DiMe Convenes Digital Health Measurement Experts In Effort to Improve Health Outcomes and Equity
Boston, MA, May 25, 2021 – Today, the Digital Medicine Society (DiMe) is launching the Digital Health Measurement Collaborative Community (DATAcc), an effort to develop best practices and streamline the field’s approaches to measuring health using digital technologies.
DATAcc comprises leaders from across the government, non-profit, and private sectors, including healthcare systems, medical technology companies, patient advocates, biopharma, and policy organizations. The collaborative will use interdisciplinary expertise, data, and use cases to address complex medical device challenges, from increasing digital health literacy to integrating data from consumer fitness-trackers into electronic health records.
DATAcc members will meet for the first time today, marking the launch of this collaborative community dedicated to realizing the full potential of digital health measurement as a powerful new tool to drive improvements in health outcomes, health economics, and health equity. Activities will be action-oriented, ranging from the development of best practices, models, and frameworks to conducting pilots, and will be driven by the diverse membership of DATAcc.
DATAcc Program Director Sandy Polu, PhD says that we’re at a tipping point in terms of everyday people using health-monitoring technologies like smartwatches to improve their health. For example, a respiratory and heart rate tracker can generate thousands of data points per person per day.
But Polu says that such innovation is outpacing society’s ability to address a range of critical questions.
“How do we ensure that everyone has access to effective and safe technologies?” she asks. “How do we empower decision-makers — from individuals and clinicians to researchers and policymakers — to make sense of these troves of data in a way that improves outcomes?”
These pressing questions require a multitude of perspectives and expertise to address, including those of regulators, like the FDA that has chosen to participate in DATAcc.
“It is important to empower stakeholders to ensure equitable access to high quality, safe, and effective digital health technologies,” says Anindita Saha, Assistant Director of the Digital Health Center of Excellence in the Center for Devices and Radiological Health, who will be the FDA liaison to DATAcc. “DATAcc can advance efforts to build the science and evidence generation for all people by keeping health outcomes and health equity front and center.”
The need to address these challenges has become more salient as long-standing disparities in access and outcomes have been further exacerbated by COVID-19. In the U.S., federal data show that minority populations have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 in terms of both incidence and mortality rates.
DiMe’s Executive Director Jennifer Goldsack echoes the importance of equity and access with these new technologies.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has permanently changed, and in many ways positively so, how we deliver healthcare, conduct health research, and view the role of individuals in managing their health,” states Goldsack. “However, the pandemic has also made starkly apparent the urgent need to address disparities in health outcomes and health determinants. DATAcc provides a forum for collaboration to mature and democratize digital health measurement as a powerful new tool to improve the health and lives of every person regardless of their race, income, social status, or geographic location.”
DiMe has brought together the many stakeholders necessary to establish and implement a shared vision of high-quality digital health measurement that is available to and effective for every person. Participating members of the DATAcc include representatives from:
“DATAcc’s members have recognized the need for a multi-sector, multi-stakeholder approach to overcome the difficult hurdles that have thus far prevented the widespread application of digital health measures,” shares Polu. “While the COVID pandemic has catapulted digital health into mainstream use, there remains much work to do to ensure that digital health measures benefit all of society and not just the fortunate few.”
Together, on a continuing basis, the collaborative community will explore six priority areas that include data governance, data rights, digital inclusion, reimbursement, commercial models, and the standardization of elements of digital sensing products and the data they produce.
About DATAcc: Hosted by the Digital Medicine Society (DiMe), the Digital Health Measurement Collaborative Community is a pre-competitive collaboration comprised of the broad and inclusive range of stakeholders necessary to modernize the way we measure and define health and disease using digital approaches and technologies. Together, this collaborative will develop and demonstrate best practices and advance harmonized approaches to speed the fit-for-purpose use of digital health measurement to improve lives and minimize harm.
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!