On September 5th and 6th, 2017, New America convened a Digital Health Summit in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health to explore innovative strategies to strengthen WIC and better serve its beneficiaries in the years ahead. The technology Summit, titled the 53% Conference, explored how emerging technology can modernize and enhance the user experience as well as help to improve health and nutritional outcomes including reducing obesity for WIC participants.
Conference participants from technology, futurists, public health, and food industry sectors engaged with WIC officials and beneficiaries in “out of the box” thinking, to generate moonshot ideas and envision ways to build 21st century technology infrastructure for WIC so that it can operate more effectively, collect data, provide interactive user-friendly nutrition and child development education and other features, and harmonize in the future with other Federal assistance programs. For millennial moms and dads who expect to receive and engage in healthcare through a digital platform, an investment in technology to strengthen WIC is not just an enhancement, but rather an imperative to ensure that WIC can fulfill its mission in the years ahead.