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European Society of Cardiology paper calls for an integrated approach to digital health

April 15, 2019 / Piers Ford

Patients, clinicians and technology vendors must work together to drive the adoption of digital health at the heart of national models and systems, researchers say. The potential of digital health to provide a comprehensive framework for the research, prevention and treatment of chronic disease is being inhibited by the failure of national health systems to reimburse it and integrate it into routine care. This is the stark warning of a recent position paper from European cardiology leaders published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, which suggests that while there is a rise in the adoption of patient apps linked to medical devices, the information generated is still treated as an add-on rather than being integrated into healthcare delivery. Other barriers include entrenched attitudes which see digital health as an additional task rather than part of care delivery, and concerns about privacy and data security.