From smart pacemakers to diagnostic algorithms and digital therapeutics, medicine is becoming more digitized every year. Digital medicine tools offer the possibility of improved health outcomes, lower costs, and better access to care. But the evidence base for the safety and effectiveness of these new products has not kept pace with their development. Given the great divide between the promised benefits of digital medicine and its potential risks, we need to know — not just believe — that the tools we use are trustworthy.
Organizations like the Food and Drug Administration are increasingly trying to convene clinicians, engineers, and others to work together on digital medicine technologies. In January, for example, the FDA announced a new initiative called #WeHeartHackers that encourages medical device manufacturers and security experts to work more collaboratively to bring better and safer products to market.
But we need another key element for such communities to work together successfully: a professional society that brings technologists and data scientists into the fold to work alongside clinicians, researchers, and others within the traditional health care system.
With that goal in mind, we are collaborating with connected technology experts — software engineers, designers, security researchers, citizen scientists, medical professionals, and more — to launch the Digital Medicine Society (DiMe), a professional organization for those from all disciplines that comprise the diverse field of digital medicine. From regulators to white-hat hackers, ethicists to engineers, and clinicians to citizen scientists, DiMe invites participation from all sectors to ensure that digital medicine realizes its full potential to improve human health.