The digital health industry is still booming with a robust pipeline of innovative technology. And more matured and well-tested technology is on the cusp of widespread use. EMRs have become resources for sophisticated analytics, and with artificial intelligence based tools, on-demand telemedicine services, and countless new health monitoring devices patients are using–we could be on the cusps of some significant changes in health care.

Seeking to lead those changes, the office of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker recently announced that his administration established a Digital Healthcare Council. Pulling from the public and private sector, this 30-person team is comprised of manufacturers, scientists, academics, policy experts, and doctors. This builds upon action the state took earlier this year when a Digital Health Initiative was created to deliver a three-year plan with insights and predictions on the future of technology and health.

Digital health is not just faced with the mere technical challenges of innovation–there is also a maze of regulations covering everything from patient safety issues to wireless data transmission. Success in figuring out how to best apply those rules (or change them) to facilitate innovation will require collaboration across many agencies and areas of expertise. For example, last year, the FDA and FCC announced a collaborative effort to work through some of those issues in medical wireless test beds.

That’s clearly the goal of this new council in Massachusetts.

As Governor Baker stated:

For Massachusetts to become a national leader in digital health, we need to continue to build on the momentum our Digital Health Initiative has already produced…This council will collaborate to move past barriers in the healthcare industry and solve significant challenges to make advances in patient care, lower health care costs, and address public health crises, like the opioid epidemic.