New technologies in digital health are emerging rapidly, and terms to describe the new tools are keeping pace. This glossary defines those digital health and healthtech words.
Chatbot: A chatbot is a software program that is designed to have conversations with a person. They can be used in various ways, such as providing customer support, answering frequently asked questions, and educating their human conversation partner. In addition, a growing number of companies in digital health are using them to provide health information and mental health support.
Clinical decision support system (CDSS): Clinical Decision support systems (CDSS), such as this one from avoMD, are computer programs that offer healthcare providers intelligent insight based on the patient’s electronic health record (EHR). The CDSS is designed to improve the clinical workflow for better efficiency and patient outcomes.
Digital health: Digital health is an extremely broad term that covers the use of technology to aid in anything related to healthcare, health and even lifestyle. Digital health technology may be in the form of wearables, mobile health, telemedicine, etc.
e-Prescription: e-Prescriptions are the digital equivalent of taking a written prescription from the doctor to the pharmacy. e-Prescription software programs facilitate the secure digital transfer between healthcare providers and pharmacies.
Electronic health record (EHR): An electronic health record (EHR) is a digital collection of a patient’s health history. It allows for a patient’s medical record to be easily and securely shared between healthcare practitioners if required. It supports healthcare professionals to order investigations, enable proactive monitoring of health and some systems allow communicating directly with patients.
Gamification: Gamification is when game-like activities are used to improve participation and/or adherence to a task. For example, how fitness trackers use leader boards and challenges to encourage healthy habits.
HIPAA: HIPAA, stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. It’s the US Federal law for health data privacy.
Machine learning: Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence (AI) that can learn with the more information it collects over time. For example, it may be able to predict how a patient will respond to a treatment based on how patients with similar profiles have reacted. Spring Health offers a great example of this.
Medtech: MedTech, short for medical technology, refers to any hardware or software used in assessing, diagnosing, or treating patients in a medical setting.
mHealth: mHealth, short for mobile health, is a blanket statement that covers any form of digital health accessible through a mobile app.
Precision medicine: Precision medicine is an approach that provides an alternative to the traditional treatment method of using the most popular options and seeing how they work. Precision medicine looks at the individual, such as their genetics and personal profile, and selects the treatment option shown to be most effective with similar profiles. Tailor Bio is applying precision medicine to cancer treatments.
Point-of-care testing: Point-of-care testing is a type of testing that allows an analysis on-the-spot with the patient. It is an alternative to patient testing that must be sent to a lab for analysis and enables care more quickly in the community. For example, the FebriDx finger prick device can identify within 10 minutes if an infection is bacterial or viral.
Remote monitoring: Remote monitoring technologies allow patients to be monitored through locally installed devices that can be accessed remotely through a connected IT system. For example, software that allows doctors to monitor implanted cardiac devices.
Telemedicine: Telemedicine is a broad term involving healthcare services application through telecommunication tools. Many healthcare practitioners, from therapists to specialists, can communicate with patients through text, phone, or video calls.
Wearable tech: Wearable tech, also known as “wearables,” are electronic devices that can be worn on the body either directly or attached to clothes.