Digital health is a cultural transformation of traditional healthcare
Under the term “digital health”, advanced medical technologies, disruptive innovations and digital communication have gradually become inseparable from providing best practice healthcare. While the cost of treating chronic conditions is increasing and doctor shortages are imminent worldwide, the needed transformation in the structure of healthcare and medicine fails to catch up with the rapid progress of the medical technology industry. This transition is slowed down by strict regulations; the reluctance of stakeholders in healthcare to change; and ignoring the importance of cultural changes and the human factor in an increasingly technological world. With access and adoption of technology getting higher, the risk of patients primarily turning to an accessible, but unregulated technological solution for their health problem is likely to increase. In this paper, we discuss how the old paradigm of the paternalistic model of medicine is transforming into an equal level partnership between patients and professionals and how it is aided and augmented by disruptive technologies. We attempt to define what digital health means and how it affects the status quo of care and also the study design in implementing technological innovations into the practice of medicine.