Major new digital health center quickly taking shape

One state’s largest health system is combining forces with that state’s top medical school to launch a multidisciplinary digital health center that’s notable for its apparent velocity out of the gate.

The health system is five-hospital Lifespan, the medical school Brown University’s. Which gives away the state without dropping the usual clue—smallest (and second most densely populated) state in the country.

The Brown-Lifespan Center for Digital Health hits the ground running in Rhode Island because it’s the offspring of a Brown-Lifespan digital health collaboration focused on a single specialty, emergency medicine.

And that was up and running for more than six years before getting folded into the new and broader center, according to a news release.

Center director Megan Ranney, MD, MPH, founded and directed the earlier iteration and is heading up the new one. For guidance and inspiration, she says, center personnel will look to not only medical professionals and researchers but also entrepreneurs and patients.

Ranney tells a local news outlet the best part of the endeavor will come “when we use social media, when we use our Apple watches and our smartphones and when we use the best of video and telehealth” to create “one seamless product that can help us to extend our workforce and keep people safe and keep people connected.”

Equally important, she suggests, will be bringing the benefits of tech-enabled healthcare to underserved individuals and populations.

The new center’s website has more.