The Global Digital Health Divide: Reconciling Public and Private Sector Interests
This interactive, round-table discussion will be based on the following hypothetical scenario involving competing stakeholder perspectives:
An academic medical centre creates an early-intervention cancer program that features a digital health, at-home monitoring device. The medical centre developed an innovative analytic tool incorporating open-source and internally-created elements. The tool is applied to the collective data of past and present participants, using machine learning to improve the depth and accuracy of clinical decision-making for current and future patients. Participants are admitted who have specific genomic markers, prior care episodes, and/or other indications of a propensity to develop malignancies. Each participant is given a home health monitoring device that collects data from self-sampled fluids and the four vitals (temperature, pulse, breathing, and blood pressure). This data is uploaded to the analytic tool incorporating the participant’s genomic information and medical history. The tool is applied to the collective data of past and present participants, using machine learning to improve the depth and accuracy of clinical decision-making for current and future patients. The program facilitates early intervention and outpatient treatments, resulting in a substantial reduction in surgeries and other in-patient services. Outcomes are improved, and costs and healthcare resource burden are reduced.
The implications of this digital health tool will present our global health panellist experts with various legal, ethical, public health, and private economic concerns, such as:
– Public health policy: how does the university’s digital tool promote public health objectives, including greater and more affordable access to preventative health care?
– Machine learning- What are the AI implications that this tool presents as it relates to IP and privacy rights?
– Patient privacy– what are the privacy concerns resulting from the enhanced collection of patient PHI data? Who owns any resulting data and improvements? How should it be regulated? Are there different international standards?
– Open innovation – what does the open source community, including government and public policy actors, say about the need to keep everything open source?
– Intellectual property rights – can the innovation be protected and monetized by the academic medical centre even though it was developed using open source?
– Health provider incentives – will health system administrators resist change due to disruptions in operations or missing out on high-margin cancer surgeries and/or other profitable service lines that the new digital health technology is now disrupting? Does the digital tool create an opportunity or challenge for providers?
– Private equity/investors – what role do private investment and profit play in all this? Can the investment community help or hinder public policy health access goals?