Digital Health Revolution Arrives At A Time When The U.S. Population Is Getting Older, Sicker And Fatter

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By Afza Fathima | July 9, 2014 10:55 AM EST

Digital health revolution arrives at a time when the United States population is getting older, sicker and sedentary. The financial strains on an economy grow as the number of people affected by chronic condition increases. 

Reuters
Omega Pharma Team provided technical support vehicles during Tour de France July 8, 2014

New digital health tools are coming up in the market that will give the patients a cost effective option of being monitored and also in turn helping them improve their health habits. Devices which track the number of hours we sleep and the number of steps we take in a day have proved to be the most successful so far, in the revolution of digital health. Newer technologies are being developed by many entrepreneurs to help in improving one's lifestyle and health habits and these devices could act as a breakthrough to help the health conditions of not just the U.S. population but of those people all around the world. 

Boomers, those born between the years 1946 and 1964, are considered less healthy than those born before them. A study in the 2013 JAMA Internal Medicine showed that boomers have higher rated of chronic diseases than of those who were born earlier. The highest number of people in the Boomer age group are affected by obesity with 38.7 per cent suffering from it, compared to the 29.4 per cent of obese people born before them. The boomers also seemed to have higher numbers of those affected by hypertension, diabetes and hypercholesterolemia.

Half of the Boomers said that they were not engaged in regular physical activities. The study also reflected that only 35 per cent when compared to the 49.9 per cent of the previous generation, exercise more than twelve times a month. It has been forecasted that the number of Boomers suffering from multiple chronic diseases will quadruple in the next sixteen years. The cost for treating patients with multiple chronic diseases is times that of treating those with a single condition.

Many digital health products in the market can help improve healthcare keeping in mind the financial restrains of the patients. A few of the products that can help patients are tracking of activity and nutrition by an app called MyFitnessPal, using services like Doctor on Demand or Teladoc to reduce costs and tools designed by Change Healthcare, Castlight Health and ClearCost Health to provide cost transparency. 

On July 4, Global Health Network launched Global Health Research Process Map, a digital toolkit that will help researchers conduct global health research. This comes at a time when researching various chronic diseases and finding ways to help the patients is of utmost importance. This toolkit was created to tackle the problems of science and global health. 

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(Photo: Reuters / Jean-Paul Pelissier)
Omega Pharma Team provided technical support vehicles during Tour de France July 8, 2014
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