The Consumer Technology Association (CTA), a Big Tech lobby group has just launched a “working group” called the Public Health Tech Initiative (PHTI) to explore the ways in which technology can help in future pandemics. The coalition of companies that form part of the “broad coalition” include tech giants like Facebook and Microsoft, transnational behemoths like Philips, as well as U.S. pharmaceutical retail chain CVS Health.
Rene Quashie, VP of Digital Health for CTA says that the goal of PHTI is to “accomplish what the government has been so far unable to do: develop a unified strategy for deploying technology in a public health emergency.” To this end, PHTI has placed a former CMO for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Dr. Alexander Garza as co-chair of the new organization, alongside Microsoft’s recently-appointed Global Chief Medical Officer, Dr. David Rhew.
Rhew, ranked 31st in Modern Healthcare magazine’s 50 “most influential clinical executive leaders,” holds six patents” related to clinical decision support systems and the interoperability and integration of data in electronic health records (EHRs)” and was Samsung’s CMO and VP/GM of B2B Healthcare. He holds a BS in Computer Science and Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan and began his professional career at the RAND corporation as a Healthcare Consultant.