UC Davis Health appoints Ashish Atreja as Chief Information and Digital Health Officer

Digital therapeutics expert joins from Mount Sinai Health System in New York


UC Davis Health has appointed Ashish Atreja to the new position of Chief Information and Digital Health Officer. 

Atreja, a gastroenterologist, joined the Dr. Henry D. Janowitz Division of Gastroenterology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in 2013, and has been the chief innovation officer for the Department of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital. Located in New York City’s East Harlem, Mount Sinai is one of the oldest and largest teaching hospitals in the United States. 

In addition to a medical degree, Atreja holds a master’s in public health, and is a fellow of the American College of Physicians. Among his responsibilities at UC Davis Health will be Information Technology (IT), a department that has more than 500 employees. Recently, the IT team helped the health system earn it’s ninth “Most Wired” award in a row. The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives recognized UC Davis for its use of technology to improve patient care in both in-patient and hospital settings. 

At Mount Sinai, Atreja established one of the first innovation hubs within an academic medical center to build and test disruptive digital health technologies – those that transform the industry. Atreja is credited with coining the term “Evidence-based Digital Medicine (EBDM),” and is often referred to as “the app doctor” for his work in pioneering digital therapeutics and prescribing mobile health apps for patients. 

In 2016,  Atreja established the non-profit Network of Digital Medicine Association to connect innovation centers worldwide and to share best practices for evidence-based digital medicine between industry, payers and health systems. 

“UC Davis Health is a long-time leader in telehealth,” said UC Davis Health CEO David Lubarsky.  “We are naming a chief information and digital health officer as we expand our digital relationships with patients and with other hospitals in our region.” 

Lubarsky noted that the future of health care includes more video visits and an increasing use of remote monitoring of vital signs such as blood pressure, body temperature and heart rate. 

“By bringing together the roles of chief information officer and chief digital health officer, we can serve more patients and more hospitals, securely, Lubarsky added. “In a few years, we want Sacramento to be a global hub for digital health. Dr. Atreja is one of the rare physician-leaders who has successfully bridged the gap between IT, academia, research, innovation and digital transformation. He is well positioned to help lead this care transformation in Sacramento and across California.” 

Atreja says he’s looking forward to having the opportunity to embrace new approaches to patient care, and especially in how it’s delivered. 

“As a society, we have been quite good at prioritizing the ‘science of medicine,’ but we need to do much more to support the ‘delivery of care,’” said Atreja. “A ‘Digital and Data First’ strategy can help bridge this gap and foster exponential innovation in healthcare. I am looking forward to working closely with not only our IT teams and providers, but with researchers at the UC Davis schools of Engineering, Management, Nursing, Public Health and Medicine. Across the UC system, we’ll work with California’s deep bench of startups, health plans and biopharma companies to enable grassroots innovation and scalable transformation, so that no patient, provider or researcher gets left behind.” 

Prior to his work at Mount Sinai, Atreja was at the Cleveland Clinic, where he led electronic health record implementation and won an innovation award for developing one of the first virtual pager and messaging applications that was successfully licensed. 

Atreja has held key positions in many professional organizations, including in the American Gastroenterological Association and American College of Cardiology. He has supported large-scale patient outreach programs during the COVID pandemic through national and international coalitions, and he has been a keynote speaker globally. 

Atreja has published 90 academic papers and has received multiple NIH and industry grants in the field of digital transformation and disparities. He recently served on the President’s Colorectal Cancer Panel, and on an Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) committee that is working to implement Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) at scale. He has also been named among the Top 40 HealthCare Transformers.

About UC Davis Health

UC Davis Health’s vision is creating a healthier world through bold innovation, improving lives and transforming health care. The health system is a major driver of economic prosperity in the Sacramento region and Northern California. It generates more than $3.4 billion in annual economic output and more than 20,000 jobs.

UC Davis Health harnesses the power of an entire university’s nationally ranked resources and research to tackle the most pressing health care issues facing the world today. Its clinicians and researchers include partners working in the nation’s best School of Veterinary Medicine, the nation’s best School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, one of the nation’s best Colleges of Biological Sciences, and one of the nation’s best Colleges of Engineering – all from within one of the top five ‘Best Public Universities’ in the entire United States.

As the region's only academic health center, UC Davis Health is focused on discovering and sharing knowledge and providing the highest quality of care. UC Davis Health is a hub of innovation that encompasses UC Davis Medical Center, UC Davis School of Medicine, The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis and UC Davis Medical Group.

UC Davis Health is improving lives and transforming health care by providing excellent patient care, conducting groundbreaking research, fostering innovative, interprofessional education, and creating dynamic, productive partnerships with the community. For more information, visit health.ucdavis.edu.