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Digital Medicine Society and Veterans Health Administration Release Groundbreaking Framework for Evaluating Healthcare Innovations

·4 min read

New evaluation framework offers a holistic, value-driven way to measure the success of healthcare innovations

BOSTON, March 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, at HIMSS Global Health Conference & Exhibition, the Digital Medicine Society (DiMe) and the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) launched a new value-driven framework for evaluating healthcare innovations. In contrast to existing frameworks, the new fit-for-purpose evaluation framework captures both financial and quality-of-life effects, reflects value over various periods of time, gathers perspectives from all stakeholders, and assesses effects on both the individual and the system of care.

Delivering clinical quality resources on a tech timeline to advance the safe, effective, ethical, and equitable use of digital medicine to optimize human health. (PRNewsfoto/Digital Medicine Society (DiMe))
Delivering clinical quality resources on a tech timeline to advance the safe, effective, ethical, and equitable use of digital medicine to optimize human health. (PRNewsfoto/Digital Medicine Society (DiMe))

As the boom of healthcare innovation continues, investment in relevant technologies requires large upfront costs with an expectation of improved outcomes and adequate returns downstream. Large investments in healthcare innovations will only continue to accelerate, all the while the COVID-19 pandemic continues pressuring systems to evolve to be more effective, efficient, and resilient.

However, the lens through which we evaluate healthcare innovations has largely been disconnected from the reality of how care is delivered and experienced. Previous frameworks to evaluate the value of healthcare innovations have been limited in focus because of pressures from third-party payers, typically being restricted to analyses of economics, not quality of life; to assessments of population- or individual-level benefits, not both; and to measurements only at a specific time point, not over time.

To address these needs, VHA collaborated with DiMe to develop an evidenced-based framework based on an extensive review of over 30 years of literature and recent interviews with subject matter experts. VHA is already deploying this new, fit-for-purpose evaluation framework across its innovation portfolio to ensure that the investments it makes will return to our Veterans and the support systems that care for them.

The VHA is free of the considerations that the rest of the healthcare industry faces, making it uniquely positioned to lead this effort for a few key reasons. Firstly, the VHA is not under the influence of third-party payers motivated heavily by per-member-per-month cost. Rather, the VHA supports Veterans from the moment they retire from service for the rest of their lives, making it worthwhile to strategically invest in solutions for both near-term and long-term value for Veterans, the people who care for them, and taxpayers. Secondly, the VHA cannot "cherry-pick" select populations to serve based on payer mix or location. It must serve all the 9+ million Veterans who rely on it for care, considering both the health of the individual as well as the system in place to care for them.

"The VHA has an opportunity unlike any other, and we feel confident that this new evaluation framework will serve as a powerful reference for any decision maker in healthcare who is trying to make the right choices about the proliferation and innovation opportunities they face today," says Jennifer Goldsack, CEO of DiMe. "DiMe is thrilled to partner with the VHA on this work, which has the potential to be successfully adopted by the rest of the healthcare market and initiate a new way of measuring success."

"Technology is moving quickly and it's hard for Veterans like me to keep up. I'm proud to know that VHA is pushing the boundaries of how innovative healthcare can not only serve me and my 9 million fellow Veterans, but also set an example for the rest of the industry at large," says Michael Borges, Veteran Patient, Retired U.S. Airforce.

The new evaluation framework creates a blueprint for the wide array of stakeholders to pursue and realize the true value of innovations in a challenging healthcare system, now and in the future.

About the Digital Medicine Society: The Digital Medicine Society (DiMe) is the professional society serving the digital medicine community, driving scientific progress and broad acceptance of digital medicine to enhance public health. At DiMe, our commitment to fully integrating experts from all of the disciplines comprising digital medicine is unwavering. From regulators to white-hat hackers, ethicists to engineers, and clinicians to citizen scientists, we are proud to welcome all experts committed to ensuring that digital medicine realizes its full potential to improve human health. Join us!

Media Contact: Jamie Gray, press@dimesociety.org

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SOURCE Digital Medicine Society (DiMe)