A new WHO Europe study showing the positive effect of digital tools on health workers has been published in The Lancet Digital Health. Digital tools including, but not limited to, telemedicine, and mobile health technologies were found to impact positively health workers’ performance, clinical practice and management, and enhance quality and delivery of, and access to, care.
DigiCare4You is a Horizon-2020 project that aims to improve the early prevention and management of Type 2 diabetes (T2D) and hypertension (HTN) with the support of digital tools. In this context, this new publication contributes to our understanding of the impact of digital tools beyond the perspective of people living with T2D/HTN.
The authors conducted an umbrella review of 132 studies and nine protocols and registries. Their aim was to analyse and corroborate existing evidence on the impact of digital technology solutions on health workers’ performances and competencies, the streamlining of communication between providers, delivery of care, knowledge acquisition, as well as profitability for all tiers of care.
The most commonly found effect was the enhancement of health workers' technical performance, for example, in areas such as delivery of care, clinical management, and patient follow-up. The digital tools were also shown to enhance communication, adherence to clinical protocols, personal skills and competencies, as well as mental health outcomes for health workers. The study also showed an association between mobile health technologies and improvements in care delivery, access to care and quicker responses to health-related issues or emergencies.
“Enhanced overall quality and delivery of, and access to, care is expected to translate into enhanced care for citizens. This supports the need for more work into the impact of digital tools on the management of chronic diseases, such as that being conducted by DigiCare4You on the prevention and management of Type 2 diabetes and hypertension”, said Yannis Manios, DigiCare4You Coordinator.
 Borges do Nascimento, Israel Júnior, Hebatullah Mohamed Abdulazeem, Lenny Thinagaran Vasanthan, Edson Zangiacomi Martinez, Miriane Lucindo Zucoloto, Lasse Østengaard, Natasha Azzopardi-Muscat, Tomas Zapata, and David Novillo-Ortiz. “The Global Effect of Digital Health Technologies on Health Workers’ Competencies and Health Workplace: An Umbrella Review of Systematic Reviews and Lexical-Based and Sentence-Based Meta-Analysis.” The Lancet Digital Health 5, no. 8 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1016/s2589-7500(23)00092-4
Read the full article here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2589750023000924