UCSF creates Center for Digital Health Innovation

Leave it to a Bay Area university to be one of the first to create a Center for Digital Health Innovation (CDHI), focusing on developing new technologies to aid the "transformation of healthcare delivery and discovery."

The University of California, San Francisco has announced the formation of the center, led by USCF Chief Medical Information Officer Michael Blum in the new role of associate vice chancellor for informatics.

According to the UCSF announcement, Blum will "coordinate and leverage UCSF's information technology assets." The goals of the CDHI will include creating a "digital health innovation home" for all at UCSF, social media study, novel devices and sensors and incubating new digital technologies.

"We recognize that optimally managing and leveraging the data generated by these resources and marrying them with next-generation data management and analytic technologies will be crucial to the mission of the institution and our future success," Blum said in the announcement.

Blum wants to learn how to assess which apps, systems and sensors will be reliable, and which ones will just be a "flash in the pan." 

UCSF has lead the way in a number of digital health projects and studies--just recently in March, university researchers studied new ways to predict and prevent heart disease with smartphone technology. In February, a UCSF study found uninsured or underinsured patients in "safety-net" facilities don't have a patient portal with which to electronically communicate with their doctors--but they would like one, concluding that electronic health-related communication needs to become the standard in both well-resourced and resource-poor health settings.  

To learn more:
- read the UCSF announcement

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