The Digital Health Evidence Review 2019 report aims to identify, categorize, and summarize all existing, relevant studies in digital health. Through this report, we want to establish a clear understanding of the existing body of clinical evidence for digital health, its maturity, current gaps, and needs.
While the evidence is important and irreplaceable, evidence always requires interpretation and cannot stand alone. Evidence can never dictate the optimal course of action, it should always be considered in the context of values and preferences.
In general, a proportional alignment between global NCD burden and the volume of publication of digital health studies was not found.
Imaging, Genetics, and Mental Health emerged as the top fields of digital health studies across the top ten publishers by volume. The top publishers were those that occupy the space at the intersection of computer science, engineering, and medical fields.
More RCTs were identified than anticipated. Using only RCTs as a benchmark for quality evidence in digital health will limit knowledge of which interventions actually work best in practice.
In terms of geographic spread, the US and Europe emerged as the most active in evidence generation.
No clear correlation between the top 5 funded digital health startups and the generation of (published) evidence could be identified. As a result, there are many unanswered questions in terms of whether the right channels are being invested in while developing digital health solutions.
A number of anomalies and aberrations were found.
As a general rule of thumb, riskier products in riskier disease areas should have higher evidence thresholds. This was not necessarily true from the report dataset.
A number of solutions that play in the D2C space do not necessarily warrant clinical validation, and this was evident when D2C digital health companies and their products were assessed.
You would assume that rare diseases will not be investigated as much. Conditions/ diseases that are rare, and have expensive or ineffective pharmacological interventions seem to present a market opportunity for digital interventions, as evidenced by a high return of studies in those areas (Neurology, for eg).
SECTION 1 - Introduction
- Why Care About Evidence?
- Study Data and Methodology
SECTION 2 - Digital Health Publications addressing Global Disease Burden
- Global Disease Burden - Mortality and Morbidity
- Digital Health Publications by Global Burden of Disease
- Digital Health Publications by Type of Study
SECTION 3 - Innovation Hotspots
- Geographical hotspots
- Academic Centers
- Most Active Publishers
SECTION 4 - Digital Health Startups - Funding vs Evidence
- Cardiovascular Companies
- Mental Health and SUD Companies
SECTION 5 - A Final Thought