The evolving field of digital health is progressing rapidly. Evidence-based information is crucial with so many health tech interventions entering the market. Journals that study developments in digital health are ideal for following changes in this emerging area of health care.
The importance of applying technological advances to health care has never been more evident than during the last two years. Digital health solutions, such as telemedicine, provide more accessibility, precision, and affordability than many traditional alternatives. Much of these developments have been led by fast-moving start-ups that can take solutions from idea to implementation in a matter of months. This far outpaces the evidence that academic studies can provide, resulting in uncertainty over the benefits, or potential harm, these changes offer.
One of the best ways to stay up-to-date on digital health advances in technology and research is by following digital health academic journals. Here are the top four publications:
The Lancet Digital Health
Founded in 1823 as an independent medical journal, The Lancet is one of the best-known and trusted journals for global medical news. It has evolved into a family of journals covering a variety of medical fields, with all publications peer-reviewed and highly selective.
The Lancet Digital Health focuses on innovative, industry-changing developments and breakthroughs that provide vital information for the quickly moving area of health care.
Publication Example: Volume 4, Issue 7
Identifying adverse childhood experiences with electronic health records of linked mothers and children in England: a multistage development and validation study
Precise and efficient indicators for adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) would offer providers more opportunities to monitor and intervene as needed. Researchers in England gathered data from 2002-2018 to develop indicators based on mother and child data available in electronic health records (EHRs). 63 indicators across 6 ACE domains were assessed including maternal substance misuse, adverse family environments, and maternal mental health problems.
You can read the full article here.
npj Digital Medicine (Nature Partner Journals)
The npj series by Nature Portfolio was launched in 2014 to publish open-access, high-quality research. The online-only titles provide the global medical community with peer-reviewed and original research. The journal covers various subjects across the field of digital health to aid in transforming healthcare as digital solutions evolve.
Publication Example: npj Digital Medicine volume 5, Article number: 103
Age estimation from sleep studies using deep learning predicts life expectancy
An increase in sleep disturbances, a normal part of ageing, is a predictor of mortality. Sleep clinics evaluate patients using a nocturnal polysomnography (PSG) test, which records multiple physiological signals. However, much of the data goes unused in favour of a few limited metrics assessed manually for specific sleep disorders.
One deep learning assessment available with PSGs that incorporate much of the available data is the subject’s age estimate (AE). As the actual age is readily available, looking at the age estimate error (AEE) may provide valuable insight into the subject’s life expectancy.
Read the full article here.
Digital Health – Sage Journals
Publication Example: #DomesticViolence During the COVID-19 Global Pandemic: An Analysis of Public Commentary via Twitter
Intimate partner violence (IPV), which may include verbal, physical, and sexual abuse, is a serious issue facing public health. Early in the pandemic, researchers raised concern that changes in stress levels and movement-related restrictions could increase the risk for IPV.
This study analysed 481 tweets from a short duration at the start of the pandemic, from March 22 to March 27, 2020. It looked at four themes and found patterns that indicated an increase in the use of Twitter to raise awareness of IPV and available resources.
Read more about the results and future research recommendations here.
The International Society of Digital Medicine (ISDM), established in 2016, is dedicated to international collaboration in digital health advancements. One of the ways they are accomplishing this is with their online, peer-reviewed publication. The journal, Digital Medicine, is open-access and requires no submission charges.
Digital Medicine covers various areas relating to digital health, including social, ethical, health, informatics, engineering, and more.
Publication Example: Volume: 8, Issue : 1
Cognitive rehabilitation via head-mounted virtual reality technology in patients with Alzheimer’s disease: A systematic review
Virtual Reality (VR) has been widely used for numerous health applications, such as this VR game for stroke rehabilitation. Clinical research has widely supported the utilisation of VR for several therapeutic applications. However, it remains unclear how effective it may be when used with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients.
This systematic review looks at 11 studies published in the last five years to better understand if and how the application of VR could benefit AD patients.
Read more about the review here.
Digital Health journals can improve the development of digital solutions
The importance of online digital health journals in developing new technology cannot be overstated. Trusted digital health journals, such as the four featured in this article, provide opportunities for global collaboration in the field. They enable access to peer-reviewed insights quickly for clinicians, developers, and other researchers to apply to digital solutions. Globally, advancements in digital health increase the accessibility and accuracy of health care at an impressive pace. These digital health journals are doing their part to ensure the most up-to-date industry knowledge can be applied.
“It’s true to say that all clinicians will have read some clinical research at some point in their work. Its importance cannot be understated in many other fields of work too. Daily, the decisions made by doctors and healthcare professionals are underpinned by research and evidence-based practice.
As digital tools are now increasingly interventional or changing health outcomes, it follows that they too should undergo research or validation on their effectiveness. Something recent guests on 15 Minutes With The Doctor have discussed on numerous occasions. Things to consider are: safety and effectiveness, the patient journey and experience, and also accuracy or precision if thinking specifically about diagnostic tools”
– Dr Vinay Shankar