Dear fellow digital health enthusiasts, 

First digital health briefing written wearing shorts. Summer’s here. Enjoy!

China (94%) and various other countries health care professionals have a higher adoption rate of digital technologies than the USA (76%) or Germany (64%). A study, commissioned by Philips, examines digital technology use by health care professionals and patients. In various categories, China leads the adoption e.g. people are more likely to track healthcare related key health indicators (63% vs. the global-average of 46%) or interest in telemedicine (44% vs global-average of 27%). The selection of interviewees is unclear (e.g. rural vs urban) and most metrics do not necessarily translate to improved patient outcomes, but nevertheless, the future of digital health may be created outside of the US or Europe. [≈ 2min]

Forbes’ Shaywitz provides an insightful write-up of the Harvard Digital Medicine Symposium focussing on key issues affecting the entire digital health ecosystem. The perspective is clearly less overly-confident than various tech-focused conferences, but pragmatic, prosaic and nevertheless positive. It’s more the clinicians’ view than the ex-google folks, which is a good reminder of digital health’s existence in two (still) different worlds: digital and health. Worth a read and if just for catchy quotes. Our favorite: «You can’t get to monetization without evidence.» (side note: It’s not necessarily true. You can … but should you?) [≈ 10min]

We’ve discussed the increase in depression rates in previous briefings. A new study adds more info to the disturbing picture. It shows an alarming increase in sucide rates, especially among the young population. The reasons are not yet well understood, often the use of social media and cyberbullying are cited, however although intuitive, the results are not conclusive. Mental health is important and currently, apps address the issue mostly without clinical evidence. This is frustrating and needs to change. [≈ 3min]

Closing as always with the quote of the week: «If you zoom out into the future, and you look back, and you ask the question: What was Apple’s greatest contribution to mankind? It will be about health.» Tim Cook CEO of Apple 2019.

Not happy with our selection? Please send us links that you find interesting.

Have a productive week,

Dominik & Min-Sung