Northwell Health, American Academy of Family Physicians and Athenahealth join digital health equity pledge

More than 70 healthcare organizations including Northwell Health, the American Academy of Family Physicians and Athenahealth have committed to a new health equity pledge.

The Digital Health Equity Pledge was put together by the Executives for Health Innovation (EHI) and recognizes that digital health tools and tech should be leveraged to address health inequities. The pledge commits to the principles of accessibility, diversity, respect and public policy as well as to helping prevent tech from worsening existing biases.

The pledge believes digital tools should be accessible to and inclusive of all, including those with disabilities or language barriers. It also believes technology should be designed for a diverse demographic. Respect, according to the pledge, means honoring the privacy preferences of historically marginalized populations. Finally, the pledge encourages championing public policies that work to correct systemic inequities. 

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“We have been at the forefront of convening healthcare leaders to discuss barriers and address inequities in the current system and how technology and data can be leveraged in this ongoing work,” EHI CEO Jen Covich Bordenick said in the announcement. “The organizations who have signed the Pledge are taking a strong step forward toward health equity, and we are thrilled to partner with them on this important work.”

The pledge is no longer open to interested signers. It comes amid a year of countless cross-industry collaborations and initiatives on the topic of health equity after the COVID-19 pandemic brought to light undeniable gaps in care and glaring disparities.