Do We Need a Better Term for Digital Health?

A Medtech Design Summit panelist’s opposition to the term ‘digital health’ inspired News Editor Amanda Pedersen to ponder the broad-reaching phrase in this Medtech Unfiltered video.

Amanda Pedersen

May 19, 2021

Of all the awesome takeaways that came out of the Medtech Design Summit 2021 (now available on-demand), the one I'm still thinking about almost a week later has to do with the term "digital health."

"I'm not a huge fan of the term ... digital health, to me, sounds so benign and mechanical," said Mary Kay Smith, director of the Michigain State University Learning and Assessment Center, and a juror for this year's Medical Design Excellence Awards program. "I like to think of it as being augmented monitoring, more supportive in nature ... the reality is it's here, and it's here to stay. The terminology we use for it, I think, is probably up for a discussion."

Is Smith right? Do we need a better term for this rapidly-evolving space that seems to encompass everything from mobile health apps (or mHealth) and telemedicne platforms to AI-powered clinical decision support tools and remote monitoring systems? This was on my mind during today's Medtech Unfiltered live stream.

digital health

Also on my mind was inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) as today is World IBD Day. While there are some truly game-changing technologies in the pipeline for IBD, many unmet needs in this area remain. Researchers and companies developing technology intended to address IBD are encouraged to check out IBD Ventures, a funding mechanism through the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation.

Medtech Unfiltered streams live on our Facebook page every Wednesday at 11 a.m. Eastern Time.

About the Author(s)

Amanda Pedersen

Amanda Pedersen is a veteran journalist and award-winning columnist with a passion for helping medical device professionals connect the dots between the medtech news of the day and the bigger picture. She has been covering the medtech industry since 2006.

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