What is Open Digital health?
The Open Digital Health is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to encourage health scientists, practitioners, and technology developers to share evidence-based digital health tools. We are creating a searchable database of descriptions of evidence-based tools, apps, websites, devices, to allow digital health to grow faster, be cheaper and more transparent across the countries. Sharing digital health tools will provide opportunities for faster breakthroughs in the digital health field.
We want to move health science forward by advancing the progress of evidence-based digital health technologies.
To make digital health open, scalable and accessible for all.
A story about evidence-based tools that die too early...
Here is a story (and you may have heard a very similar one before): A group of researchers in the UK gets a funding grant to develop an app. Their aim is to promote physical activity in older people. They outsource a company to code the app. They review literature, design the app and test it with potential users. They run a study with 150 people who use the app and with 150 who do not, and they show that this app was effective in promoting short-term physical activity. After a year, they publish an article and they put the app aside. The app does not get much publicity or downloads, does not get updated and dies after the funding period. Sad times. But, does this sound familiar?
An alternative ending: Open, Transparent and Shared Digital Health
And here is an alternative ending to the story you just heard: The same group of researchers is keen to share their work. They have the source code for the app, the content and all anonymised user data they’ve gathered. They don’t have time or money to take it forward but they list the descriptions of the app, code, content and data gathered on the Open Digital Health platform where other users can see and make use of it.
A group of researchers in Spain wants to promote physical activity in older people. They browse the Open Digital Health platform and locate the app created by the first group. They get in touch with the authors and ask for the permission to adapt the app considering appropriate licensing. Their request is granted, they translate the app to Spanish, use it with 300 people, get feedback, modify it, test it, and then show that the new app is even more effective than the original version. They publish the results, acknowledge the original authors and list the information about the app back on the Open Digital Health platform together with more information about the new, translated content. Then a group of researchers in Chile finds the app on the platform and the story goes on…