Contributed: Why we can't afford to pretend telehealth is digital health

Contributed: Why we can't afford to pretend telehealth is digital health

Posted Nov 16, 2021 from

Unlike telehealth, digital health can shift the nature of healthcare from periodic visits to continuous support.

So, consider this: While telehealth modernizes the provider visit, what if we looked to digital health to change the very nature of care from "visit" to "continuous support"? That's the biggest challenge we face in healthcare — and the reason why we can’t afford to conflate telehealth and digital health. Digital health has the power to redefine how we think about care delivery within the context of people's everyday lives and choices. Digital health allows us to utilize a portion of healthcare value that cannot be accessed by either in-person or video visits alone. And most would agree that the answer to healthcare's rising costs and worse health isn't just more providers' visits. Embedding digital health into the patient experience can completely transform the nature of care by enabling something many providers have desired for decades: a way to support people in the kinds of daily decisions that impact outcomes. When digital health technologies deliver specific interventions to drive improvements in health, they are sometimes referred to as digital therapeutics. That is what generates potential value and elevates digital health above "creeping incrementalism" to true "innovation" status.

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