1,000 attendees gathered for Partners HealthCare’s World Medical Innovation Forum (WMIF) from May 1 to May 3, featuring senior experts and rising stars from BWH and beyond. This year’s forum focused on advances in cardiovascular medicine, including powerful new technologies and discoveries that are helping to shape the future of cardiovascular care.

“This year’s forum highlights the convergence and cooperation occurring between academia and industry to redesign cardiovascular care and improve the lives of millions of patients around the world,” said Calum MacRae, MD, PhD, chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and co-chair of this year’s WMIF. “New technologies are emerging – not just traditional medical devices, but also wearables, online apps and more. We need to think through how these advances can work together seamlessly to help change medicine for the better.”

Among this year’s BWH speakers were 10 early-career investigators who presented as part of the First Look session on the forum’s first day. Topics ranged from improving cardiovascular outcomes for cancer survivors (presented by cardiologist John Groarke, MD, MPH) to using zebrafish for modeling cardiovascular disease (presented by research fellow Manu Beerens, PhD).

Benjamin Olenchock, MD, PhD, who presented his work in developing mouse models of remote cardioprotection, won a $10,000 Austen-Braunwald Award to support his research.

Other Brigham highlights of this year’s forum included a panel about global clinical trials, moderated by Marc Sabatine, MD, chair of the Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction (TIMI) Study Group. Brigham Health President Betsy Nabel, MD, moderated a fireside chat with National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Director Gary Gibbons, MD.

Paul Ridker, MD, director of the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention, participated in a panel about new targets in coronary artery disease. Ben Scirica, MD, spoke about drug pricing during another panel discussion.

The forum concluded with its annual Disruptive Dozen session, highlighting concepts, advances and technologies anticipated to transform cardiovascular medicine over the next decade. Among the topics selected was “Harnessing Big Data and Deep Learning for Clinical Decision Support,” foreshadowing the theme of next year’s WMIF: artificial intelligence.

“We’ve heard about so many innovative projects and advancements that leverage or generate vast amounts of data. At the end of the day, we are all projecting toward the topic for next year’s forum and how to put all of the data together,” said MacRae.

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