I/UCRC for Technology Innovation for Novel Cost-Reducing and Quality-Enhancing Musculoskeletal Therapies

Investigator: Jeffrey C. Lotz, PhD
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)

Location(s): United States


The proposed center will focus on technological advances and trends of health outcomes, quality, and costs associated with several areas of musculoskeletal care, including spine, arthroplasty, and sports medicine. University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), the University of Toledo (UT), and the University of California-Berkeley (UCB) are collaborating to establish the proposed center, with UCSF as the lead institution. 

With current trends in healthcare reform, there is a growing conflict between the need for medical cost containment and the nation's commitment to technological innovation to improve human health. Consequently, successful medical therapy development now includes not only advancing new technologies that are safe and effective, but also factoring overall costs for the episode of care, pricing, and reimbursement. Disruptive innovations are new technologies that are cost-saving, or that add value to the healthcare encounter by improving outcome and/or reducing cost. Success in developing disruptive musculoskeletal innovations requires balancing clinical insight, technological know-how, supply chain management, and commercial market intelligence. The proposed activity involves substantial engineering and bio-engineering multi-disciplinary collaboration. Business faculty involvement provides a solid approach to the engineering systems challenge of maximizing the value of innovative therapies. 

The proposed Center will represent an exciting and novel integration of healthcare economics, biomedical science, and clinical medicine as we target technological innovations on cost-cutting and quality-enhancing interventions for management of patients with musculoskeletal disease. The proposed Center will focus on a natural integration of multi-disciplinary research activities, and consequently, a cross-fertilization that provides rich educational experiences for trainees who are mentored during the supported research activities. The Center plans to implement an active program for identifying and including Center members and trainees from underrepresented groups. Important data and findings will be disseminated and shared via the Center website and publications that result from Center-supported research.