Things to know about Digital Health and E-Health

Opportunities are accompanied by challenges, and while many digital health technologies and applications are popular, e-health technologies are overshadowed. But what distinguishes Digital Health from E-Health? What are the goals of both and how does the U. S. Food and Drug Administration support Digital Health?

Many established providers such as insurance companies, hospitals, doctors and medical technology manufacturers are jumping on the “Digital Health Train”. The entrepreneurial courage and innovative strength of many companies, including start-ups, gives rise to hopes that Digital Health will improve health care.


Electronic Health is a collective term for the use of digital technologies in healthcare. This is usually understood to mean information and communication technologies, applications and services which, for example in hospitals and doctors’ practices, are used for diagnosis, treatment and administration and thus enable electronic cooperation in the health sector.

Typical e-health technologies and products are:


  • Electronic health record
  • Health portals and online pharmacies
  • Electronically supported disease and knowledge management (Clinic Decision Support Systems)

Digital Health

Digital Health is made up of different areas. It connects health, life and society with digital technologies and encompasses health care in a broad sense. This includes, inter alia, the evaluation and monitoring of health technologies for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, patient monitoring, rehabilitation or long-term care.

Essentially, hardware, sensor technologies, social networks and the Internet, mobile networks and microprocessors make digital health possible.

Digital health products or services are for example:


  • Apps that can belittle the dosage of a medication from a movement pattern
  • Software that detects and slows down degenerative changes caused by the behavior of a patient during computer games, or
  • be able to diagnose forms of depressive illness

Objectives of Digital Health and E-Health

Digital Health is using the new technological possibilities and is aiming even stronger than e-health at


  • holistic health management
  • the prediction and prevention of physical and mental illnesses
  • the strengthening of personal responsibility and changes in behaviour, and
  • the creation of new offers also in the private area of life (sport, wellness)


On the other hand, Digital Health focuses less on increasing the efficiency of existing offers from established providers than e-health. The main objective of e-health is to improve the efficiency, quality and safety of health care.

US agency wants to support Digital Health

The “Food and Drug Administration”, commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb describes in an official press release, how the US authority intends to promote innovation in the field of digital health. He emphasizes how important this is for medical progress and how much his authority wants to make its contribution.


An example of this is the Software Pre-certification Pilot Program. The planned “Center of Excellence for Digital Health”, will also help to achieve this goal. The aim of this center is to bundle the authority’s competencies in the areas of software, regulation and cybersecurity. The “Digital Health Innovation Action Plan”, summarises these (planned) activities, which also include new “Guidance Documents”.

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