About this Research Topic
Evidence-based digital health interventions, such as apps, have the potential to increase the performance of delivered services, increase health care quality, save costs, involve users as effective partners of their own health care, and should realize or support Essential Public Health Functions (EPHF). However, thorough implementation and monitoring of evidence-based digital health interventions into health systems is neither well understood nor investigated so far. Failure to deliver a program (e.g., a digital health intervention) as intended can result in failure to achieve the intended intervention effects or even result in adverse intervention effects (e.g., due to lack of acceptance). Besides concrete harm for the user, implementation failure may also result in frustration and demoralization of health care practitioners as well as time loss in health care delivery. Such factors can also impact on the successful implementation of digital health interventions. As an example, this could impede team performance in the delivery of care as users might be interested in incorporating digital health interventions and digital data into their regular treatment and thereby increasing the demand for health care practitioners. To ensure quality and increase the effectiveness of digital interventions, implementation science may provide the necessary repository of ideas and instruments to facilitate the implementation and monitoring of digital health interventions. Implementation science is defined as “the scientific study of methods to promote the systematic uptake of research findings and other evidence-based practices into routine practice, and, hence, to improve the quality and effectiveness of health services”. Therefore, improving the quality and effectiveness of digital health interventions go hand in hand with a major goal of implementation science.
The suggested research topic will focus on the successful and unsuccessful implementation of digital health interventions to support public health goals and to provide theoretical contributions to advance the field of digital public health (e.g., theories, models, or frameworks). Digital health interventions might include but are not limited to apps (e.g., for prevention or health promotion). The overarching aim of each contribution should be to advance the understanding of the implementation of digital health intervention into health care and how their effectiveness can be sustained under “real world” conditions. Following this perspective, the research topic addresses the intersection of implementation science and digital public health. This research topic welcomes theoretical, methodological, original, and review articles as contributions to the topic.
Keywords: digital public health, ehealth, digitilization, implementation science, essential public health functions
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.