Last week HIMSS published a new definition of digital health and an interesting white paper that treats different aspects of this world.
Digital health is a term that has become very popular and, precisely because of this, it has become an overly used and misunderstood watchword, wrongly mistaken for other distinct terms such as “health”, “virtual health”, etc.
The lack of a clear definition is a source of ambiguity and could even hold back the industry. For this reason, HIMSS decided that the time had come for a comprehensive but targeted definition of digital health.
The new definition that aspires to become a reference point for the global health community is the following (Editor’s note: traditional literal):
“Digital health connects and enables people and populations to manage health and well-being, empowered by teams of accessible and supportive service providers working within flexible, integrated, interoperable and digitally-enabled care environments that strategically leverage digital tools, technologies and services to transform care delivery.”
In the past, HIMSS has defined other health terms, such as interoperability, which are now widely used throughout the sector, with a common understanding. HIMSS hopes that this definition of digital health will become an industry standard.
For Anne Snowdon, director of clinical research at HIMSS Analytics, “a universally accepted description and understanding of digital health will provide a basis for transforming traditional healthcare systems from a model in which patients are care recipients to digital healthcare ecosystems that enable consumers to self-manage their health and well-being. Over the coming year, we will work with members, partners and other stakeholders to refine and build consensus for this definition of digital health.”
HIMSS has also published new research on digital health – the HIMMS Digital Health Whitepaper. The paper, albeit with a very American vision of the health system, proposes a framework for the transformation of health care. A strong emphasis is placed on the role of the patient-consumer, predictive analysis, governance of digital transformation.
It is a text that I recommend you read carefully.