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Personalized Digital Health and their Impact on Users

Healthcare sector faces multi-layered challenges when it comes to evidence-based, long-term, and personalized Point-of-Care healthcare. As witnessed in the precedent years, health is consumed through mobile health apps, blogs, and online forums, which is not necessarily connected to existing hospital systems. The significance of evidence-based health care delivery at a point-of-care, that is, patients who are not necessarily within hospital facilities has drawn attention and concern in recent years. Health consumers, in general, demand more personalized relationship with their provider and healthcare system than ever before, especially when chronic conditions are present. Medical knowledge, online forums, and self-standing mobile health applications for patient disease management became a household reality for modern age families. There is a demand for a robust personalized medicine healthcare technologies.

Personalized medicine is the tailoring of medical treatment and therapies for the characteristics of a specific patient. The approach relies on scientific breakthroughs in our comprehension of how a person’s epigenetic profile can help in increasing the probability of a successful treatment plan or diagnosis. Moreover, it enables the healthcare sector to predict which medical treatment will be safe and effective and which will cause harm in the future.

 Personalized medicine impacts patient care in many diseases such as breast cancer cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and diabetes. Consequently, personalized medicine is having a rapid impact on how drugs are administered and developed, and how health care delivery is channeling its resources to maximizing patient benefits. Given the impeccable promise of personalized medicine, the ecosystem of stakeholders is rapidly growing so to advance the personalized medicine field and its integration in clinical care.

 Personalized medicine is a multifaceted process which incorporated “risk assessment” to unraveling genetic testing to reveal predisposition to disease, “prevention” which assesses behavior/lifestyle to prevent disease, “detection” where the examination in a molecular level helps in detecting the disease early, “diagnosis” where personalized medicine can enable individual treatment strategy by a more accurate disease diagnosis, “treatment” where outcomes are improved due to targeted treatments and reduced side effects, and lastly “management” is where active monitoring of treatment response and disease progression are enabled.

 On the other hand, there is an emerging new era of mobile health technologies that are shaping how healthcare is administered within and without the healthcare facilities. One of the most prominent technologies is mobile health (mHealth) systems. mHealth can be defined as a mobile computing, medical sensor, and communication technologies for healthcare. As Global Observatory for eHealth of the World Health Organization defines mHealth as a “medical and public health practice supported by mobile devices, such as mobile phones, patient monitoring devices, personal digital assistants, and other wireless devices.” Despite these definitions, there is no universal definition as to what Mobile Health stands for as of yet.

It is considered to be a good solution for collecting, providing, and connecting a diverse amount of information on patient health and vital status to medical providers and extended caregivers. Patients, on the other hand, are able to decrease their direct and indirect healthcare costs by lessening the frequency of healthcare clinic visits, hospitalization, and commuting to and from a healthcare facility. mHealth is especially beneficial for patients who reside in rural areas and are not enable to have a faster access to healthcare consultations.

 Despite the promise of growth and prospective impact, mHealth faces challenges that sprout on the lack of a robust clarification of its scope of the definition. There is a difficulty in differentiating whether devices used in mHealth implementation are considered as medical devices or wellness products. It is also confusing as to what is a clear divide between medical mHealth systems and other health monitoring systems.

 Given both personalized medicine and mobile health systems are of a pioneering segment of healthcare advancement. This literature review aims to explore the existence, affinities, and outcomes of the merge of both of these fields for an improved healthcare delivery. The research question to be investigated by this article is “which form of technology (internet of things, mobile applications, web platforms, and wearables) health consumers are open to engaging with or are currently using in their daily healthcare management by which can be categorized as a mobile-based personalized medicine”.

*Read the Full Systematic Review ~ available upon Request*

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