MITRE Proposes a National Strategy for Digital Health

May 2021
Topics: Public Health, Policy, Systems Modernization, Emergency Preparedness and Response
This year could be a significant inflection point in our nation’s health and public health history. An urgent "Call to Action" from MITRE and its Health Advisory Committee brings attention to a new draft national strategy for digital health.
Woman holding pill bottle while looking at phone, with her daughter beside her.

Where do we go from here?

As the COVID-19 pandemic subsides across the United States, health experts and policy makers are examining lessons learned to better prepare for the next global health emergency, and to improve the health and well-being of Americans today.

However, as the private and public sector make significant investments in new technologies, tools and innovative health services, there is no agreement on a national set of priorities to guide stakeholders toward common goals and priority outcomes.

“Digital health technologies such as telehealth certainly weren’t invented during COVID-19, but their potential to deliver care was most certainly tested and proven,” says MITRE Chief Medical and Technology Officer, Dr. Jay Schnitzer.

“The pandemic also laid bare the health inequities faced by many populations and amplified the risks of further exacerbating the ‘digital divide.’ We’re proposing a draft national strategy for digital health—a collective roadmap to level the playing field around access, technology, and care for all people.”

Six Strategic Goals for a Healthier Population

The six strategic goals MITRE has identified to revolutionize the health and well-being of citizens are:

  1. Access, affordability, and utilization of universal broadband for all Americans.
  2. A sustainable health workforce that is prepared to use new technologies to deliver person-centered, integrated, quality care.
  3. Digital technologies that empower individuals to manage their health and well-being safely and securely.
  4. Data exchange architectures, application interfaces, and standards that put data, information, and education into the hands of those who need it, when they need it, reliably and securely.
  5. A digital health ecosystem that delivers timely access to information to inform public health decision making and action.
  6. Integrated governance designed for the challenges of a digital health ecosystem.

MITRE has researched and identified candidate actions in the full version of the strategy, which leaders may consider for achieving each of these goals.

In addition to Schnitzer, authors of “A Call to Action” include members of the MITRE Health Advisory Committee:

  • Christine K. Cassel, MD, presidential chair and visiting professor, UCSF
  • Wyatt W. Decker, MD, MBA, chief executive officer, OptumHealth
  • Jonathan Woodson, MD, MSS, director, Boston University Institute for Health System Innovation and Policy

Read “A Call to Action” and the full draft of the national strategy, including steps to achieve the goals. Contact us to deliver feedback on the draft document or schedule a discussion.

—by Mike Murphy

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