Hopkins Program to Individualize Interventional Cardiology (inCAR)

The mission of inCAR is to develop a new model of cardiology care – one that is optimally adapted to every patients’ unique circumstances and ensures that all patients receive the highest quality care possible. Despite the proven life-saving capacities of many cardiovascular procedures, their use in clinical practice can be imprecise. inCAR investigators are creating tools that will enable clinicians to further tailor treatment plans to their patients’ individual health characteristics, resulting in highly optimized care for each patient.

To achieve their mission, inCAR is developing a learning health system (LHS). This LHS will integrate multiple sources of patient health information into a database that will be constantly analyzed to improve patient care. Specifically, inCAR is developing an automated information technology system that will (1) continuously update scientific knowledge on the benefits of interventional cardiovascular procedures, (2) define which patients are most likely to benefit from which procedures, and (3) provide decision support tools for cardiologists to use with their patients to inform the best course of action. Not only will this new technology improve cardiology care at the bedside, it will also highlight gaps in knowledge for researchers to explore, creating a feedback loop between clinical practice and research that will accelerate the pace with which patient care is improved.

inCAR is collaborating with three entities to develop and implement their LHS: the Maryland Academic Consortium for Percutaneous Coronary Intervention Appropriateness and Quality (MACPAQ), the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), and the Johns Hopkins Health System (JHHS). With MACPAQ, inCAR is establishing an automated peer review and quality assurance system that will serve as the foundation of the LHS and will also be used for the creation of cardiology decision support tools. inCAR’s partnership with APL will facilitate the implementation and evaluation of these newly developed tools in the clinical setting. Once the effectiveness of these tools has been demonstrated, the JHHS patient population will benefit from the implementation of the LHS in their cardiology care.

inCAR’s goal is to demonstrate how to simultaneously improve the health of individuals receiving cardiac interventions and reduce the population-level costs of cardiovascular care through avoidance of unnecessary procedures. In working towards this goal, inCAR serves as a leading example of an innovative, effective, and highly individualized approach to heart health. 

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