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J Public Health Policy. 2016 Nov;37(Suppl 2):232-248.

Digital technologies for population health and health equity gains: the perspective of public health associations.

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World Federation of Public Health Associations, Geneva, Switzerland.
Bramalea Community Health Centre, Brampton, ON, Canada.
Interfaculty Program in Public Health, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University, London, ON, Canada.


Digital technology (DT) plays an increasingly important role in the health sector. This study explores how national public health associations (PHAs) use DT to achieve their mandate. The World Federation of Public Health Associations canvassed and conducted a semi-structured interview with its national public health association members about their use of DT, the challenges they encounter in using it, and their experiences and thoughts as to how to assess its impact, both organizationally as well as on population health and health equity. The study found that digital technology plays an important role in some PHAs, principally those in higher income countries. PHAs want to broaden their use within PHAs and to assess how DT enables PHAs to achieve their organizational mandates and goals, including improved public health and health equity.


digital technology; health equity; mHealth; population health; public health associations; social media

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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