USAgainstAlzheimer's Network Strengthens Innovation Capacity in Race to Stop Alzheimer's by 2025
WASHINGTON, Oct. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The USAgainstAlzheimer's Network today announced that Dr. Peter L. Levin, developer of Blue Button personal health record technology during his role as Chief Technology Officer for the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, will join the USAgainstAlzheimer's Network's Board.
"We are honored to have Peter join our Board," said George Vradenburg, Chairman and Co-Founder of USAgainstAlzheimer's Network. "Peter will play an integral role in our work to involve those with or at risk of Alzheimer's in solutions to the disease using streamlined, patient-centered tools in our fight to meet the goal of stopping Alzheimer's by 2025."
Currently, 5.2 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's and nearly 15 million more provide unpaid care to loved ones suffering from Alzheimer's. In a recent report, RAND concluded that Alzheimer's costs to the nation exceed $200 billion, making it 50% more expensive than cancer. In the coming decades, the number of Americans suffering from Alzheimer's will triple, costing the U.S. more than $2 trillion in the next 10 years alone. Without a cure, over 10 million baby boomers will die with the disease.
Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. and remains the only disease in the top ten with no disease-modifying treatment or cure. Despite the personal and financial toll Alzheimer's inflicts, the National Institutes of Health invests only about $484 million per year toward Alzheimer's research – substantially less than the $6 billion in annual investment in cancer research. However, researchers say with dedicated funding for research it is possible to stop Alzheimer's within the decade.
"I congratulate the USAgainstAlzheimer's Network for naming Peter to their board," said W. Scott Gould, executive vice president at CareFirst, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan of Maryland. "The odds on winning the fight against Alzheimer's disease just got better. His clear thinking, creative insight and effective collaboration are hallmark qualities of this extraordinary public servant and tech entrepreneur."
Dr. Peter Levin, developer of Blue Button technology– an online platform that allows patients to view, download and share their medical records – will be powering USAgainstAlzheimer's on improving the treatment and care of those with Alzheimer's through innovations in technology. Levin's addition to the Network is part of the organization's larger effort to increase the sharing of patient data among patients, doctors, and researchers in order to drive solutions to Alzheimer's disease, treatment and care.
"An under-reported benefit of the ACA is how it strengthens patients' rights to receive all their medical information," said Peter Levin, who left VA in March of this year to join Amida Technology Solutions. "And that information is power: the power to observe, the power to ask, the power to choose, and the power to know. Nobody will benefit more than the victims of Alzheimer's and their caretaker networks."
USAgainstAlzheimer's is dedicated to advancing research, drug development and care innovations in Alzheimer's in order to make achieving the goal of ending Alzheimer's by 2025 a reality.
Individuals can join the USA2 Network at http://www.usagainstalzheimersnetwork.org/
Levin will join current Board members: Chairman George Vradenburg, Trish Vradenburg, Jill Lesser, Shawn Taylor, Meryl Comer, Stanley Prusiner, Ken Dychtwald, and Barry Libert. Sally Sachar serves as the Chief Operating Officer of USAgainstAlzheimer's Network.
USAgainstAlzheimer's Network is non-profit organization uniting groups - women, African Americans, Hispanics, researchers, caregivers, and more - behind the goal of stopping Alzheimer's by 2020. USAgainstAlzheimer's Network is dedicated to advancing Alzheimer's awareness and fostering public-private collaboration to accelerate Alzheimer's prevention, care, and cure. For more information about the USAgainstAlzheimer's Network, visit http://www.usagainstalzheimersnetwork.org/