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BOSTON – Today the Baker-Polito Administration announced the creation of a Digital Healthcare Council, a comprehensive public-private partnership that will advise the administration on the future of the Commonwealth’s digital healthcare industry. The council stems from the momentum of the Massachusetts Digital Health Initiative, launched in January 2016.
The council convenes 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 Commonwealth, grow jobs, and reduce healthcare costs.
“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,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “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.”
Today, Governor 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. The digital health market spans a number of technologies Massachusetts is an established leader in, including the life sciences, electronic health records, 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 digital health industry presents an enormous economic development opportunity for the entire Commonwealth,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “The industry is poised to create jobs across the Massachusetts through its impact on patient care in community hospitals, potential for advanced manufacturing applications, and for our innovation hubs that span from Springfield to Lowell, to Worcester and New Bedford.”
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.
“The digital healthcare sector plays directly to our strengths in Massachusetts - from world-class hospitals, universities and life sciences companies, to significant concentrations of VC investment,” said Dr. Jeffrey Leiden. “We at MACP are honored to have led this outstanding public-private partnership toward accelerating the growth of the digital healthcare industry in the Commonwealth and are excited about the future growth of this segment of the innovation economy as the state takes this initiative forward to the next stage.”
In January 2016 Governor Baker launched the Massachusetts Digital Health Initiative, a public-private partnership established by Governor Baker, Massachusetts healthcare executives, legislative and municipal partners, and leaders in the business community including the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership (MACP). 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.
“EOHHS is looking forward to partnering with the Council to share ideas and advance digital health in our work,” said Marylou Sudders, Secretary of Health and Human Services. “We know health data innovation can help us improve costs, care and health outcomes, and has already helped us in addressing public health issues, such as the Commonwealth’s opioid crisis.”
“Massachusetts succeeds when we play to our strengths, and we have all of the resources necessary to become a global player in this space, as we are in the life sciences sector,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “Digital health has unlimited potential to improve healthcare outcomes, lower costs and become a significant driver of job creation across the Commonwealth.”
The Massachusetts Digital Health 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 full list of Council members is below:
Members (alphabetical by last name):
About Mass Digital Health:
Launched in January 2016, the Massachusetts Digital Health Initiative is a comprehensive public-private partnership to accelerate the competitiveness of the Commonwealth’s digital healthcare cluster. The Initiative brings together leaders from technology, health care, and government to address gaps in the digital healthcare ecosystem. The Initiative is led by a collection of collaborating organizations from both the public and private sectors, including the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership (MACP), the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED), the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS), the Massachusetts eHealth Institute at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MeHI), the City of Boston, MassChallenge, and TechSpring. Learn more at MassDigitalHealth.org.
View the press release on the Governor's website.