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As new digital tools from wearables to electronic health records to boxes that can track patients’ movements in their homes promise to reshape health care, it is crucial to scrutinize the massive amount of data being generated to ensure that interventions are actually improving health outcomes.

That was a takeaway message from a group of regulatory and drug development experts at a conference held at MIT on Friday focused on how digital health and artificial intelligence are affecting translational medicine.


“The coin of the realm is improving the outcomes for people,” said Dr. Robert Califf, the former Food and Drug Administration commissioner who now splits his time between Duke University and Verily Life Sciences. “Please don’t make claims that aren’t true,” he added, differentiating between the need to sell one’s ideas and overstating what AI can do at this point.

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