World Heart Federation publishes new position paper on digital health

A message from the World Heart Federation (WHF)

Dear Friends
As we look back on 2020 we can observe that, in less than one year, we have transitioned into a new era of healthcare delivery, supported by telemedicine, mHealth, big data and artificial intelligence solutions. Digital health is no longer an abstract concept but a lifeline for people living with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and for the overstretched workforce that cares for them amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among NCDs, circulatory diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and chronic kidney disease (CKD) remain the leading causes of mortality and disability globally. Changing this sobering reality - as well as contributing to achieving target 3.4 of the Sustainable Development Goals - will require leveraging digital health tools to prevent, diagnose and manage cardiovascular and other circulatory diseases.

The new WHF position paper – The Case for the Digital Transformation of Circulatory Health – explores how digital innovation can improve healthcare for people with circulatory diseases and supports policymakers to leverage technology through five recommendations:
1. Investing in end users: building the digital capacity of the health workforce.
2. Serving end users: building the digital literacy of patients, their families and communities.
3. Protecting end users: establishing regulations and protocols for patient privacy & safety.
4. Ensuring sustainable financing mechanisms for digital health: establishing infrastructure and prioritizing funding.
5. Supporting research on digital health: setting priorities that address digital health inequalities.

Finally, watch this video testimonial from Argentinian cardiologist and WHF Emerging Leader Lucrecia Burgos to find out how telemedicine transformed the way she both gives and receives care in a time of adversity.