It also shined a light on several weaknesses in our health care system, including underfunded state and local public health agencies, fragmented health data, fragile supply chains, inequitable care and outdated health-related laws and regulations.
In response to these challenges, CTA convened technology companies, health systems, medical device manufacturers, insurance providers, public policy organizations and medical societies to propose policy recommendations to promote greater use of technology in better preparing for future health crises and advancing health equity.
Public Health Tech Initiative
The Public Health Tech Initiative (PHTI) was created to examine how health technology can be more effectively used to better deal with future public health emergencies — particularly as it relates to coordination of resources and bolstering public health systems, capacity, communication and resilience. The Coalition is co-chaired by Dr. David Rhew, chief medical officer at Microsoft, and Dr. Alex Garza, the chief community health officer at SSM Health.
The main project of PHTI is a white paper, Public Health Tech Initiative: Using Health Technology to Respond to Public Health Emergencies, published in November 2021. The white paper looks at lessons learned from the current pandemic and recommends steps governments and industry can take to improve planning, response, coordination and remediation to effectively deal with future public health crises. The paper discusses the divided nature of our public health system, the role digital health and data use have played in response to COVID-19, and the legal and operational barriers that prevented the more effective use of digital health and health data during the pandemic.
Participants of PHTI included CTA members as well as nonmembers: AHIP, American College of Cardiology, Brookings, Health Innovation Alliance, Humana, Humetrix, Included Health (formerly Doctor on Demand), Kinsa Health, Microsoft, Northwell Health, Philips, ResMed, Roche Diabetes Care, SSM Health, UCHealth and Xealth.
Health Equity and Access Leadership Coalition
The Health Equity and Access Leadership Coalition (HEAL) is a collaboration among nearly 35 organizations spanning the entire health ecosystem led by CTA and the Connected Health Initiative, including organizations like Anthem, Fitbit (a Google company), Omron Healthcare, Philips, ResMed, the University of Mississippi Medical Center and Validic. The group analyzed ways in which digital health can play a more significant role in addressing and mitigating health disparities. The Coalition is co-chaired by Dr. Lucienne Ide, founder and CEO of Rimidi, and Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick, founder and CEO of Grapevine Health.
The work of the HEAL Coalition is reflected in a white paper Advancing Health Equity Through Technology, published in November 2021. This paper addresses issues such as the impact low digital literacy has on health outcomes and how lack of access to broadband affects digital health adoption. The Coalition makes several recommendations including encouraging the development of digital hubs to train, educate and support patients and providers, and supporting a coherent and meaningful expansion of broadband coverage to ensure true connectivity reaches rural and underserved areas.
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