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Elizabeth Otter – Washington, D.C.

Elizabeth is the Director of Innovation Development at the American College of Cardiology. She has worked with different health care technologies, companies, and start-ups to create long-term innovation strategy to help drive transformation in cardiovascular care and all of healthcare.

Elizabeth, welcome onboard the team as our Digital Health Today Ambassador!

    1. Tell us a bit more about yourself, your background and what you’re doing now.

      From an early age, I’ve been fascinated by public health and health systems. In undergrad, I studied healthcare and public health from a sociological lens. After college, I served in the U.S. Peace Corps for three years; my first two years were spent within the public health program teaching, running community programs, and working in a rural health clinic in a remote village in Zambia. During my third I worked for Peace Corps helping managing volunteers and upcountry staff. It was an invaluable experience and my first true introduction to Digital Health. Upon returning to the US I received my Master’s of Public Health, focusing on Health Policy and Administration then began working as a consultant for hospitals and health systems helping them leverage a BI tool to improve care and reduce unnecessary utilization for a number of years.


      Now at the American College of Cardiology, I am Director of Innovation Development, working to develop sustainable partnerships and co-create cardio focused modules, product and or platforms with different healthcare companies, start-ups, and international organizations spanning across digital health, AI, precision medicine, and big data. It is an incredibly exciting role to be in and very fulfilling to know I am helping drive ACC’s Innovation team’s dual mission: 1) to help lead the digital transformation of care, starting with cardiology, by educating and guiding clinicians, care teams, and patients to embrace and thrive in the rapidly growing and evolving environment where there’s so much technical advancement, and 2) to drive forward ACC’s vision of “a world where innovation and knowledge optimize cardiovascular care and outcomes.”

    2. How did you get involved with digital health?

      I think the first time was when I was in the Peace Corps, being able to see how impactful simply a text message, photo or phone call could be to help organize or reinforce education. It dawned on me that this was probably the tip of the iceberg and made me curious to explore more of what was out there and how digital health is being used. Seeing how we can advocate within hospitals, telemedicine programs, or how digital health can be used for throughput and have a positive impact from the simplest to the most complex problems. I feel like digital health has had a way to help shape and solve those.

    3. Tell us about where you come from and some of the health and technology innovation that’s happening there.

      I grew up in Chicago, Illinois, and I lived there until I went away to college in Connecticut at Fairfield University. I went back to Chicago for two years for my master’s at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In addition to living in Illinois and Connecticut, I have lived in Texas, Zambia, Botswana, and now I’m in Washington, DC.


      There are two really nice things about DC in terms of working in healthcare. One is that it’s very collaborative. There are always people looking to partner, brainstorm or enhance an idea ranging from large public companies to really small, scrappy startups or NGOs that may not have a lot of financial resources, but have exceptional national and international relationships.


      The second thing is that DC is traditionally a bit transient, so you’re always having new people from different parts of the country and the world come in and share their ideas, their beliefs, and being able to pressure test things in that environment. I think it helps build that collaborative spirit and that competitiveness that runs in DC – if you’re helping, then you’re in the know.

    4. What are some of the top things other health innovators should know about where you live now?

      I’m interested in global health and digital transformation within global health, non-communicable diseases, and emerging digital technologies that are able to improve care efficiency, patient engagement, physician burden and outcomes. If you’d like to discuss or collaborate on any of these topics, please get in touch.

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