On March 30th, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) held the first ever COVID-19 TechXpo for public health officials. The goal of the conference was for public health professionals to connect with new technologies will help them identify solutions to pressing problems and learn how technology has been deployed to enhance and improve public health activities - with an eye toward sustainability and evolution.
In the opening keynote, ASTHO CEO, Michael Fraser said that the COVID-19 pandemic exposed the need for innovation in four areas:
- Contact tracing, exposure notifications, and case management
- Vaccine tracking, scheduling, and credentialing
- Healthcare and facility reporting to public health agencies
- Community linkages, countering misinformation and sharing public health messages
To support these new initiatives for innovation, Fraser stressed that investments are needed in public health that are not virus-specific but aimed at improving the entire organization with enterprise-wide solutions. To accomplish this, he said that organizations need clear pictures of their person data across their many systems.
Several breakout sessions were hosted to highlight innovations in solutions supporting COVID-19 response functions, including exposure notifications, contact tracing, case management, disease reporting and surveillance, vaccine distribution, and healthcare and public health linkages.
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