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BJPsych Open. 2018 Jul;4(4):235-237. doi: 10.1192/bjo.2018.37.

Creating boundaries to empower digital health technology.

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Clinical Psychiatrist,Verily Life Sciences,South San Francisco,California,USA.
Clinical Psychiatrist,Departments of Psychiatry and Clinical Informatics,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center,Harvard Medical School,Boston,Massachusetts,USA.


SummaryThe potential of digital health tools such as smartphones and sensors to increase access to and enhance delivery of healthcare is well known. However, a lack of regulation and delineation between those technologies seeking to offer direct clinical diagnostics and treatments and those involving clinical care enhancements or direct-to-consumer resources has led to patient and clinician confusion about the appropriate use and role of digital health. Here, we propose that creating boundaries and better defining the scope of digital health technology will advance the field through matching the right use cases with the right tools. We further propose that ethical clinicians, as stewards of standard of care, are well suited to uphold these boundaries and to safeguard best practices in digital health.Declaration of interestH.H. is an employee of Verily Life Sciences and owns equity in this company. The views expressed here are those of the authors and are not official views of Verily Life Sciences.


Smartphones; digital; mHealth; psychiatry

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