The Center for Assessment Technology & Continuous Health (CATCH), part of Massachusetts General Hospital’s Department of Medicine, is at the forefront of cultural change in medical research and practice. Today, patients typically seek medical attention only after a problem emerges, which eliminates the opportunity to prevent disease before it starts. Additionally, health measurements are generated and used in an outdated fashion, with patients having to take time from their days and travel to an office. Today, these measurements can come from a variety of tools and devices used in daily life and can be available at the moment patients need them, requiring no extra steps.

Our Opportunity

Researchers at CATCH believe we can provide new approaches to measuring and defining wellness and disease. These efforts place patients at the center of a team of scientists, engineers and caregivers to allow for a fuller understanding of the patient’s health, and for pre-symptomatic, continuous assessment and care.

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More specifically, CATCH is involving patients in the data collection and monitoring of their diseases while developing and using innovative methods of diagnosis and data collection. The collected data—gathered through tools such as smartphones, novel devices developed in our research programs and electronic health records—empowers patients to share information with researchers and clinicians at a level of their choosing. With this increased access to patient data and how it relates to everyday activities, CATCH researchers are working to improve early diagnostics for disease, to develop better targeted therapies and to empower patients to use data to guide their treatment decisions and lifestyle choices.

CATCH is a collaboration between the Mass General Department of Medicine and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The program is led by Dennis Ausiello, MD, the Jackson Distinguished Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Stan Shaw, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and a distinguished multidisciplinary team of advisors and faculty. Meet our team.

Located at Mass General, CATCH is in a unique position to work with patients in a trusted partnership, incorporating new measurements and approaches into their health and wellness decisions. Our collaboration with MIT strengthens our ability to lead this effort with access to powerful analytics, innovation and engineering. CATCH represents a critical step towards a transition in health care that will yield benefits in clinical care, quality, discovery and innovation, ultimately providing continuous care and a fuller understanding of human health. Included in these outputs will be more specific definitions of disease and better targeted treatments, tailored to the individual’s behaviors, environment and genes. Additionally we are building new devices to make measurements that will allow us to identify when patients are moving from wellness into the earliest points of disease.

CATCH Internationally

  • United Kingdom Medical Research Council (MRC) Conference
    • "Strengthening the UK’s capability in Health Informatics Research" (May 2013) - At this inaugural conference for eHealth in the United Kingdom, Samuel Thier, MD, presented CATCH's efforts in informatics and phenotyping. Dr. Thier is an advisor to CATCH and the MRC, and Dennis Ausiello, MD, is an advisor to the UK Wellcome Trust.
  • World Innovation Summit for Health (December 2013)
    • CATCH was featured as a clinical case study at the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) hosted in Doha, Qatar. CATCH participated in the forum on big data in health care led by CATCH collaborator, Professor Sandy Pentland of the MIT Media Lab, which described the promise of non-traditional data sources and big data analytics to improve human health in developed and developing nations.