CHICAGO — With the full potential of digital health still untapped, the American Medical Association (AMA) today announced a Blueprint for Optimizing Digitally Enabled Care (PDF). The blueprint is designed to help bridge the digital health chasm as the pace of digital health progress in medicine does not yet match the technology’s potential.

Spurred by more than a decade of investment, widespread adoption of innovative technologies, and the remote care needs of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. health care system has entered a new era of digitally enabled care characterized by delivery models that offer a combination of in-person and virtual care options to patients, depending on needs, preferences and benefits. Despite this progress, a digital health chasm persists as the health care system has not yet harnessed the full potential of digitally enabled care to meaningfully improve access, quality, outcomes, affordability, and health equity. The evolution toward digitally enabled care, initially explored within the AMA’s Return on Health framework, will continue to impact how health care will be accessed, provided, managed, and paid for in the future.

“When equitably designed and thoughtfully integrated, digital health tools can effectively augment and enhance care,” said AMA President Jack Resneck Jr. M.D. “Yet often, digital health products exist in silos and risk additional fragmentation, higher costs, and diminished care experiences. Optimizing the full potential of digitally enabled care requires a collaborative effort and the blueprint offered by the AMA outlines opportunities for physicians and other stakeholders to move in partnership toward improving the health of the nation.”

The blueprint, prepared by the AMA and Manatt Health with input from dozens of experts representing a range of stakeholders, is designed with six pillars to achieve optimized digitally enabled care:

  • Build for patients and clinicians
  • Design with an equity lens
  • Recenter care around the patient-physician relationship
  • Improve and adopt payment models that incentivize high-value care
  • Create technologies and policies that reduce fragmentation
  • Scale evidence-based models quickly

The blueprint offers opportunities for various health care stakeholders to contribute to the full optimization of digitally enabled care and includes case examples featuring organizations with care models that leverage the blueprint’s six pillars.

To launch Closing the Digital Health Disconnect: A Blueprint for Optimizing Digitally Enabled Care, the AMA will lead a panel presentation at HLTH 2022 in Las Vegas on Nov. 15 at 10:00 am PT featuring research contributors who added their insights, experiences, and ideas to the work of AMA and Manatt Health in the preparation of the blueprint.

Through its ongoing leadership, the AMA is shaping and supporting digital health innovation and bringing the physician voice into the innovation space to share ideas, expertise and real-world perspective on the effectiveness of technology in practice settings. From revitalizing medical practices to ensuring that evidence-based digital health technology helps provide high-quality patient care, the AMA is striving to help physicians navigate and succeed in a continually evolving health care environment.

Learn more about the AMA digital health initiatives including the AMA Physician Innovation Network, AMA Telehealth Immersion Program and In Full Health, as well as resources such as the AMA Return on Health Virtual Care Value FrameworkAMA Digital Health Playbook Series, and AMA Privacy by Design Playbook and Principles.

Media Contact:

Robert J. Mills

ph: (312) 464-5970

[email protected]

About the American Medical Association

The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care.  The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care.