by Raul Diego, MintPress News:
A consortium of the most powerful tech players like IBM, Microsoft and Facebook are teaming up with hospital networks with links to the Vatican and tech lobbying groups to shape the conversation about the future role of technology in the public sphere.
The Consumer Technology Association (CTA), a Big Tech lobby group has just launched a “working group” called the Public Health Tech Initiative (PHTI) to explore the ways in which technology can help in future pandemics. The coalition of companies that form part of the “broad coalition” include tech giants like Facebook and Microsoft, transnational behemoths like Philips, as well as U.S. pharmaceutical retail chain CVS Health.
Rene Quashie, VP of Digital Health for CTA says that the goal of PHTI is to “accomplish what the government has been so far unable to do: develop a unified strategy for deploying technology in a public health emergency.” To this end, PHTI has placed a former CMO for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Dr. Alexander Garza as co-chair of the new organization, alongside Microsoft’s recently-appointed Global Chief Medical Officer, Dr. David Rhew.