Is 2013 the year of digital health? John Nosta of Ogilvy CommonHealth thinks so. In a piece on Forbes.com earlier this month, he argues that 2013 will be turning point for using digital technologies to manage diseases and wellness. Resulting from a convergence of diverse factors—including new technologies being applied health (e.g., gaming), the rise of the quantified self, pressures created by the Affordable Care Act, the amount of data coming out of electronic health records, and growing patient-caregiver connectivity—digital health will finally hit the mainstream this year.
I happen to agree. In 2011 and 2012, we saw the increasing application of technologies to the health space. These applications tested the waters to see in what ways people will use technologies to track and monitor their health. In 2013, we’ll see the lessons from these years being applied to new technologies. I also think we’ll see some of the more niche tools created in 2012 converge with each other, so that consumers can manage more aspects of their health in an integrated way. 2013 is going to be a big year, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store.
The growth of digital health was evidenced right here on the Social Marketing ExChange. Here’s a list of posts from the last year that discuss digital health:
- Make Mobile Technologies for Behavior Change a Priority in 2013 Nadia Dawson on why mobile technologies should be part of any health behavior change program.
- Doctor prescribed technology? Pediatricians connect with patients on their technology level Ashley Wolos explains how health care professionals are incorporating technology into patient care to go beyond traditional paper materials.
- The Disconnect between Patient Expectations and Physician Actions I explain how digital health can help fill the gap between patient expectations for care, and the care they actually receive.
- Making mHealth a Reality A look at how mobile health offers a potential solution to connect patients with the health care system.
- “Gamifying” Weight Loss and Behavior Change Former Ogilvy staffer Lauren Belisle examines how gaming theory is being applied to weight loss.
- SXSW Interactive: Innovating Health Cait Douglas discusses the health track at SXSW 2012, and why we still have a long way to go to innovating health care.
- Quantified Self: Is self-tracking the future of behavior change? An interview with Ernesto Ramirez of the Center for Wireless and Population Health System on what quantified self means and how it can lead to behavior change.
- The Impact of Social Media in Healthcare A discussion of the trends in social media use for health care.
**Image: Endomondo is just one example of a fitness app that allows users to track their workouts, cheer their friends on, and compete for prizes.**