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Digital Health Tools for Managing Noncommunicable Diseases During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic

The article “Digital Health Tools for Managing Noncommunicable Diseases During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic: Perspectives of Patients and Caregivers” is now published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

Pain Alliance Europe (PAE), is happy to have contributed to this article through our President Joop van Griensven and PAE board member Mariano Votta (ACN) who are members of the Patients’ Advisory Board on ‘Healthy Ageing and improving Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) Outcomes.’ The aims of this Advisory Board, include identifying barriers and challenges to NCD diagnosis, care, and management for patients and caregivers in the post-COVID-19 era and deliberating on the enhanced role of digital tools for improving patient outcomes.

Since that the reduction in the number of face-to-face medical examinations conducted for patients with noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to health care professionals quickly adopting different strategies to communicate with and monitor their patients. These strategies include the increased use of digital health tools. However, patient preferences, privacy concerns, a lack of regulations, over-regulation, and insufficient evidence on the efficacy of digital health tools may have hampered the potential positive benefits of using such tools to manage NCDs.

The viewpoint of this article aims to discuss the views of the advisory board comprised of patient and caregiver association members, and, specifically, the article presents this advisory board’s view on the role of digital health tools in managing patients with NCDs during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, and identifies future directions based on patients’ perspectives.

The PAE 2020 survey on e-health and m-health, which collected data from 1789 patients with chronic pain from 28 European countries, was one of the sources used in this article. The responses to the survey showed that 46.28% of individuals did not use eHealth or mHealth services, and the main reason that patients did not use eHealth or mHealth services was that they did not know about them (54.17%).

To read the article on “Digital Health Tools for Managing Noncommunicable Diseases During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic: Perspectives of Patients and Caregivers”, please click here.

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