How Technology Can Help to Advance Health Equity

Health+Wealth of America April 2021 Conference

Jim Swanson, chief information officer at Johnson & Johnson, whose session was entitled ‘How Technology can Help to Advance Health Equity,’ started off speaking to the recent pause on J&J’s vaccine. “We are aware of an extremely rare disorder involving people with blood clots in combination with low platelets and a small number of individuals who have received our vaccine,” Swanson said. “We’ve administered over almost 7 million doses, with a very, very small number of cases…But in an abundance of caution, we took a pause at the recommendation of the CDC and FDA…We will follow their guidance as prescribed… But we certainly feel very confident in the vaccine…And from a manufacturing standpoint, all doses that have been distributed have met rigorous company regulatory quality standards, as you’d expect, and will continue to do so for the future.”

But J&J is a vast health care enterprise, and Swanson, involved with all aspects of tech across the health giant’s many businesses, says this pandemic year helped push many aspects of medicine forward. “It really forced more…telehealth, and it has allowed for I think an intimate session with the physician and the patient. It doesn’t replace completely an in-person visit; you still need those. But maybe now this is more effective because you can do more sequences of touching [base] with your physician—quickly, low-touch…and then when you need to come in it’s a more effective interaction.”