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Demand on primary care providers to manage patients longitudinally and to focus on prevention

In a Q&A, Dr. Steven Waldren, the American Academy of Family Physicians’ (AAFP) vice president and chief medical informatics officer, outlined AAFP’s vision for digital health tools in the family medicine space.

He highlighted the demand on primary care providers to manage patients longitudinally and to focus on prevention, both of which are aided by digital health and may explain the more rapid adoption of these technologies by family physicians (FPs).


Dr. Waldren emphasized that AAFP is working directly with companies on proven innovations to reduce burdens in documentation, prior authorization needs, and quality measurement reporting. Given that integration of digital health tools into existing workflows is essential, he highlighted AAFP’s work on developing standards for application programming interfaces, which will be crucial for continued successful adoption of digital health tools.


When asked specifically about artificial intelligence (AI), he highlighted the importance of augmenting rather than replacing the physician. AAFP is developing long-term relationships with leading AI companies to make sure that the FPs’ voice is part of these conversations.


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