Platform Accelerating Rural Access to Distributed and Integrated Medical Care
The Big Question
What if we could deliver advanced hospital-level care to every rural county in America?
In the U.S. today, rural health care systems are facing a crisis. Over the past 10 years, more than 100 hospitals in primarily rural areas have closed, with at least another 600 – or 30% of all rural hospitals – at risk of shutting down soon due to lack of funding. Yet at the same time, rural populations also suffer from much higher mortality rates than their urban counterparts, largely due to the difficulties they face in accessing suitable care.
The Current State
Despite the increasing scarcity of rural hospitals, most health care systems in rural communities still rely heavily on a location-based service model. Under this model, advanced care is limited to traditional brick-and-mortar facilities, such as hospitals, medical clinics, and imaging centers. When a rural hospital or clinic closes, the population that it serves must travel longer distances to access the same level of care in another location, a burden that means some people don’t receive the kind of care they need.
The Platform Accelerating Rural Access to Distributed and InteGrated Medical Care (PARADIGM) program aims to address the current challenges in rural health by creating a scalable vehicle platform that can provide advanced medical services outside of a hospital setting. Building on recent developments in fields ranging from satellite communication to medical device miniaturization, this mobile care platform will allow health providers to meet rural patients where they are.
In order to create a platform that can bring sophisticated medical services to the doorstep of rural populations, PARADIGM will focus on five technical areas: 1) designing distributed hospital-level care, 2) producing an integrated care delivery platform, 3) harmonizing diverse medical device data within a single system, 4) building a miniaturized, ruggedized CT scanner, and 5) creating intelligent task guidance software to help health workers perform activities beyond their usual training.
If successful, PARADIGM hopes to develop a mobile platform capable of delivering many different types of cutting-edge services – including multi-cancer screenings, hemodialysis, perinatal care, and much more. With medical technology no longer tied to a specific place – but instead available on a platform that can travel to even the most remote locations – rural patients will thus be able to access the care that they need within their own communities.
PARADIGM is seeking a wide range of performers to help achieve the multidisciplinary goals of the program. Interested partners are invited to read the full solicitation and register for Proposers’ Day. Successful applicants will join a diverse group of performers, all of whom are committed to bringing advanced medical services to underserved rural populations throughout the country.
Frequently Asked Questions
ARPA-H anticipates that teaming will be necessary to achieve the goals of PARADIGM. Prospective performers are encouraged to form teams with varied technical expertise to submit a research proposal. To facilitate this process, we have created a teaming page where prospective performers can share their profiles and learn more about other interested parties.