A digital revolution in the healthcare industry has begun and will transform discovery and delivery of healthcare in the coming years. While the U.S. set the trend for adoption and use of health information technology, we risk losing the global race to innovate without policy changes that support the evolving landscape.
From developments in artificial intelligence to remote patient monitoring devices, digital health promises to improve patient outcomes and make healthcare more accessible, convenient and affordable. Yet the most promising new technology coming out of U.S. research and development labs is facing a regulatory regime that was designed before the advent of these technologies, and the uncertainty of the legal landscape may limit the development and use of such innovation in healthcare.
It is time for stocktaking. We need public policy approaches that promote digital health innovation with the flexibility to adapt to new opportunities embarked on by healthcare and technology communities in the future.
The U.S. must chart a clear path for the fast-moving digital health revolution. We have identified 10 key policies that governments must get right to ensure the innovations in digital health can meet the needs of patients and clinicians alike. These include ensuring data quality and integrity, ensuring patient rights and consumer protection and enabling innovative public-private partnerships, among others.
A critical policy to get right is in the area of privacy and data use. Governments must balance novel uses of data to advance medical discoveries and improve patient health, with protection of patients’ privacy.