Federal government calls for examples of digital health use during pandemic



The White House Office of Science and Technology (OSTP) issued a request for information on how technology and innovation have been used – with or without success – to remove barriers to care and health equity.

The federal government is seeking input on how to use digital health to address community health and wellness and health equity.

In a request for information published this week in the Federal Register, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is seeking feedback from “community health actors, technology developers, and other interested parties on how digital health technologies are being used, or could be used in the future, to transform community health, individual well-being and health equity. Comments must be returned to OSTP by March 5.

The announcement continues a federal effort to assess the experiences of healthcare organizations and others in using technology during the pandemic to improve access to care, particularly for regions and communities that have traditionally faced barriers to access. This includes digital health tools such as wearable devices and mHealth apps, telehealth platforms and remote patient monitoring programs that have extended care from hospital, clinic and doctor’s office to the center. community health or even at home.

The agency said it was seeking “information on: successful models of strengthening community health through digital health technologies in the United States and abroad, barriers to adoption, trends in COVID-19 pandemic, how user experience is measured, the need for tools and training, ideas for potential government actions and effects on health equity.

And that casts a wide net. OSTP hopes to hear from “community health workers (CHWs) and CHW organizations of all kinds; social workers; maternal health workers; telehealth navigators; peer recovery specialists; health care providers (please specify more); faith-based and community organizations; community health centers; State, local, tribal and territorial governments; university researchers; technology developers; global partners; health insurance providers; and people who have used or are interested in using digital health technologies or telehealth services.

The notice is part of an OSTP initiative called Community Connected Health, which aims to explore how technology and innovation can be used to reduce barriers to care at the community level and build on health initiatives. and well-being.

The agency divided the demand into eight topics: successful models of care in the United States, barriers to accessing healthcare, trends related to the pandemic, user experience, tools and training needs, proposed government actions, health equity considerations and international models.

The initiative is one of many government efforts to address the impact of technology during the pandemic. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services are looking for evidence of how digital health has improved access to healthcare and reduced costs, with a view to expanding coverage of new services and tools in the future. The Federal Communications Commission, meanwhile, has focused on funding projects across the country that rely on expanded broadband connectivity to improve access to care in underserved populations. And Congress faces dozens of bills to extend or make permanent the emergency provisions enacted during the pandemic to improve access to care and coverage of connected health services.

Eric Wicklund is the technology editor of HealthLeaders.



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