The Digital Medicine Society (DiMe) has joined the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) and the Connected Health Initiative (CHI)’s Health Equity and Access Leadership (HEAL) Coalition — a multi-sector initiative to create recommendations on the greater use of technology to mitigate health disparities, particularly coordination of resources, policy advocacy, research, and education.
The COVID-19 pandemic has further brought to light health disparities in America, adding credence that technology access is a social determinant of health. One example is the inequitable access to telehealth services experienced by female, non-English speaking, older, and lower-income patients, and that non-English language was independently associated with over 50% lower telemedicine usage compared to English-speaking patients. Further, Medicare data shows Black Americans were hospitalized with COVID-19 at a rate nearly four times higher than White Americans.
“Health technology holds the enormous possibility to help close the gap on health disparities, but only if these technologies are intentionally designed, built, and deployed to do so”, shares Rachel Chasse, DiMe’s Director of Innovation. “DiMe is thrilled to join the HEAL Coalition on this important initiative to help the next revolution in healthcare not miss the opportunity to deliberately serve the patients who have historically been left behind.”
The HEAL Coalition includes representatives from across the healthcare technology spectrum, including AT&T, Best Buy Health, Google, Microsoft, the University of Mississippi Medical Center, HP, Intel, Boston’s Children’s Hospital, and Rimidi, among others.
Victor Chan, Digital Health Platform Strategy Lead at Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, and Dr. Celine Marquez, Principal Scientist of Measurement Science at Genentech, and Chasse are the DiMe expert representatives serving on the HEAL Coalition working groups. In addition, DiMe will host a roundtable series for our member community, fostering discussion on the topics of health equity and access. True to DiMe’s values of community building and inclusivity, these roundtables allow for the collective power of collaboration where the many voices of our diverse members are heard and will influence our input to HEAL activities.
“Representing DiMe on the HEAL coalition is a natural extension of Genentech’s long-standing work to advance inclusive research and health equity,” said Chan and Marquez. “The coalition will help to ensure that health data translates into outstanding care, provides diverse patients access to innovative digital solutions, and improves outcomes for the most vulnerable.”
The HEAL Coalition’s first project will be a white paper with policy and operational recommendations addressing technology’s role in tackling disparities in the American healthcare system.
About the Digital Medicine Society: At DiMe, our commitment to fully integrating experts from all of the disciplines comprising digital medicine is unwavering. From regulators to white-hat hackers, ethicists to engineers, and clinicians to citizen scientists, we are proud to welcome all experts committed to ensuring that digital medicine realizes its full potential to improve human health. Join us!