Defining a national strategy for digital health is critical to ensure digital technologies are not just “layered” on top of the current system that is costly, inequitable for many, and often yields poor health outcomes.
COVID-19 was our wake-up call. Our world was turned upside down in an instant as health officials, government leaders, and everyone scrambled to deal with a disease that we had no way to treat and no way to cure. However, as they have in every crisis that has ever faced this nation, the American people rose to the challenge.
Now that the end of this global nightmare is just over the horizon, we cannot and must not slow down. We have seen first-hand how vulnerable we are. We have seen the need to be able to instantly scale healthcare services. We have seen the vital role that digital technology has played in saving lives, and it is our responsibility to make sure the lessons we have learned inspire us to climb even higher. We must do this, not only to prepare for the next global health emergency, but to improve the health and well-being of our people every day.
With proper leadership, 2021 can become a significant inflection point in our nation’s health and public health history. The decisions that will be made in the coming months and years could set us on course to finally eliminate the tragic health disparities that were exacerbated by COVID-19. We now have the technology necessary to make sure every resident has the information they need to make the right choices for their health and the health of their families. We have the ability to instantaneously share data and evidenced-based treatments around the world. To seize this moment, we must have a national strategy for digital health that identifies a set of national priorities and guides the government and industry toward common goals.
If we let this opportunity pass, we risk worsening disparities in health by creating solutions that are only available to the privileged few.
A draft of this strategy was released in May 2021 with the intent of starting a conversation. The 2022 version includes a number of significant changes that reflect the insightful feedback we received and the evolution of our thinking.
For more information, read the related story and the executive summary, A Call to Action: A National Strategy for Digital Health.
Contact us to deliver feedback or schedule a discussion on the draft strategy.