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May 28, 2020

Digital Health Equity as a Necessity in the 21st Century Cures Act Era

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of General Internal Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA. 2020;323(23):2381-2382. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.7858

The release of final rules from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s (ONC) Cures Act in March 2020 places a new focus on patients’ access to their health data.1 The ONC rules make “health data more computable and [give] patients more control of their medical record.”1 Hopefully, patients will be able to interact more easily with their data through patient portals and mobile health apps, and “shop for care by comparing costs, understanding possible treatments, and expected health outcomes.”1 The new rules intend to increase the pace of innovation and investment in patient-facing tools. Building on more than 300 000 health apps and $7.4 billion in digital health investments in 2019 alone, this policy environment may significantly transform the ways patients access care.2

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