This week the Governor Charlie Baker officially released the results of a new report from the Massachusetts Digital Health Council that tracks the progress of the Massachusetts Digital Health Initiative, a public-private effort launched in January 2016 to boost the rapidly growing sector that sits at the intersection of healthcare and technology.
The report was released during the governor’s remarks at MassBIO’s inaugural Digital Health Impact 2019 event. Governor Baker cited the Council’s work to develop eight near-term strategic initiatives and two longer-term recommendations to boost the sector built around the Commonwealth’s “world-class healthcare and academic institutions, strong startup culture, significant venture capital investment…dominant life sciences sector and roughly 350 existing digital health companies.”
The report notes that these attributes make Massachusetts an ideal location to become the leading global digital health hub and the strategic programs launched by the Commonwealth put the state in a position to capture the growing global market for digital health technologies, which McKinsey estimates will grow to a $350 to $410 billion dollars by 2025. The report is the culmination of recommendations made at seven Council meetings and an additional 39 Working Group and Committee meetings, along with the input of 85 participants from the leading healthcare, tech, and policy organizations in the state.
Governor Baker said, “There is a real energy and focus that has developed around digital health since the launch of the Initiative in 2016. Thanks to the work of the Council, we’ve launched programs to boost the ability of startups to access cutting-edge R&D spaces, funded spaces that are generating innovative digital health firms, and created an online presence that brings together our top companies with job seekers. This report provides us a blueprint to continue that progress and to further establish our global leadership in digital health.”
Lt. Governor Karyn Polito said, “Our administration has boosted infrastructure and funded accelerator spaces that are drawing companies from around the state and around the globe, driving collaboration and innovation. As a leader in healthcare innovation and policy, we will continue to find new ways to reduce the cost of delivering healthcare, invest in tools that can help patients live better lives, and spur the growth of our homegrown companies.”
The Council, co-chaired by Dr. Jeffrey Leiden, M.D., Ph.D. of Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Secretary Mike Kennealy of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, was established by the Baker-Polito Administration through Executive Order #574 and updated through Executive Order #585. The Council was charged with developing a set of strategic proposals to foster and support a leading ecosystem for digital health in Massachusetts, a continuation of efforts first initiated in 2013 by the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership.
Secretary Mike Kennealy said, “This effort exemplifies the collaboration between the public and private sectors that makes Massachusetts an innovation leader. Efforts like the MassChallenge HealthTech accelerator, which pairs emerging digital health startups with mentors from business, healthcare, and state government to help steer their growth – that is a great example of the community coming together to invest in our future innovators.”
Dr. Jeffrey Leiden said, “The digital healthcare programs and partnerships we’ve created over the last four years through the Council — and since 2013 through the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership— are excellent examples of how public-private collaboration can produce results that benefit all our citizens and strengthen our thriving innovation economy.”
For more information about the Massachusetts eHealth Institute please visit mehi.masstech.org and follow @MassEHealth. Learn more about the Massachusetts Digital Health Initiative at massdigitalhealth.org.