The role of digital interventions in COPD care

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Many studies have demonstrated that availing Digital-technology-enabled care programs helps in reduction of hospitalizations and mortality in COPD patients. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a severe chronic disease that needs continuous care from the time of hospital admission extending to long-term ongoing self management.

The current review highlights the benefits of digital health interventions in COPD care. It also discussed the gaps and the need for further studies in COPD care.

The review is based on several recent and emerging studies along the pathway of COPD management from in-hospital care, post-discharge care, hospital-at-home, self management. The review also considered several studies on the impacts of environmental factors and public health surveillance, where environmental sensors, satellite images, wearable devices and social media were used.  

Several studies have demonstrated that digital applications can potentially reduce hospitalizations and mortality in COPD patients. Some of the studies demonstrated positive effects on reducing hospitalizations by 20% with the use of telemonitoring. Implementation of these applications is often found difficult. This demands the need for personalization of the service that increases its adaptability both by patients and healthcare professionals. Digital transformation enabled population studies also helps in improving public health surveillance.

The use of AI in the analysis of personalised data that is collected via smartphone sensors and wearable devices is also the current topic of research. It provides new opportunities for early prediction and prevention of COPD exacerbation.

However, clinical evidence for the impact of digital transformation in COPD care, especially for in-hospital and post-discharge care is limited. Therefore, further research is needed to achieve positive and beneficial results through digital transformation in COPD care.


Ding H, Fatehi F, Maiorana A, Bashi N, Hu W, Edwards I. Digital health for COPD care: the current state of play. J Thorac Dis. 2019;11(Suppl 17):S2210–S2220. doi:10.21037/jtd.2019.10.17

Medical Writing Market set to take a leap soon

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A report published by Zion Market Research says that the Global Medical Writing Market is set for Rapid Growth, to reach Value USD 2.95 Billion by 2025. The increasing requirement from healthcare and pharma communication and the growing investigational and regulatory services along with increased R&D expenditures are featured as the major driving factors in the growth of global medical writing market. Among various divisions that influence the market for medical writing, the clinical sector holds the maximum share. Regionally, North America, especially the U.S will be the leading country with highest requirement of medical writers. Europe is expected to be the second key market and Asia Pacific is forecasted to develop with highest growth rate in medical writing.

Source: Zion Market Research

Medical writer’s exceptional role in the success of medtech products

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According to Fitch Solutions, Medical device market is predicted to grow at a rate of 4.9%, with its market value hitting $200 billion in 2023. Medical devices being highly regulated, medical device consultants are greatly valued from their development through launching them in the market. Regulatory documentation, clinical trials and product communication are the key areas, which are increasingly being outsourced to medical writers specialized in those areas. They play a prominent role in the success of the product. A recent report from FlexJobs strengthens the above statement saying that, the industry with the maximum number of remote workers is Health & Medicine.Source: Medgadget

MAOM report forecasts a growth rate of 10.4 % by 2026

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A recent research report on “Medical affairs outsourcing market” (MAOM) anticipates a growth at a rate of 10.4 % by 2026. Transformation in medical education, rising number of clinical trials and rare diseases are among key factors propelling the medical affairs outsourcing market.  MAOM services is inclusive of medical writing and publishing which held the largest share of global market, accounting to about 35.0% in 2018. Big pharma companies are outsourcing their clinical data management to professional medical writing and publishing services. Increase in diverse pharmacy products being launched has led to an increase in demand for professional medical writers.

Source: Grand View Research, Inc

Rise of digital therapeutics to transform healthcare

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The rapid growth in IT technology is leading to the development of new type of medicine known as the digital therapeutics that may change the way the patient is treated. With an ‘OK’ from the Global health regulators, digital therapies have already proved to be efficient in treating neuropsychiatric disorders and drug addictions that were challenging to conventional treatments. According to the Biotech Policy Research Center, the market for digital therapeutics in the U.S. is expected to grow from $850 million in 2017 to $4.42 billion in 2023.  Various companies are gearing up to explore the field of digital therapeutics to deal with unmet medical needs.

Source: Korea Biomedical Review

Social media promotes engaging health campaigns: A study of Fitbit and Garmin

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Social media delivers engaging health messages using different creative elements, inspirational images, and focus a new product.

Edney S and team has conducted a study to examine the social media activity of commercially available wearable activity tracker brands. This study aimed to understand which creative elements they use to communicate with their audience, which social media platforms and which creative elements attracts the most engagement from users.

It was a cross-disciplinary study, which analyzed the social media posts (n=509) of wearable activity trackers brands, Fitbit and Garmin in Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. They coded the posts for the presence of creative elements for a period of three months. The total number of likes, comments, or shares for each post were recorded to determine user engagement. Creative elements that attracted most engagement was analyzed using negative binomial regression.

