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Advancing Health Equity through Technology: The Ultimate Promise of Digital Medicine

A readout from the Health Equity and Access Leadership (HEAL) Coalition

Rachel Chasse

DiMe strongly believes the future of digital medicine can be best actualized if we build a future that is accessible to all patients, not just the historically privileged few. As builders of the future, we must be intentional about instilling fairness and equity – equity considerations should be at the forefront of digital medicine product development, clinical research, and clinical care.

To this end, last year, DiMe proudly participated in the Health Equity and Access Leadership (HEAL) Coalition, a multi-sector initiative to create recommendations on the greater use of technology to mitigate health disparities hosted by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) and the Connected Health Initiative (CHI). Together, we coordinated  resources, policy advocacy, research, and education, and are now pleased to announce the publication of policy recommendations on how digital health can combat historical disparities and advance health equity. 

The new Advancing Health Equity Through Technology policy recommendations identify three main barriers to widespread digital health adoption:

  1. Access to broadband and technology (also described as digital equity)
  2. Health literacy, particularly as it applies to digital health
  3. Data privacy protections

More importantly, the recommendations include strategies – along with spotlights on current U.S. initiatives and successful case studies by coalition members – for product developers, health systems, and other groups to overcome these barriers, equitably deploy digital health solutions, and/or make a digital health tool accessible to as many people as possible. Using these new recommendations, which are now also included in DiMe’s The Playbook, we can break down health disparities and build a more equitable future for digital health. 

The new HEAL Coalition recommendations outline the opportunity to apply greater use and adoption of trustworthy digital health tools to improve health disparities.

DiMe’s participation in the HEAL Coalition was led by myself, and DiMe members Celine Marquez and Victor Chan. Together, we launched an internal, member-only roundtable series to discuss the state of equity and access in the field of digital medicine and collect valuable input from the DiMe community. This series tapped into our membership’s collective expertise to identify specific barriers and unique opportunities to advance inclusion throughout the digital ecosystem. Insights and information gathered during the series then shaped DiMe’s participation in the HEAL Coalition and informed a new Tour of Duty to drive inclusion on digitized trials. Click here to learn more about the upcoming Tour, and let us know if you are interested in participating so we can do a call to share more with your team. 

DiMe was proud to participate in the HEAL Coalition alongside our fellow members: The American College of Cardiology; Anthem, Inc.; Apple; AT&T; Best Buy; Best Buy Health; Boston Children’s Hospital, Brookings; Cambia Health Solutions; Digital Therapeutics Alliance; Fitbit (a Google company); Gallup; Genentech; GlobalForce Tech Consulting; Google; Grapevine Health; HP; Healthcare Strategy Bullpen; Intel; Kapor Center; Kinsa Health; Microsoft; MLC Strategies LLC; MLEM PLLC; Noom; The Omega Concern; Omron Healthcare; Philips; Plum Alley Ventures; Propeller Health; ResMed; Rimidi; United Spinal Association; University of Mississippi Medical Center; University of Virginia Center for Telehealth; Validic; Wheel; and Xealth. 


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!

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