An independent study commissioned by Eastern Academic Health Science Network highlights benefits of Little Journey app to patients and hospitals. At...
British Medical Journal lists Little Journey as trusted health app for families
We are really pleased to be listed as an example of a trusted health app that paediatricians could safely recommend to families in this recent British Medical Journal article advocating the need for a digitally ready workforce
Digital technology and innovation have fundamentally reshaped modern life. Within the healthcare arena, advances in digital technology continue to result in new possibilities across virtually all aspects of healthcare – from general wellness to disease prevention, diagnosis and management.
What is Digital Healthcare?
The term digital healthcare means using technology, including computing platforms, connectivity, software, and sensors, for health uses. It encompasses a wide range of categories including mobile health, health information technology, artificial intelligence, wearable devices, and telemedicine, all serving to enhance the delivery of healthcare.
A Digital Healthcare “revolution”
The digital health market, valued at over 141.8billion USD in 2020, is estimated to grow at over 17.4% between 2021 and 2027 . The recent surge in the development of digital health tech platforms has, in part, been driven by the COVID-19 pandemic - a transformational period highlighting the role that technology can play in nearly all facets of life. However, even prior to 2019, governing bodies and healthcare organisations across the world were recognising the value in driving forward digital transformation. In the UK the NHS Long Term Plan set out its priority for digitally-enabled care to go mainstream across the NHS ; in the US the FDA’s Center for Device and Radiological Health (CDRH) established the Digital Health Center of Excellence to advance digital healthcare. The role that digital health serves is likely to increase as successive generations become more digitally enabled; today’s children are already viewed as “digital natives” with most exposed to digital technology throughout their formative years.
Digital healthcare technology benefits patients and healthcare organisations
Digital tools empower both healthcare consumers and service providers; they provide real opportunities to deliver safer, more effective and more personalised care, whilst also enhancing organisational efficiencies and reducing costs. With global smartphone penetration reaching 78.05% in 2020 and growing (by 2025 the share of monthly active smartphone users in the UK is projected to reach 94% of the total population , digital healthcare is uniquely placed to improve access to care and tackle health inequalities caused by regional variations in healthcare provision.
Regulation of Health Apps
The demand (and need) for digital healthcare tools has resulted in a proliferation of Health Apps available. However, as noted in a recent British Medical Journal (BMJ) article , a significant proportion of these are unregulated and not evidence based. It is therefore important that healthcare staff are able identify, and signpost to, apps that are considered safe and trusted. To this end, in the UK the Digital Technology Assessment Criteria (DTAC)  aims to provide confidence for both healthcare staff and patients in these digital tools; whilst the Topol Review 2019  outlined recommendations on preparing the healthcare workforce to deliver this digital future.
Little Journey was honoured to be listed in the recent BMJ article advocating the need for a digitally ready workforce as an example of a trusted health app that paediatricians could safely recommend to families.
The power of digital technology to transform healthcare is vast; however, companies providing digital tools have a moral and ethical duty to be mindful of the those at risk of being left behind: the digitally excluded. Although the number of internet non-users is declining year on year (fewer than 10% of UK adults classified as internet non-users in 2018) exclusion also results from a lack of digital skills; a very real digital divide still exists between those who have access to healthcare technology and those who do not.
Little Journey is committed to reducing the impact of digital exclusion amongst its target population. In 2021 we partnered with NHS England to produce a range of resources including freely accessible online videos and printable leaflets explaining coronavirus and swab testing to children. We are working on making more of our app content available via the web as well as developing non-digital activities and content to support families. In this way, Little Journey aims to support ALL children, all across the world, to better health.
- Global Market Insights, accessed 15.06.22, available at: www.gminsights.com/industry-analysis/digital-health-market
- NHS England long term plan 2018, led by NHS England and NHS improvement. Accessed 15.06.22, available at: www.longtermplan. nhs.uk
- Statista, accessed 15.06.22, available at: www.statista.com/statistics/553707/predicted-smartphone-user-penetration-rate-in-the-united-kingdom-uk
- Holland Brown TM, Bewick M. Digital health education: the need for a digitally ready workforce. Archives of Disease in Childhood - Education and Practice. Published Online First: 13 June 2022. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2021-322022
- Digital technology assessment criteria (DTAC) for health and social care. NHSX version 1 24.09.20.
- The Topol Review. Preparing the healthcare workforce to deliver the digital future. an independent report on behalf of the Secretary of state for health and social care February 2019.
- Office of National Statistics, Accessed 15.06.22, available at: www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/householdcharacteristics/homeinternetandsocialmediausage/articles/exploringtheuksdigitaldivide/2019-03-04
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