The study revealed that Instagram attracted 30-200 times higher engagement of users than Facebook, or Twitter. Different creative elements were used in each social website to prompt engagement. Posts featuring the product image, highlighting new product features and with themes of self-improvement (P<.01) demonstrated higher engagement.

The study concluded that Instagram demonstrates a successful platform for delivering engaging health messages. Inspirational images and focus on a tangible product achieves the highest engagement. Different creative elements used were likely to reflect differences in their target markets. 


Edney S, Bogomolova S, Ryan J, Olds T, Sanders I, Maher C. Creating Engaging Health Promotion Campaigns on Social Media: Observations and Lessons From Fitbit and Garmin. J Med Internet Res. 2018; 20(12):e10911. Published 2018 Dec 10.

Predictions for 2020 on digital health

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The integrated care systems are going to rule in 2020. The programs from GPConnect and Generic FHIR are supporting continuity of care and helping staff to work more efficiently. So, we already have the structured data that is being exchanged between suppliers under international standards. This is a basic and important step from which we need to move forward to keep up the interoperability momentum. In this year IT sector could be driven by maintaining the records and workflows across care economies, integrating health and social care, and using population health to provide the insights required to unveil the transformation.

Source: Digital Health

Impact of adaptive e-learning in health professionals and students: A systematic review and meta-analysis

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Adaptive e-learning environment improves skills in health professionals and students.

Fontaine M and team has conducted a study to systematically identify, appraise and synthesise the evidence regarding the efficacy of adaptive e-learning environments (AEEs) in improving knowledge, skills and clinical behavior in health professionals and students.

It was a first systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the efficacy of AEEs in health professionals and students. The study included the controlled studies or primary research articles reporting the assessment of an AEE with health professionals, students, trainees and residents in any discipline. Two authors screened studies, extracted data, assessed risk of bias and coded quality of evidence independently. They reviewed AEEs with regard to their topic, theoretical framework and adaptivity process. Using random effects model, effect sizes (ES) were pooled up.

From a pool of 10,569 articles, 21 studies were included enrolling 3684 health professionals and students. Out of 21 studies, 17 of which assessed an AEE versus another educational intervention (large-group classroom instruction, Non-adaptive e-learning environments (NEE) or paper-based learning), and 4 of which assessed 2 AEEs with design variations head-to-head. Clinical topics were related to diagnostic testing, theoretical frameworks were varied and the adaptivity process included five subdomains, such as method, goals, timing, factors and types. The study revealed that the pooled ES for knowledge was 0.70 (95% CI −0.08 to 1.49; p.08) and for skills, it was 1.19 (95% CI 0.59 to 1.79; p<0.00001). There was high risk of bias and heterogeneity was also large.

The study concluded that AEEs are more effective in improving skills in health professionals and students. The adapt

ivity process within AEEs may be more beneficial for learning skills rather than factual knowledge.


Fontaine G, Cossette S, Maheu-Cadotte M, et al. Efficacy of adaptive e-learning for health professionals and students: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ Open 2019; 9:e025252.

Social media-The new era of maintaining transparency in evidence-based practice

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Social media could be a valuable tool for spreading evidence-based information to the target audience. Additionally, it can be a great solution to improve the interaction between individuals, institutions, and countries.

Amy Keir and the team has conducted a study to determine the use of social media platforms, such as Twitter and other online platforms in disseminating information about the new research and develop evidence-based medicine resource.

The study was formalized when the neonatologists and paediatric emergency physician used the social media tools to spread new research findings met at the Paediatric Academic Societies meeting in 2019, in Toronto. The hashtag #neoEBM was a way to spread and track the evidence-based neonatology content. To strengthen the group further links were also built through which the information was sent.

Two months after the formation of #neoEBM, about 1925 posts appeared from 502 users. Based on the study results, the use of social media to disseminate evidence-based healthcare information represents one of the important tools. However, broader engagement, collaboration, coordination, and guidance are required for effective dissemination strategies.

The study concludes that social media can be a valuable tool for disseminating knowledge around evidence-based healthcare, including new research findings.


Keir A, Bamat N, Patel RM, Elkhateeb O, Roland D. Utilising social media to educate and inform healthcare professionals, policy-makers and the broader community in evidence-based healthcare. BMJ Evid Based Med. 2019 Jun; 24(3):87-89.

Digital health ecosystem to be benefited from the new innovations implemented by the AMA.

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The growth of the digital health ecosystem has enhanced patient care, patient experience, and reduced the overall health cost. But due to the rapid growth and evolution of the digital healthcare system, physicians, patients, and health system administrators are facing difficulty in navigating potential solutions to addresses multifaceted problems. To overcome these problems, the American Medical Association has created its Physician Innovation Network (PIN), which connects everyone involved in the healthcare team. According to the AMA guidelines engaging early, obtaining diverse perspectives, and respecting the efforts of the physician are some key points that are introduced based on the interaction with the physicians and innovators involved in the PIN.

Source: Harvard Business Review