We are told that we should exercise and eat right in order to be healthy. We are told that wearable Health Tech devices and mobile apps can help us track our activity and help us change our behaviors. It just makes sense, right? But does it really make a difference? According to the Mayo Clinic, the evidence shows that yes, these digital health interventions are actually making a positive difference in the health of patients.
In particular, the researchers looked at the impact of digital health intervention on cardiovascular health. They examined 588 papers published over the past 25 years. The studies included reports involving telemedicine, email and text messages, mobile apps, and data monitoring devices. The result? These approaches reduced the relative risk of cardiovascular disease outcomes by 40%. As the researchers point out, this level of improvement is greater than you get with other common treatments such as statins, aspirin, or beta-blockers. They also noted significant improvements in body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, and LDL cholesterol levels.
With cardiovascular disease responsible for about one out of every three deaths in the United States, and costing more than $200 billion, a 40% improvement could save a lot of lives and a lot of money. The researchers point out that more research needs to be done to understand these benefits, but clearly, digital technology — including wearable Health Tech devices — is already paying big dividends in terms of improved outcomes for patients.