Open Digital Health – accelerating transparent and scalable health promotion and treatment

Digital health tools, defined here as the use of technology solutions (e.g., computers, phones, wearables, virtual reality) to deliver health interventions, are increasingly used to promote health and well-being across different populations and settings (World Health Organization, 2018). Digital health tools can improve disease prevention and healthcare delivery (Auerbach, 2019). The increasing popularity of mobile and wearable devices adds to their potential to deliver effective health promotion interventions and support health behavior change (Arigo et al., 2019; Burchartz et al., 2020). The potential of digital health tools to revolutionize health promotion and healthcare delivery is widely recognized by healthcare providers across the globe, with national and international policy efforts focused on stimulating digital health innovation and regulation (e.g., the EU’s eHealth policies, the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s Evidence Standard Framework for Digital Health Technologies). The increased use of digital health tools has been particularly notable during the COVID-19 pandemic (Scott et al., 2020), characterized by limited in-person or physical healthcare interactions. The pandemic has further emphasized the urgency of a digital health revolution, with digital health tools acting as potentially powerful means to alleviate pressure on existing health and social care systems (Fagherazzi et al., 2020; Gunasekeran et al., 2021). However, the COVID-19 pandemic has also further emphasized issues of health equity in general (Lyles et al., 2021), and digital health equity in particular (Crawford & Serhal, 2020)