Article Highlights:

  • As the federal National Coordinator for Health IT, Micky Tripathi, Ph.D. has a full plate. He's tasked with strengthening health data sharing as the nation continues to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and implementing new interoperability regulations. Addressing health equity also will be a top priority as he leads the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), the health IT arm of HHS, the interoperability veteran said Thursday.
  • Health equity also ties into how technology is being used to address the COVID-19 pandemic, including the development of digital vaccine credentials, or what some call "health passports" that offer proof that someone has received the COVID-19 vaccine in order to board a plane or cross international borders.
  • An expert on interoperability, privacy, and technology standards, Tripathi, as the ONC Coordinator, will oversee the implementation of major interoperability regulations that will change how providers, insurers and patients exchange health data. The new regulations, which go into effect April 5, will open up an app ecosystem that enables patients to engage with healthcare on their smartphones and through health apps. The new policies, including a ban on information blocking, represent the "hard levers" that ONC can use to influence the market, Tripathi said.

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