Digital Health Technology? Pandemic Prompts New Digital Health Solutions.

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Digital Health Technology? Pandemic Prompts New Digital Health Solutions.

Digital Health

A key concept in medicine and other health care fields is the application of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to the treatment and prevention of disease and other health hazards. As part of digital health, mHealth applications, electronic health records (EHRs), electronic medical records (EMRs), wearable devices, telehealth and telemedicine, and customized medicine are included.

Pandemic Prompts New Digital Health Solutions

As the COVID-19 epidemic strained resources and discouraged in-person encounters, family planning, and maternal health agencies worldwide have had to modify their ways of maintaining and delivering treatment. In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), programs have increasingly turned to digital health technologies, especially those that promote client autonomy, agency, and self-care in maternal and reproductive health. To deliver consistent, high-quality care that keeps both providers and clients safe, solutions that decrease time-consuming, indoor, and in-person activities have been painstakingly created and implemented—and in some cases assessed and extended. The featured cases from India, Nigeria, and Uganda illustrate how program administrators and advocates responded to the epidemic by exploring novel techniques to encourage the continued use of reproductive and maternal health services.

These initiatives have helped:

       1) enhance knowledge of correct and relevant health information;

       2) sustain or grow demand for services;

       3) shift demand towards more self-care, providing users greater autonomy;

       4) enable important health services to continue to be available.

SolutionObesity and Health Risks 233

The current epidemic is increasingly dependent on the use of Digital Health technology. There has been an uptick in interest in “digital health,” which covers anything from telemedicine and teleconsultation to linked devices, digital health platforms, and health applications, thanks to the spread of the Coronavirus. The notion also includes studying and using linked health data in big data platforms, such as epidemiological research and AI-enabled diagnosis help. Online medical consultations from the comfort of one’s own home and telemedicine, which has been a fresh experience for many people, have been some of the uses of these devices. Health care providers have also used digital technology to diagnose the infection. New e-health apps have been created in China that allow individuals to monitor their Covid-19 symptoms from afar. Online consultations and remote monitoring have been used by patients with serious diseases who are unwilling to attend the hospital because of the danger of getting the virus. It is also feasible to provide repeat prescriptions remotely, avoiding needless interaction between physicians and patients and lowering the risk of exposure to the virus due to digital health data and e-prescriptions in several EU nations. Despite these difficulties, the digitalization of healthcare presents several opportunities. Those who can least master or afford technology are the elderly and the marginalized, who face a deepening ‘digital gap.’ Cyber-attacks on hospitals are on the rise, and as a result, so are questions of accountability, reimbursement, and cybersecurity. Personal health data transfers have sparked a dispute over who owns and manages such data, creating concerns about the privacy rights of individuals. Digital health is here to stay; that much is certain.


Research on that

Viamo is a social venture that uses interactive voice response (IVR) technology to conduct surveys on mobile phones in Africa and Asia. Participants listen to taped questions and respond by punching numbers on their keypads. One of the people Mercy Simiyu, Viamo’s Country Director for Kenya and Somalia, often thinks of when she contemplates how her customers might take control of their health is her grandmother. It is possible that even if the intention is to transfer control of the project to the government, it does not know how much it will cost to manage it. Furthermore, there is sometimes a huge gap in salary between government and non-governmental groups. This can make it difficult, if not impossible, for government to take the reins.


Treatman stated that it might be difficult to oversee duplicate spending when infrastructure is shared across several digital health projects. As a result, there is a need to support core resources, such as energy, that are not project-specific for governments to keep the lights on. The last recommendation made by Dr. Treatman was that government personnel be given long-term assistance and capacity training to help support the broader transition of digital health.

Health solutions and policy

There has been an increased focus on digital health solutions and policy in response to the epidemic, but this has not been a new goal for the NHS.

The NHS has been collaborating with the Good Things Foundation’s digital health lab for the past three years to undertake 22 digital inclusion testbed pilot projects throughout the UK, which are meant to increase participation for all.

Digital health services for young carers, the homeless and people with insecure housing, individuals with dementia, and those living in government-funded social housing are tested.

Significant progress

Beginning in 2020, the service will do accessibility tests in a new testing facility it has set up for this purpose.NHS Digital workers may use assistive technology like screen readers and magnifiers on smartphones with built-in accessibility features, even if the lab is now closed due to the pandemic. Given these groups’ difficulties, the lab also provides instruments such as goggles to imitate vision impairments. Mortimer acknowledges that the NHS website, which is over a decade old, is being reviewed to ensure that it fulfills the inclusion and accessibility criteria needed by the 2018 Public Sector Bodies Regulations and the 2010 Equality Act. For people who are deaf or hard of hearing, the NHS’s digital team is working on offering transcripts and British Sign Language (BSL) options in the future.


Mortimer explained that some of the older legacy-style information on the website—which receives more than 50 million hits a month—contains a lot of PDF files that are not available to all users. When it comes to digital inclusion and accessibility, “I believe traditionally, people prefer to think about [it] towards the end, but we’re trying to implant it throughout NHS Digital that we’ve got to start thinking about these things from the beginning,” he added. He argues that now more than ever, it’s critical to cultivate a culture that ensures that every user, regardless of whether they’re a patient or an employee of the NHS, has equal access to all digital services. As a result, Mortimer and his team have been able to repair problems that have existed for a long time, but they’ve also gained a heightened sense of urgency to keep them from going forwards.

Writer: Tasnem Islam Prome
East-west university
BBA program

Edited By: AL-Resalat

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