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Advancing Digital Medicine to Optimize Human Health: 2019 in Review

DiMe’s first year-end report card highlights seven months of growth, collaboration, and awareness

Jennifer Goldsack

The end of the year is the perfect time to ask the question: ‚ÄúHow are we doing?‚ÄĚ I can be a tough critic, but there is no doubt that the¬†Digital Medicine Society (DiMe)¬†is making a significant impact on the field of¬†digital medicine.

In the seven months since we launched, our DiMe community has grown to over 800 members drawn from 39 countries around the world. I am incredibly proud of our diverse membership with individuals from all disciplines that comprise digital medicine. Every day, passionate experts that I am proud to call my colleagues communicate and collaborate in a variety of ways to advance this nascent field to optimize human health.

In just seven months, DiMe has become a thriving international community of trans-disciplinary experts.

Since our launch this summer, the DiMe community has hit the ground running. We developed a crowd-sourced library of digital endpoints being used in industry-sponsored trials of new medical products, and provided both public comment to the FDA as well as input to Congress. We demonstrated our commitment to collaboration by partnering with our colleagues at the Digital Therapeutics Alliance, HealthXL, and NODE.Health to categorize the digital health industry.

DiMe’s crowdsourced library of digital endpoints used in industry sponsored trials of new medical products indicates that digital measures aren’t the future promise of clinical trials. They are already here.

Further, many of our DiMe member experts are participating in one of four active working groups or contributing to our current sprint on digital strategy. We hosted a variety of member meet-ups across the U.S., members have used Slack to start 11 location-based networking groups, and we highlighted over 500 jobs in digital medicine through our Careers Center. I have been thrilled to see many members including DiMe’s cartoons in presentations to communicate core concepts in digital medicine to their colleagues.

DiMe’s Primer on Digital Medicine promotes effective collaboration among different stakeholders by providing a common framework of language and ideas within which to collaborate.

And lastly, our great work is reaching all corners of the globe. DiMe has published six peer-reviewed articles (with several more in press!), launched the DiMe blog covering critical topics in digital medicine, delivered five educational webinars, hosted five virtual journal club meetings, and presented at dozens of conferences. We also contributed opinion pieces on the value of a professional society for experts in digital medicine and the adoption of digital endpoints into STAT News, generated media coverage in Forbes and Politico Europe, won a Research Award at the Biohacking Village at DEFCON, and were finalists for Rock Health’s Top 50 in Digital Health.

So what does this mean?

This is extraordinary work in DiMe‚Äôs short existence. At launch, we shared our¬†manifesto to measurably impact the advancement of digital medicine to optimize human health. We identified three areas for focus: evidence generation, communication and education, and community building. Our research productivity, successful instructional curriculum, strong communications strategy, and ‚ÄĒ most importantly ‚ÄĒ our thriving membership tell us we are on track.

And we must not stop pushing. As we embark on a new decade, our mission is more important than ever. Huge sums of money are flowing into digital health technologies, but the industry is far from realizing its potential to impact health. Here in the U.S., life expectancy continues to decline and health inequality is widening. Global digitization is accelerating while privacy concerns run rampant. Devastating diseases like Alzheimer’s remain without a cure, or even a treatment.

Our commitment to using digital capabilities to improve health must continue unwaveringly.

A look ahead…

In the new year, DiMe will launch an ambitious range of new resources, projects, and initiatives. We will sharpen our focus on using the promise of digital medicine to optimize health and redouble our efforts to serve professionals at the intersection of the global healthcare and technology communities, supporting them through interdisciplinary collaboration, research, teaching, and the promotion of best practices. We will continue to grow our community and work together tirelessly to ensure that the era of digital in medicine brings help and hope, not harm, to every individual.

To thrive as a field, digital medicine requires an unprecedented level of interdisciplinary collaboration. DiMe is the only professional society for all contributors to digital medicine.

To stay up to date with our work and new initiatives, follow us on¬†Twitter¬†and¬†LinkedIn. And if following along isn‚Äôt enough ‚ÄĒ if you are passionate about advancing digital medicine to optimize human health ‚ÄĒ then, welcome. You have found your tribe.¬†Join us¬†and help build the future of digital medicine.

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