Tech and Politics Collide: Dogtown Media CEO Discusses Telehealth, Wearables, and Medical Data With Capitol Hill Leaders at AppCon 2021 Health and Pandemic Response Week

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What does the future of America look like with telemedicine, wearables, and health data? At AppCon 2021’s Health and Pandemic Response Week, top mobile innovators and preeminent political leaders met to answer this question by examining how these technological paradigms helped the United States during the COVID-19 crisis. Dogtown Media CEO Marc Fischer attended as a representative of California’s 33rd Congressional District.

The great strides that we have created together by utilizing digital transformation in healthcare should be advanced by our government for the greater good of Americans coast to coast. — Marc Fischer

Telemedicine, wearables, and health data have helped immensely in humanity’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic. But how will these emerging technological paradigms impact the future of the United States? The App Economy Conference (AppCon) is an annual event that aims to answer this question by bringing together America’s top mobile innovators and political leaders in Washington, D.C for a candid discussion.

Organized by ACT | The App Association, the first week of AppCon ‘21 took place from April 5th to the 9th. ACT is a Washington, D.C.-based public policy organization that represents more than 5,000 app and connected device companies leading the $1.7 trillion mobile economy. The association strives to drive smart innovation and regulation in the tech industry by connecting its top leaders with preeminent policymakers. Like last year’s event, this conference was completely virtual due to the pandemic. Unlike the previous iteration, AppCon ‘21 has been split into four weeks, with the first focused on healthcare and pandemic response.

Marc Fischer, CEO and Co-Founder of Dogtown Media, a Los Angeles-based mobile app development company, was among the cohort of tech business leaders who joined the first week of AppCon 2021. Fischer attended as a representative of California. Previous AppCons gave Fischer the chance to broach topics like 5G’s future in rural areas, chronic health condition costs, and accelerating U.S. AI innovation with a number of well-known names in politics such as FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly and Director Ajit Pai, Congressman Joseph Kennedy III, and Senator Amy Klobuchar. He hoped to have similar fruitful discussions at AppCon ‘21, and he was not disappointed.

During AppCon ‘21’s first week, Fischer had the opportunity to delve into the essential roles of telehealth and wearables in the U.S.’s COVID-19 response with Joe Hartz of the House Small Business Committee and Micky Tripathi, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. Fischer also got to discuss future policies to make healthcare more accessible with Georgia Congressman Buddy Carter, Orriel Richardson of the House Ways & Means Committee, and Stuart Portman of the Senate Finance Committee.

One of the most important themes throughout all of Fischer’s meetings was the need for telehealth and remote patient monitoring (RPM) waivers implemented by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) during the COVID-19 pandemic to remain in place permanently. The adoption of these innovative digital services has proven to be effective in saving costs, improving convenience and quality of care, and lowering the administrative burden on medical facilities during this crisis. “The great strides that we have created together by utilizing digital transformation in healthcare should be advanced by our government for the greater good of Americans coast to coast,” said Fischer.

Although briefer than the duration of previous AppCon events, the first segment of AppCon ‘21 proved to be productive and insightful. Fischer and ACT’s other members feel that progress is being made in the right direction. Opening this dialogue with U.S. Congressional Leaders is an important step in enacting positive change — one that has already paid off in dividends through previous policies. As far as the topics of this week at AppCon ‘21 go, Fischer is optimistic that the U.S. will see similar results from these meetings.

Fischer and other ACT members are also engaging with the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Digital Health Center of Excellence to craft guidelines for the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence in healthcare. Not only will these policies help ensure high quality of care, but they will also ensure data confidentiality and patient privacy.

Based in Venice Beach, Dogtown Media is a mobile technology studio that leverages disruptive design strategies and dynamic development to deliver industry-leading apps. To date, Dogtown Media has created over 250 mobile apps in industries including Healthcare app development, IoT, and Artificial Intelligence.

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Ben McDermott
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