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How Digital Health Can Improve Public Health
Wearable health devices. Health information systems. Telehealth. Mobile health apps. Digital technologies are transforming the way we approach health and wellness around the world. Digital health—the use of technology to improve individuals’ health and wellness—continues to evolve, and public health professionals are examining the best ways to use technologies to enhance health education programs and public health around the world.
How Can Digital Health Improve Public Health Programs?
Recognizing the growing impact of digital technology on public health programs, the World Health Organization released its first-ever guidelines for how health professionals can use digital tools to improve public health and health education programs, increase access to health services, and promote better health in all parts of the world.
“Harnessing the power of digital technologies is essential for achieving universal health coverage,” said World Health Organization director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a news release. “Ultimately, digital technologies are not ends in themselves; they are vital tools to promote health, keep the world safe, and serve the vulnerable.”
Here are some key ways countries should use digital technologies to improve public health programs and promote better health, according to the World Health Organization’s “Recommendations on Digital Interventions for Health System Strengthening”:1
- Manage health commodities and identify gaps. For example, one way to improve availability of health services in communities is for health workers to use digital technologies to better track and stock health products and supplies, resulting in a more responsive supply chain.
- Provide telehealth and telemedicine services so clients and health workers can communicate and consult on health issues from different parts of the world.
- Track client health status and services and target communication to clients on health issues. Examples include sending appointment reminders and education materials to pregnant women during maternity care and following up with parents about returning for a child’s vaccinations.
- Give health workers point-of-care access to digital tools on mobile devices that support quick and informed decisions about diagnosis and treatment.
- Deliver training and education materials to health professionals electronically.
These are just some of the ways digital health can help countries tackle health systems challenges in communities. These tools not only empower clients and health workers with important information and communication tools, they also provide public health professionals with the rich data and insights to better meet the world’s health needs.
Learn the Latest Strategies for Improving World Health
There’s no question that digital health will play an increasingly important role in the jobs of public health professionals and health educators. If you want to make sure you’re ready, consider advancing your college education by earning a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree or a master’s in health education and promotion online.
The best online MPH programs and master’s in health education and promotion programs offer classes that prepare you to address local, national, and world health challenges using the latest strategies and tools, including digital technologies. In your search for a good college that offers an online master’s degree program in public health or health education, look for a school that offers a flexible, interactive online learning format and rigorous courses designed to help you develop the job-ready skills and technical knowledge needed to tackle the public health issues facing professionals today.
Walden University, an accredited institution, offers two online master’s degree programs for careers in public health or health education: the Master of Public Health and the MS in Health Education and Promotion. The Master of Public Health degree program prepares you to improve the health of communities around the world and deal with health disparities within a wide range of settings. In the online master’s in health education and promotion, you’ll learn to build and implement programs that educate the public on health issues, with a focus on prevention and communication.
Walden’s online master’s degree programs are great options if you want a career promoting health and building public health programs that can make an impact.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering Master of Public Health (MPH) and MS in Health Education and Promotion degree programs online. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.
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