Google, Microsoft, AT&T & more partner to mitigate health disparities through technology

The Health Equity and Access Leadership Coalition, an initiative aimed at tackling health disparities via technology, formed Sept. 30

Trade group Consumer Technology Association and innovation coalition Connected Health Initiative launched the initiative and garnered partnerships from entities such as Google, Microsoft, Best Buy Health, AT&T, the American Medical Association, Boston Children's Hospital and Validic.

The coalition vows to enact change through resource coordination, political advocacy, research and education. It plans to examine new ways mobile health, wearables, artificial intelligence, remote monitoring, clinical decision support and telehealth can be leveraged to address widespread health disparities that adversely affect Americans who are people of color or have low incomes.

"The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on racial and ethnic minorities has shone a spotlight on other inequities as well, such as higher rates of chronic disease and significant discrepancies in life expectancy in Black and Hispanic communities," Lucienne Ide, MD, PhD, one of the two HEAL Coalition chairs as well as founder and chief health innovator of healthcare software company Rimidi, said in a news release. "Technology can help overcome intractable barriers to equitable care, but we must ensure that these tools are available and accessible to these communities that need them the most."

The HEAL Coalition's first project will be a white paper outlining its operational and political guidance on how to address the health disparities Americans face.

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