The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that 15 digital health startups are joining the 2022 PandemicX Accelerator cohort, specifically to address health inequities, create a culture for success, and deploy resources to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. PandemicX, co-led by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, involves using digital tools and publicly accessible data to eliminate disparities and tackle drivers of inequity exacerbated by COVID-19.
“I am excited for the PandemicX Accelerator cohort to work with us to collectively address health equity barriers and other disparities exacerbated by COVID-19 by using data and innovation,” said Admiral Rachel L. Levine, M.D., Assistant Secretary for Health. “We are at our best when all segments of society work together; we must work collaboratively to achieve the best solutions.”
COVID-19 has revealed several gaps in our collective ability as a nation to get data-driven solutions to address significant health challenges. For example, clear health inequities have been identified among many populations through this pandemic, which are leading to an urgent need to build community resilience to address increases in mental health and domestic violence instances. These challenges necessitate a unique approach that brings together government, business, IT, and public health professionals to combine their expertise to develop innovative solutions.
“PandemicX will help give us interoperable tools that identify health inequities and facilitate interventions that prevent such inequities from further turning into healthcare disparities,” said Micky Tripathi, U.S. National Coordinator for Health IT.
PandemicX startups, part of the broader MassChallenge HealthTech cohort, will focus on challenge areas including health equity by design, national public health solutions, behavioral, mental, and violence prevention, socioeconomic outcome indicators, and community resilience. Startups go through four months of curriculum, mentorship, and exhibition events to produce avenues of growth and third-party collaboration. Throughout the program, champions in government, mentors, judges, and other stakeholders will listen and offer public information for startups as they develop targeted action plans to address each challenge statement and convert plans into action.
The 2022 PandemicX Cohort includes the following startups: