ATA Announces New Partnership, Moves Telehealth Conference Online

The American Telemedicine Association has forged a partnership with the Boston-based Digital Medicine Society (DiMe) and announced that ATA2020 will be a five-day virtual event in June.


March 28, 2020 – The American Telemedicine Association has announced a partnership with a Boston-based non-profit aimed at supporting the development of digital medicine.

The partnership between the ATA and the Digital Medicine Society (DiMe) comes at a time when telehealth and mHealth are in high demand.

“The coronavirus pandemic has brought to light the critical role telehealth can play in care delivery—improving access to care and enabling the timely and effective treatment of patients outside of a healthcare setting,” ATA CEO Ann Mond Johnson said in a press release. “Telehealth will fast become the workhorse of our healthcare system as we come out of this health crisis, creating a more patient-centered, personalized and convenient level of care. We are pleased to partner with DiMe to advance awareness, galvanize stakeholders and promote the widespread acceptance for this important care modality.”

“Telehealth and digital medicine are not the promise of the future, they are already here,” added DiMe Executive Director Jennifer Goldsack. “However, there still exists a gap in our ability to demonstrate that digital tools are worthy of the trust we are asking society to place in them.”

“By combining our applied research focus with the ATA’s significant industry voice and the practical and diverse expertise of our collective membership, we can unlock the full potential of telehealth and digital medicine to improve the lives of the patients we exist to serve,” she said.

Separately, the ATA has announced that its annual conference and exhibition, scheduled for May in Phoenix, is being converted into a virtual event. The five-day conference is now slated to take place June 22-26.

“Over the past several weeks, the coronavirus pandemic has overburdened our healthcare systems and providers, as well as other stakeholders in the telehealth ecosystem,” ATA officials said in a March 25 notice on the group’s website. “This national health emergency is expected to continue for the unforeseen future, putting telehealth in the spotlight as a critical solution that is shaping our response to this pandemic and helping to ‘flatten the curve.’ The ATA strongly believes that it’s more important than ever for our industry to come together, to share experiences, explore the opportunities and overcome the challenges of telehealth in this new reality.”

DiMe launched last May with a strategic advisory board that features executives from Amazon, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Digital Therapeutics Alliance, Evidation Health, Novartis, Takeda and the University of North Carolina and a scientific leadership board featuring US Food and Drug Administration executives and representatives of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, the Michael J Fox Foundation, Pfizer and the Duke Clinical Research Institute.

The group also unveiled three research projects:

Ethical Considerations in Digital Medicine, aimed at “developing recommendations for the ethical use of mobile technology in research and clinical settings” and “rais(ing) awareness amongst investigators and regulators regarding potential ethical pitfalls in the field of digital medicine, alongside suggested strategies to address those pitfalls.”
Verification and Validation of Digital Medicine Tools, focused on “creating guidance and recommendations regarding the principles of verification and validation, with reference to concepts covered by the US Food and Drug Administration guidance for software validation which has been widely adopted by the medical device industry, as well as concepts of fit-for-purpose biomarker validation explored via the BEST initiative.”
Measuring Adherence in Studies Utilizing Digital Medicine, which aims to “explore the various factors that enable optimal adherence in successful trials, as well as factors that may have negatively impacted adherence and how these may be addressed in future studies.”

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