Biden's take on digital health: 4 key points

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President-elect Joe Biden's approach to digital health could be similar to the Trump administration's in some areas and different in others.

Four areas to note:

1. HHS will implement new interoperability rules in 2021. The Trump administration promoted patient access to digital health records on smartphones with programs established during the Obama administration, according to a Politico report. Mr. Biden could emphasize modernizing the public health data infrastructure as part of the COVID-19 response.

2. CMS expanded telehealth coverage during the pandemic, and efforts to make those changes permanent have bipartisan support. Mr. Biden pledged to increase federal grants for virtual care, and his rural healthcare plan supports telehealth, according to the report.

3. Mr. Biden pledged to hire 100,000 more people to assist with contact tracing. He has not commented on whether his administration will support COVID-19 exposure notification apps built by Google and Apple, according to Politico.

4. The Trump administration committed to doubling research and development spending for artificial intelligence and quantum information sciences between 2020 and 2022, an amount that would exceed $2 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Biden administration has proposed spending more — $300 billion over four years for innovation funding that would include AI, quantum computing and clean energy and 5G spending.


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