Background: Digital health technologies are poised to revolutionise the healthcare industry by improving accessibility to services and patient outcomes. The novel coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges for the delivery of allied healthcare and has catalysed rapid adoption of telehealth. As such, allied healthcare consumers and providers stand to benefit from the capabilities of the digital health movement, ultimately justifying a scoping review of current and emerging technologies.
Objective: To provide decision makers with up-to-date information on the allied health applications of new and emerging digital health technologies; their evidence of efficacy, scope of use, and limitations.
Methods: A scoping review of the literature was conducted, guided by the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews. To synthesise original research, MEDLINE, CINAHL, and EMBASE databases were searched from 2010 to June 2020 and reference lists were examined for randomised control trials analysing the efficacy of these technologies in allied health applications.
Results: A total of 14 articles were included with a focus on common musculoskeletal conditions managed by allied health service providers. Studies were selected for data extraction after abstract and full-text screening by three independent reviewers. The results of this review indicate that telehealth technology effectively monitors and progresses patient care, while mobile health applications provide remote support and enable data collection.
Conclusion: Emerging trends suggest that digital technologies serve as promising adjuncts to allied healthcare. Further research is warranted regarding the safety and efficacy of digital health technologies in this context.
- Allied health
- Digital health
- Mobile apps