Digital health tools can play a significant role in enhancing patient care and improving healthcare overall. Verdict has conducted a poll to analyse what the most suitable areas are for the use of digital health tools.
Metabolic disorders such as diabetes and obesity were opined to be the most suitable area according to 24% of the respondents, followed by cardiovascular diseases (14%), infectious diseases (11%), and sleep disorders (10%).
Further, oncology, pain management, respiratory diseases, and behavioural disorders were opined by 9% of the respondents each as the most suitable areas for the use of digital health tools, while a lesser 5% of the respondents voted central nervous system disorders as the suitable area.
The analysis is based on 336 responses received from the readers of Pharmaceutical Technology, a Verdict network site, between 02 February 2020 and 19 April 2021.
Usage of digital health tools
Digital health tools such as mobile health applications, telehealth and telemedicine, and wearable devices support the provision of health services to patients, enable monitoring and surveillance by sharing data, contact tracing as well as communication.
Digital tools can help in improving diagnosis and treatment of diseases using technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. They can also help in early diagnosis and management of chronic diseases, while providing the benefits of cost reduction, enhanced access to care, and availability of personalised medicines for patients. Insulin management applications and wearable blood glucose meters, for example, can monitor glucose levels through the day and give early warnings to users.
The role of digital health technology significantly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic as an immediate response to mitigate the spread of the virus. Several countries promoted the use of digital health tools including China, which ordered its health authorities to improve the usage of digital solutions in response to the pandemic in February 2020.
European countries, such as France, Italy, and the Netherlands, also initiated the use of digital health tools for remote management of COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms and outpatient care. In Poland, the service was extended for people who were self-isolating.