Digital Technologies and Disease Prevention

  • Michael P. Kelly
    Address correspondence to: Michael P. Kelly, PhD, Primary Care Unit, Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge, Forvie Site, Cambridge, CB2 0SR, United Kingdom
    Primary Care Unit, Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
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      In the last 3 decades or so, digital technologies have penetrated into a vast array of human activities; smartphones, computers, Internet, social media, and the rest have not only reached into many domains of everyday life but also spread globally and very rapidly—at a speed that technologies from previous eras had not done. In this special themed issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, a series of papers explore some of the implications of digital technologies for disease prevention and public health. Presently, the potential for such interventions appears to be extensive, including surveillance of population information, continuous self-monitoring of bodily signs, symptoms, and measures, through prompts to assist and support behavior changes to provision of advice and guidance about lifestyle and health risks. There are a number of questions that deserve detailed scientific attention, and the papers in this volume contribute to that consideration.
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