Digital world symposium at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

To build a Safer Health System via Digital Health

The Foundation for the Innovation and Development of Health Safety (FIDHS) has launched a symposium series focused on improving patient safety via digital technology. The First Annual International Symposium: Patient Safety in a Digital World was held on January 28th at the internationally renowned Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

“It’s been two decades since the Institute of Medicine’s landmark report on medical errors, and while the healthcare industry has made great strides, we still have a long way to go to ensure patient safety,” said Ed Morata, Cofounder & Chairman of the Foundation. “After conducting significant research on the state of healthcare, the Foundation was established to innovate and collaborate on healthtech solutions that reduce the risk of patient harm.”

The Patient Safety in a Digital World Symposia is designed to feature expertise from across the Globe, providing a platform for medical professionals to collaborate on research and strategies based on real world digital programs. The first event featured two executive panel discussions. The first panel discussion "Patient Safety, International Considerations & Lessons Learned” was moderated by Emily Riemer, Anchor/Medical Reporter of WCVB’s NewsCenter 5. The second panel discussion "Safety in a Digital World, Opportunities for Disruption” was moderated by Rick Berke, Cofounder and Executive Editor, STAT News. The complete speaker lineup is at:

“I’m thrilled to be part of this discussion on advancing patient safety and improving patient outcomes via digital innovation,” said Robert K. Coughlin, President & CEO, MassBio, who delivered Closing Remarks at the symposium. “Everything we do as an industry benefits from being patient-driven and promoting safety and preventing errors on a systemic level helps to build a safer health system.”

The Foundation’s January 2020 event was the first in a series of events to address the intersection of digital and safety. The series convenes thought leaders for an international discussion on how digital disruption is poised to transform patient safety, significantly reducing the incidence of adverse events globally.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), patient safety is a global public health concern, citing a 1 in 300 risk of patient death due to a preventable medical error while receiving healthcare. Estimates show that in high-income countries, as many as 1 in 10 patients are harmed while receiving hospital care, with nearly 50% of them considered preventable.

“As digital health matures, there is no reason that preventable medical errors should pose an insurmountable challenge for maintaining patient safety,” said Jose Ignacio Echaniz, MD, Senior Advisor to the Foundation and Vice President of the Advisory Group on the Health of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. “In addition, preventable medical errors contribute substantially to healthcare costs, including higher health insurance costs. I very much look forward to exploring how digital innovation can mitigate both patient harm and costs associated with adverse events.”

The Patient Safety in a Digital World Symposium was built with the support from its partners including MassBio, MassMEDIC, Lug Healthcare Technology, and MassChallenge HealthTech.


Founded in 2019, the Foundation is committed to the advancing the overall quality, safety, and delivery of patient care. The Foundation’s primary focus is on supporting and innovating digital solutions that eliminate preventable medical errors.  According to the CDC, adverse drug events are a serious public health problem: 82% of American adults take at least one medication and ADEs cause approximately 1.3 million emergency department visits and 350,000 hospitalizations each year, costing the healthcare industry $3.5 billion on excess medical costs. In addition to improving the quality and safety of medication management, the Foundation is dedicated to preventing adverse events from surgical procedures, hospital acquired infections, and misdiagnoses.

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