Digital Health

What is digital health?

Digital Health (DH) is described by the World Health Organisation as “the field of knowledge and practice associated with the development and use of digital technologies to improve health” (WHO, 2022).

Digital health encompasses the integration of technology, data, and connectivity into healthcare, revolutionizing patient care delivery, diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment. It includes mobile apps, wearables, telemedicine, electronic health records (EHRs), and AI-driven tools, enhancing healthcare access, efficiency, and personalized medicine.

What is the importance of digital health? Why is digital health a hot topic?


Digital health (DH) signifies a paradigm shift in healthcare by leveraging technology to improve patient care, diagnostic accuracy, and accessibility. From wellness apps to advanced medical devices like glucose monitors, DH spans various healthcare aspects, offering personalized solutions through genomic databases and wearables.

A key aspect of DH lies in its potential to transform diagnostics. By harnessing artificial intelligence (AI), it can enhance diagnostic precision and speed, potentially revolutionizing disease identification and treatment planning, as recognized by the FDA.

Moreover, DH holds the promise of promoting healthcare equality. Virtual care provisions, like remote monitoring and telemedicine, enable broader access to medical services, particularly benefiting immunocompromised individuals or those with limited mobility.

This approach minimizes geographical and physical barriers, improving healthcare access and inclusivity.

Efficiency enhancement is another hallmark of DH. By digitizing health records and processes, it streamlines workflows, optimizes resource allocation, and boosts productivity in healthcare delivery. This digital transformation not only simplifies data management but also allows for better analysis, leading to informed decision-making and improved patient outcomes.

DH’s prominence is driven by its potential to revolutionize healthcare delivery, making it more accessible, personalized, and efficient. As technology continues to advance, DH remains a hot topic due to its transformative impact on healthcare accessibility, diagnostics, and overall patient care.

What is the global impact of digital health?

The global impact of Digital Health extends far beyond geographical boundaries, fostering connections and collaborations through expansive networks and shared databases. This was particularly evident during the Covid-19 pandemic, where countries utilized digital information sharing to mitigate the virus’s global impact and coordinate responses effectively.

Moreover, the deployment of point-of-care diagnostic devices holds immense promise, especially for individuals residing in remote or underserved regions with limited healthcare infrastructure. These devices offer timely access to diagnostics, accelerating the time from diagnosis to treatment, potentially saving lives in areas where traditional healthcare access is limited.

Personalized digital health devices empower individuals to actively manage their health, promoting a sense of ownership and engagement. This shift towards personalized healthcare has the potential to alleviate the global burden of conditions like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. By providing tailored insights and interventions, these devices encourage healthier lifestyles and preventive measures, contributing to the reduction of chronic diseases worldwide.

The transformative power of Digital Health lies in its capacity to bridge gaps in healthcare accessibility, offer timely interventions, and empower individuals to proactively manage their health. By facilitating global collaborations, enhancing diagnostic capabilities in underserved areas, and promoting personalized healthcare approaches, Digital Health significantly impacts healthcare delivery, potentially reshaping the global landscape of public health.

Health Economics and digital health?

Health economics serves a critical role in navigating the complexities of digital health (DH) by addressing challenges in regulation, health technology assessment (HTA), and cost-effectiveness evaluations.

In the digital health ecosystem, the intricate landscape often leads to regulatory and HTA complexities. This poses challenges in conducting economic evaluations of digital health technologies (DHTs). Health economics steps in to streamline this process by identifying and clarifying the evidence necessary for assessing the economic value of these technologies. By delineating the required data and methodologies for evaluation, health economics aids in untangling the complexities surrounding the assessment of DHTs.

Moreover, beyond the realm of HTA, digital health introduces mechanisms to streamline healthcare processes and optimize resource utilization, potentially reducing healthcare spending. Health economics plays a pivotal role in measuring the financial implications of implementing DH interventions. By conducting budget impact assessments, health economists provide insights into the economic feasibility and impact of integrating these technologies into healthcare systems. This analysis guides decision-makers by identifying instances where implementing DH interventions would yield significant benefits for the healthcare system.

Overall, health economics facilitates the understanding of economic implications associated with digital health innovations. By clarifying assessment pathways, evaluating cost-effectiveness, and measuring the potential budget impacts, health economics plays a crucial role in informing decisions regarding the integration and adoption of digital health technologies in healthcare systems.