Digital health encompasses many sub-sectors including ehealth, mhealth, telehealth, health information technology and telemedicine, all of of which have one main goal, to make the digital health revolution a reality.
Mobile health (mHealth) is a general term for the practice of medicine and care delivery which is supported by the use of mobile phones and other wireless technology. With increased access to mobile technology mHealth offers the potential to promote better health and help people to achieve a healthier lifestyle. This in turn can help reduce costs by improving efficiencies in the health and care systems. With mHealth there are so many possible applications, including but not limited to, education, diagnostic support, helplines as well as remote monitoring and data collection.
Health information technology (HIT) is information technology, which is applied to health and health care settings. It supports health information management across computerised systems and the secure exchange of health information between patients and medical experts.
Wearables are clothing and accessories that integrate computer and advanced electronic technologies. Wearable devices are varied in the form they take, but can include activity trackers, treatments for hearing impairments, specific health issue monitoring etc. With rapid advances in technology, functionality and size, wearables offer great potential for personalised treatment and care.
Telehealth leverages a broad spectrum of technologies and systems around the remote exchange of data between a patient and their clinician. These approaches can assist in diagnosis and monitoring and are typically used to support patients with long term conditions.
Telemedicine/telecare is a term for offering remote care using telecommunication and information technologies. It can help eliminate distance obstacles and improve access to medical services that may not be routinely available to remote communities. As well as regular care it can also be used to save lives in critical care and emergency situations.
Personalised medicine is an emerging practice of medicine that moves us away from the one-size-fits-all approach. Because everyone’s genetic makeup is slightly different this can affect our responses to treatment. Personalised medicine brings us closer to a more precise and powerful approach to healthcare which is customised to the individual needs.
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