Health Information Technology
- Digital health interventions have enormous potential as scalable tools to improve health and healthcare delivery by improving effectiveness, efficiency, accessibility, safety, and personalization. Achieving these improvements requires a cumulative knowledge base to inform development and deployment of digital health interventions. However, evaluations of digital health interventions present special challenges. This paper aims to examine these challenges and outline an evaluation strategy in terms of the research questions needed to appraise such interventions.
- 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.
- In many industries, entrepreneurs are asked to undergo a process called “frugal innovation.” This process supports advances in technology that drive down spending and improve results or leave them static. Likewise, in the healthcare system, there is a shift occurring calling for a reduction in spending. Key to this shift will be implementation of innovative devices brought forward by entrepreneurs. Although technology may add to costs in the near-term, most of the empirical analysis shows that the aggregate benefits vastly outweigh expenditures.
- Several years ago, a colleague offered a prescient reminder about the socioeconomically disadvantaged: “They're not hard to reach, they're hard for us to reach.” Hard indeed, and the consequences of our constrained ability to reach these populations are growing increasingly dire. Today, those who lack a high school diploma have life expectancies similar to those of the average American in the 1950s and 1960s.1 Even more shocking, these socioeconomic gaps in longevity do not appear to be closing.