CHICAGO — Driven by its strategic goal to advance equity in the U.S. health innovation sector, the American Medical Association (AMA) today announced an initiative that supports leading industry stakeholders in committing to equitable health innovation opportunities targeted to benefit historically marginalized communities—with an aim of improving health outcomes for all.
The ‘In Full Health Learning and Action Community to Advance Equitable Health Innovation’ is a newly launched network and accompanying set of principles that offers organizations a framework to center equity in their health innovation investment, development, and purchasing efforts as they actively work to shift resources and decision-making to invest and build power in historically marginalized populations.
Recent data indicates that despite making up roughly 70% of the U.S. population and holding an estimated 80% of purchasing power, Black, Latinx, Indigenous, people of color, and women are drastically underfunded and underrepresented in health care venture development—an exclusion that contributes to the exacerbation of health inequities within these populations and presents barriers to meaningful progress in improving the health of the nation.
“It is crucial that we invest in solutions that are created for, with, and by communities that have traditionally been sidelined from health innovation resources,” said Jack Resneck Jr., M.D., AMA president-elect. “As a component of the AMA’s broader work to advance racial justice and equity in health care, this new initiative will help us continue to drive the future of digital medicine while ensuring health innovation addresses the needs and improves the health of all patients—particularly those who have been most marginalized.”
Created in concert with the AMA’s External Equity & Innovation Advisory Group and envisioned within the AMA’s strategic plan to embed racial justice and advance equity, the In Full Health initiative strives to help solution developers, funders, and purchasers ensure that health innovation products and services advance health equity by prioritizing the engagement of historically marginalized communities in the design, development, testing, and evaluation process. Its community website, InFullHealth.org, will serve as a resource for collaborating organizations to connect with experts and each other to share content, tools, and opportunities for meaningful action to advance equitable health innovation.
“By connecting this community of stakeholders around a shared goal of driving equitable resources to health solutions for those historically excluded in the design and profit of innovation, such as Black, Indigenous, and Latinx people, people with disabilities, and those who identify as LBGTQ+, In Full Health provides the collective power and capability to bring about change,” said AMA chief health equity officer and SVP Aletha Maybank, M.D., M.P.H.
The In Full Health community will ground its efforts in a set of five ‘Principles for Equitable Health Innovation’ representing a renewed vision for a U.S. health innovation sector that: prioritizes equitable resource allocation for meaningful solutions to advance health, racial, and social justice; and ensures that the race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender identity of innovators and investors mirror that of the nation. Stakeholders will be invited to embed these Principles into their work, eventually evolving and strengthening them together over time.
An initial group of organizations has signed on as founding collaborators for the initiative, committing to collectively work with the AMA to build, engage, and support the In Full Health community—identifying opportunities for systems change efforts to advance equitable health innovation:
- Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed)
- Business Group on Health, Digital Medicine Society (DiMe)
- MassChallenge HealthTech
- MedTech Color
- National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved
- NODE Health
- West Coast Consortium for Technology & Innovation in Pediatrics
Through advocacy, education, leadership, and collaborations like In Full Health, the AMA is working to eliminate health inequities by improving health outcomes and closing gaps rooted in historical and contemporary injustices and discrimination. Learn more about organization-wide efforts underway to advance racial justice and equity in health care at the AMA Center for Health Equity.