Here’s something for the Bidens and ARPA-H to do: Build a national, federated ecosystem for digital health, MITRE proposes

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As American life returns to a semblance of normalcy, it may be time for President Biden’s administration to prioritize building a national digital health infrastructure.

Here’s a game plan for doing this rapidly:

On May 18, MITRE, a public interest non-profit that operates seven Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, published a draft national strategy for digital health. The plan encompasses six goals, which experts say could yield public health benefits on a national scale within months of implementation.

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President Joe Biden has announced his intent to appoint Monica Bertagnolli as the 16th director of the National Cancer Institute—and the first woman and first chair of a clinical trials cooperative group to be named to the role.The White House announcement Aug. 10 comes nearly three weeks after news of Bertagnolli’s appointment leaked out on Twitter and in the press (The Cancer Letter, July 21, 2022).
Can you imagine, as a radiation oncologist, you have to shelter your patients in a Co-60 vault to protect them from missiles, provide them with water by melting snow, feed them, keep them warm by using a backup power generator, and evacuate them just two hours before the missile destroys the radiation oncology department? 
Research shows that cancer patients who receive navigation have improved survival, access to advanced care like clinical trials, and services like genetic testing and palliative care. Navigation often results in increased screening and patients receiving treatment sooner, resulting in improved quality of life and more cancer-free days.
Associate Editor