Difference Between eHealth and Digital Health

Healthcare is evolving and the major driving force behind this evolution is smartphones. Many aspects of human health and medicine are now documented with the help of digital technologies. We are seeing enormous advances in the nature and quality of care, several critical illnesses have been eradicated and lifespans have been extended to the point where one can predict that “one can live 100 years” will be a possibility. Estimates suggest that aggregate healthcare spending in the United States will grow exponentially by 2025. But there’s a lot of confusion around the digital healthcare space regarding the many terminologies, most of which do not actually exist. Some of the terms that are often used interchangeably are eHealth, mHealth, and even digital health. Moreover, the interpretations vary between the terms widely and majority of people don’t even understand the term “Digital Health”. Which leads one to ask, which is what and how does it matter? Let’s take a look.

What is eHealth?
eHealth is a recent healthcare practice supported by the use of information and communication technologies in the healthcare space. It is a broad term that covers a lot of territory, which is why no single terminology has been accepted as a universal standard for the representation of eHealth. It is a means to provide high-quality care for an increasingly number of people and to do so cost effectively and efficiently. Thus integrated IT solutions for optimizing clinical and administrative workflow are the keys to success. Until a few years ago, eHealth evaluations were limited in dealing with economical and financial aspects. Global trends have had a great impact on healthcare. The application of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to human health represents one of the primary goals of eHealth. Besides, the goal of eHealth is the empowerment of the patient and for the achievement of better health. A few examples of eHealth include electronic health records (EHR) and electronic medical records (EMR).

What is Digital Health?
Digital Health is an umbrella term for a wide range of technologies that could meet the healthcare challenges. It represents an evolutionary adaptation of the art and science of medicine to pervasive information and communication technologies (ICTs). Many aspects of human health and medicine are now documented with the help of digital technologies. And the health sector faces many challenges today and represents a significant cost of some portion of the GDP in the economies of countries. So the need for disruptive innovation is clear and a major candidate driving that innovation is ‘digital healthcare’. It is concerned with the issues such as how to engage patients better with digital health technologies and how medical professionals or promoters can use them to provide healthcare. Examples of such technology include apps, telemedicine, electronic medical records, ‘connected medicine’ and ‘smart homes’.

Difference between eHealth and Digital Health
Definition
Both the terms Digital Health and eHealth are often used interchangeably but the interpretations regarding the same vary widely. eHealth is a healthcare practice supported by the use of information and communication technologies in the healthcare space. eHealth encompasses much of medical informatics but prioritizes on promoting the use of ICT in health development and to do so cost effectively and efficiently. Digital Health represents an evolutionary adaptation of the art and science of medicine to pervasive information and communication technologies (ICTs). It is an umbrella term for a wide range of technologies that could meet the healthcare challenges.

Goal
eHealth is a means to provide high-quality care for an increasingly number of people and to do so cost effectively and efficiently, and to provide care in accessible and user-driven ways. The goal is to improve the accessibility and quality of care in the health system using information and communication technologies (ICTs), and thereby helping healthcare providers to do their job more efficiently. Digital Health is a means to reach every health consumer in the world via a digital channel. The goal is to implement and leverage ICTs to deliver and scale healthcare to the masses.

Tools
eHealth tools are not just about technical solutions for healthcare professionals or practitioners; but refer to the tools for use by the citizen in the management of his/her own health, and devices for facilitating homecare of patients through remote monitoring and assistance. eHealth tools include products, systems and services that go beyond simply Internet-based applications. Examples include electronic health records, health information networks, telemedicine services, health portals, and more. Digital Health tools refer to the technologies that deliver services to consumer and patients and help them manage personal health and wellness. Examples of such technology include apps, telemedicine, electronic medical records, ‘connected medicine’ and ‘smart homes’.

Summary of eHealth vs. Digital Health
eHealth is a means to provide high-quality care for an increasingly number of people and to do so cost effectively and efficiently. eHealth tools include products, systems and services that go beyond simply Internet-based applications. Digital Health, on the other hand, is an umbrella label for a wide range of technologies that could meet the healthcare challenges of the present consumer-driven era. Digital Health tools refer to the technologies that deliver services to consumer and patients and help them manage personal health and wellness.

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