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Digital health caucus launches with focus on AI

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Feb 1, 2024
Animated illustration of a slowly loading screen, but the battery is shaped like a health plus.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Lawmakers launched a Digital Health Caucus on Thursday with the goals of educating colleagues, hashing out regulatory challenges and anticipating changes posed by artificial intelligence.

Why it matters: Yet another caucus is hardly breaking news, but it's a sign that the Hill is acknowledging the potentially disruptive nature of AI in the health space.

What they're saying: "Digital health technology is revolutionizing the health care industry," said Rep. Robin Kelly, one of the caucus founders, adding that the group is trying "to get ahead of the rapid evolution of health care technology and ensure that every American can benefit."

  • Rep. Troy Balderson is the other chair.

Zoom in: The pair want to foster collaboration among key players in the digital health space and ensure that digital health tools are accessible, regardless of where people live.

Of note: The bipartisan tax bill that passed the House on Wednesday night included a research and development provision that's been a focal point and was lauded by AdvaMed, the medical technology trade association.

  • It would allow for immediate deduction of R&D expenses, rather than a requirement that they be deducted over five years. The measure delays a five-year deduction rule until 2026.
  • "The way R&D expensing is handled under current tax law is especially challenging for the small and emerging companies that make up more than 80% of the medtech industry," said AdvaMed President Scott Whitaker in a statement.
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