Digital Health Options Continue to Expand, Positively Influence Patient Outcomes

AUGUST 26, 2018
Gina Kokosky
Advancements in technology over the past few decades have influenced human behavior and the way people make make decisions about their health. 

The expanding array of digital health options, including mobile health apps and wearable fitness sensors, has already shown promise in improving human health, and it holds the potential to significantly increase quality of care in the future, according to a report from IQVIA, a company that is sponsoring cyber stations at the NACDS Total Store Expo this week in Denver. The report  examined innovation, evidence, and adoption of digital health tools to determine whether they have a fundamental impact on patient outcomes. 

According to the report, the adoption of digital health options is growing rapidly, with more than 318,000 health related apps available in the app store on most smart phones, and almost 200 more being added each day. There are also more than 340 wearable health sensors on the market. While many of the apps are focused on general wellness, such as nutrition or exercise, health condition management apps make up 40% of all health focused apps and are continuing to grow, according to the report. 

Hundreds of studies, 571, have concluded that health apps positively influence patient outcomes. One study noted reductions in acute care that could reduce health care spending 7 billion dollars, or 1.4% of a patients total cost, in patients with diabetes, pre-diabetes, asthma, cardiac rehabilitation, and pulmonary rehabilitation. Experts predict that digital health could save up to $46 billion in health care expenditures each year if utilized across the entire health care industry, according to the report. 

There are currently 540 ongoing clinical trials to determine the impact of digital health on condition management. These clinical trials are increasingly important, as digital health is expected to continually grow over the next 10 years, and continue to change the way people manage their health, according to information from the cyber station. 
 

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