Issues in Equity, Cost-Effectiveness and Utilisation Relating to Digital Health

Healthcare & Life Sciences | Global Legal Group, March 3, 2020 (Reprint)

May 12, 2020

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In this ICLG Digital Health 2020 edition article, the Center for Healthcare Economics and Policy explores the digital health issues related to cost-effectiveness and value, the overall impact on healthcare utilisation, and equity concerns.

This is an extract from Global Legal Group’s Digital Health 2020, first published March, 3 2020. The whole publication is available at

“Digital health offers tremendous promise, with much potential to increase access to care, quality of care, and to transform the efficiency of care delivery. Telehealth can be used to improve health literacy which can lead to improved health outcomes and reduce some of the disparities that currently exist in healthcare delivery. Patients in geographically remote locations can benefit from using telehealth to connect with healthcare providers they would otherwise require lengthy travel to see. Even in urban areas where provider scarcity is not an issue, patients can benefit from reduced wait times and ease of access.

However, uptake and the full potential of telehealth will not be realised until stakeholders are able to address the important issues of equity, cost-effectiveness and use. Concerns about data used in machine learning may make users weary about the risk they face in relying on AI too heavily in the healthcare domain. The user interface and communication design may lead to disparities in use and limit the effectiveness of these technologies. Payers will be hesitant to cover services and associated technology if questions regarding the effectiveness go unanswered. If payers, providers, and regulators worry that digitized healthcare will be used to cherry-pick patients, use will be suppressed.”

© Published and reproduced with kind permission by Global Legal Group Ltd, London

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