This article was originally published at:

Digital health, or digital healthcare, is a broad, multidisciplinary concept that includes concepts from an intersection between technology and healthcare. Digital health applies digital transformation to the healthcare field, incorporating software, hardware and services. Under its umbrella, digital health includes mobile health (mHealth) apps, electronic health records (EHRs), electronic medical records (EMRs), wearable devices, telehealth and telemedicine, as well as personalized medicine.

Stakeholders in the digital health field include patients, practitioners, researchers, application developers, and medical device manufacturers and distributors. Digital healthcare plays an increasingly important role in healthcare today.

What is digital health as we know it today?

The application of information and communications technology to provide digital health interventions to prevent disease and improve quality of life isn’t a new concept. However, in the face of global concerns — related to aging, child illness and mortality, epidemics and pandemics, high costs, and the effects of poverty and racial discrimination on access to healthcare — digital health platforms, health systems and related technology continue to grow in importance and to evolve.

Government health insurance programs, such as the U.S. Affordable Care Act (ACA), have also brought about new developments in digital health. Despite technical issues when ACA was initially launched, ACA’s objectives included improving the quality of healthcare through technology. For example, this included improving the quality of EHRs and computer modeling used to track healthcare spending. Employing technology and data to improve patient health and quality of care is called healthcare informatics. This enables healthcare professionals to assess new programs, look for areas of improvement within the healthcare sector and integrate new technologies into medicine.

Further fanning the flames of change, the COVID-19 pandemic has helped further fuel the ongoing digital transformation in healthcare. According to Forrester Research, the most impactful COVID-19 technologies include patient-facing tools, such as online symptom checkers, patient portals, remote patient monitoring tools and telehealth.

Why is digital health important?

According to Deloitte Insights, digital health employs more than just technologies and tools; it also views “radically interoperable data, artificial intelligence (AI), and open, secure platforms as central to the promise of more consumer-focused, prevention-oriented care.”

The Future of Digital Health

As digital health continues to evolve, new and improved technologies will emerge to further enhance patient care, disease prevention, and overall health management. With advancements in AI, big data, robotics, and machine learning, the digital healthcare landscape will see the development of more sophisticated wearable devices, telehealth services, and personalized medicine.

The global digital health market is expected to experience significant growth in the coming years. As healthcare providers and technology developers work together to overcome challenges related to data interoperability, privacy, and security, the potential benefits of digital health will become increasingly evident.

Ultimately, digital health has the potential to revolutionize the healthcare industry, improving patient outcomes, increasing efficiency, and reducing costs. As technology continues to advance, the future of digital health looks promising and transformative.

This article was originally published at: