Digital health is the cultural transformation of how disruptive technologies that provide digital and objective data accessible to both caregivers and patients leads to an equal level doctor-patient relationship with shared decision-making and the democratization of care.
Technological transitions have taken place in healthcare before, but this is the very first time that they lead to a meaningful transformation of the status quo. When personal computers became widely available in the 1990s, e-health emerged. When such computers could be connected to networks, telemedical services appeared. The rise of social media networks gave space to medicine 2.0 and health 2.0; while the penetration of mobile phones and later smartphones summoned mobile health. But from the 2010s, the rate at which disruptive technologies appear is inducing a qualitative change for both the patients and their caregivers.
What belongs to Digital Health?
Digital health includes the use of advanced technologies such as health sensors, portable diagnostic devices, virtual reality or artificial intelligence for the delivery of healthcare and the practice of medicine. These technologies span a wide range of uses, from applications in general wellness and prevention to applications in diagnostics and treatments. They include technologies intended for use as a medical product, in a medical product, as companion diagnostics, or as an adjunct to other medical products (devices, drugs, and biologics).
The broad scope of digital health includes categories such as mobile health (mHealth), health information technology (IT), wearable devices, telehealth and telemedicine, and personalized medicine, among others.
From mobile medical apps and software that support the clinical decisions doctors make every day to artificial intelligence and machine learning, digital technology has been driving a revolution in healthcare. Digital health tools have the vast potential to improve our ability to accurately diagnose, monitor and treat disease and to enhance the delivery of healthcare for the individual.