The Digital Health Revolution and People with Disabilities: Perspective from the United States.
This article serves as the introduction to this special issue on Mobile Health and Mobile Rehabilitation for People with Disabilities. Social, technological and policy trends are reviewed. Needs, opportunities and challenges for the emerging fields of mobile health (mHealth, aka eHealth) and mobile rehabilitation (mRehab) are discussed. Healthcare in the United States (U.S.) is at a critical juncture characterized by: (1) a growing need for healthcare and rehabilitation services; (2) maturing technological capabilities to support more effective and efficient health services; (3) evolving public policies designed, by turns, to contain cost and support new models of care; and (4) a growing need to ensure acceptance and usability of new health technologies by people with disabilities and chronic conditions, clinicians and health delivery systems. Discussion of demographic and population health data, healthcare service delivery and a public policy primarily focuses on the U.S. However, trends identified (aging populations, growing prevalence of chronic conditions and disability, labor shortages in healthcare) apply to most countries with advanced economies and others. Furthermore, technologies that enable mRehab (wearable sensors, in-home environmental monitors, cloud computing, artificial intelligence) transcend national boundaries. Remote and mobile healthcare delivery is needed and inevitable. Proactive engagement is critical to ensure acceptance and effectiveness for all stakeholders.
Jones, M; DeRuyter, F; Morris, J
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