Skip to content Skip to navigation

Massachusetts Governor Launches Digital Healthcare Council

November 28, 2016
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has announced the creation of a Digital Healthcare Council, a public-private partnership that will advise the administration on the future of the state’s digital healthcare industry.

The council stems from the momentum of the Massachusetts Digital Health Initiative, which Gov. Baker’s administration launched in January with the aim to create a hub for health IT innovation in Boston. And now, the Massachusetts Digital Health Council will help steer and shape that initiative, as its initial responsibility will be to deliver a three-year growth plan to the governor with recommendations and objectives for ways the state can promote and accelerate digital healthcare innovation across the Commonwealth. The council will also establish and support projects that bolster the implementation of the growth plan, reporting on their progress via an annual report on the Council’s progress towards its objectives, officials noted.

More specifically, according to a press release from Gov. Baker’s office, the just-formed council will convene leaders across the digital healthcare industry, including technology, healthcare delivery, insurance, medical devices, the life sciences, academia, and government, to advise on ways new digital technologies can improve healthcare in the state, grow jobs, and reduce healthcare costs.

Last week, Gov. Baker convened the first meeting of the Digital Health Council at the Massachusetts General Hospital Museum of Medical History and Innovation. The session focused on strategies and tactics that can help Massachusetts grow innovative digital health technologies. According to officials, “The digital health market spans a number of technologies Massachusetts is an established leader in, including the life sciences, electronic health records (EHRs), consumer wearable devices, care systems, payment management, big data analytics and telemedicine. The digital health market is estimated to grow to $32 billion over the next decade.”

The council will be co-chaired by Katie Stebbins, assistant secretary of innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship at the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, and Dr. Jeffrey Leiden, chairman, president and CEO of Boston-based Vertex, a pharmaceutical company. The council will meet at least four times per year, and will be supported by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development and the Massachusetts eHealth Institute at MassTech (MeHI). The members of the council include several digital health IT experts in the region, including notable CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess System, Dr. John Halamka, Dr. Atul Gawande, executive director, Ariadne Labs at Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and others.

“For Massachusetts to become a national leader in digital health, we need to continue to build on the momentum our Digital Health Initiative has already produced,” Gov. Baker said in a statement. “This council will collaborate to move past barriers in the healthcare industry and solve significant challenges to make advances in patient care, lower health care costs, and address public health crises, like the opioid epidemic.”

Topics

News

VETS Act Introduced to Expand Veterans’ Access to Telehealth Services

U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI), both members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, reintroduced this week the Veterans E-Health and Telemedicine Support Act of 2017 (VETS Act), bipartisan legislation that aims to expand telehealth services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Mayo Clinic Makes Health Content Available via Epic’s Patient Apps

Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic is now offering its health information on demand via Epic patient-facing apps such as MyChart and MyChart Bedside.

Report: Cyber Attackers Using Simple Tactics, Tools to Target Healthcare, Other Industries

The number of reported breach incidents in healthcare grew by 22 percent in 2016 from 269 breach incidents in 2015 to 328 last year, according to Symantec’s 2017 Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR).

The Sequoia Project Touts Interoperability Growth in Fifth Year

The Sequoia Project is celebrating its fifth anniversary this month by announcing that its various interoperability initiatives have grown by health organization participants, by geographic reach, and by the sheer number of health records exchanged electronically.

Report: HHS to Open Healthcare Cybersecurity Center

HHS will be opening a Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center in which healthcare organizations and consumers can get educated about the risks of using mobile apps and data.

Survey: Two-Thirds of Healthcare Employees Share Confidential Data On Occasion

Seventy-two percent of employee say they would share sensitive, confidential or regulated company information under certain circumstances and 68 percent of healthcare employees report that they share confidential or regulated data on occasion, according to the Dell End-User Security Survey.