Our patients spend most of their lives far away from an examination room. If we are truly going to capture our patients’ attention and engage them in their care, then we must reach beyond the four walls of the clinic, hospital, or endoscopy suite. This is the vision of the digital health movement—an effort to monitor patients remotely and dynamically with mobile health (“mHealth”) smartphone applications, electronic health record portals, social media, and wearable biosensors to improve health care outside of the clinical trenches. This article explores how advances in digital health may improve health-care delivery, focusing on gastroenterology and hepatology. It describes how technology can monitor patients remotely, improve face-to-face care, drive clinical decisions, and offer value to health-care organizations, their patients, and their staff. The article also describes pitfalls and shortcomings of digital technologies and concludes by describing a new model for how digital health can be deployed at scale to improve coordination and outcomes of care.
1Department of Medicine, Division of Health Services Research, Cedars-Sinai Health System, Los Angeles, California, USA
2UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Los Angeles, California, USA
3Cedars-Sinai Center for Outcomes Research and Education (CS-CORE), Los Angeles, California, USA
Correspondence: Brennan Spiegel, MD, MSHS, Department of Medicine and Public Health in Residence, Division of Health Services Research, Cedars-Sinai Health System, Pacific Theatre Building, 116N. Robertson Boulevard, 4th Floor, Los Angeles, California 90048 USA. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received 02 January 2016; accepted 02 January 2016
Guarantor of the Article: Brennan Spiegel, MD, MSHS.
Specific author contributions: Brennan Spiegel wrote the article.
Financial Support: None.
Potential competing interests: The author discloses the following: Allergan (advisor); Amgen (research grant); Astra-Zeneca (research grant); Commonwealth Laboratories (advisor); GI Logic (patent & royalty rights for AbStats); Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (advisor; research grant); Millennium Pharmaceuticals (advisor); My Total Health (co-founder, patent, and royalty rights for MyGiHealth); Nestle Health Sciences (research grant); Takeda Pharmaceuticals (research grant); and Valeant Pharmaceuticals (advisor).