STANFORD, Calif. – Stanford University has opened the doors on a Center for Digital Health and opened the pathway to collaboration with Silicon Valley technology companies to develop, test and implement new digital health tools.
“Companies were constantly reaching out to Stanford, looking for people to collaborate with,” said Dr. Lauren Cheung, senior director of strategy and operations for the center. “We also had faculty who wanted to collaborate with Silicon Valley but didn’t know how to find them. The Center provides a way to connect the outside with inside collaborators.”
Cheung said the new Center will provide a way to promote these partnerships, perform clinical research and educate the next generation of physicians and digital health care leaders.
“What we are striving to do at the Center is answer some of those big questions about what the future of health care will look like,” said Cheung.
Another health care system from an institution of higher education, Penn Medicine, also opened a Center for Digital Health recently, to promote partnerships and to perform clinical research.
The Penn Medicine center evolved from its Social Media Laboratory, and will operate from a strategy and process to systematically evaluate how social media platforms can affect health, then develop new ways for clinicians to improve health care delivery through those channels.
Ralph Muller, CEO of the University of Pennsylvania Health System, recognized that a large number of its patients engage with the world through digital channels.
The Penn Medicine Center hopes to “harness the power of this engagement to transform the way we deliver health care,” Muller said.
Cheung said the Stanford Center for Digital Health is focusing on research, education and advising. They will also focus on helping Silicon Valley companies design health care technology that is more user-friendly for both providers and patients.
“We will answer questions about how health care can be delivered in the home so it’s effective,” said Cheung. “We want to help advance the field of home health care and try to make a difference in what’s happening out there.”