Newswise — BOSTON – Advancements in technology – including deep learning, tele-care and ambient listening like Siri and Alexa – are transforming health care worldwide. Today Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) launched a first-of-its-kind Health Technology Exploration Center (HTEC) to speed research and innovation in the field. The center will build on BIDMC’s reputation for leadership in health technology and explore new solutions to some of the world’s most pressing health care challenges.

“Now is the time to think more expansively about how diverse technological tools can improve all aspects of health care – from clinical advances to communications and medical decision-making,” said Kevin Tabb, MD, Chief Executive Officer of BIDMC and the Beth Israel Deaconess system. “Our goal in creating this new center is to build on Beth Israel Deaconess’ history of innovation to help make patient care more efficient, accessible and integrated.”

By exploring new and emerging technologies like the Internet of Things and Blockchain, the Health Technology Exploration Center will play a vital role in ushering in a new era in health care delivery. The center is poised to spark the technological and systemic transformations in health care delivery that will enable providers to maximize the opportunities of 21st century medicine. By fostering relationships with partners around the globe via telemedicine, the center will improve health care quality, advance new treatment options, and shape the delivery of patient care. In addition, HTEC will leverage the power of emerging cloud services to support medical decision-making and innovative new mobile applications that empower patients to manage their own health while improving overall communication between patients and their health care providers.

Widely recognized as a trailblazer in the field of health care information technology, John Halamka, MD, MS, will lead the Health Technology Exploration Center. Halamka serves as Chief Information Officer of the Beth Israel Deaconess system and is International Healthcare Innovation Professor at Harvard Medical School.   

“Patients today are accustomed to having a world of information at their fingertips,” Halamka said. “The work of this new center will help expand our ability to use technology to evaluate and share all types of data with both clinicians and patients to improve the care they receive and the delivery of that care. The center will also create a base of knowledge and focused expertise that connects technology advances with clinical care and research to further accelerate innovation.”

Under Halamka’s leadership, BIDMC has developed a worldwide reputation for health care technology innovation, including launching one of the first patient portals, creating unique web-based medical records, and advancing secure patient data exchange. Throughout his career, Halamka has fostered collaborations with Google, Amazon, Apple, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and other key global innovators. He also served as Chair of the Healthcare Technology Federal Advisory Committee under the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations.

To learn more about the Health Technology Exploration Center, visit