Digital Health Technologies to Promote Lifestyle Change and Adherence

  • Numan Khan
  • Francoise A. Marvel
  • Jane Wang
  • Seth S. MartinEmail author
Prevention (P Natarajan, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Prevention

Opinion statement

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide with an estimated 17.5 million deaths annually, or 31% of all global deaths, according to the World Health Organization. The majority of these deaths are preventable by addressing lifestyle modification (i.e., smoking cessation, diet, obesity, and physical inactivity) and promoting medication adherence. At present, initiatives to develop cost-effective modalities to support self-management, lifestyle modification, and medication adherence are a leading priority. Digital health has rapidly emerged as technology with the potential to address this gap in cardiovascular disease self-management and transform the way healthcare has been traditionally delivered. However, limited evidence exists about the type of technologies available and how they differ in functionality, effectiveness, and application. We aimed to review the most important and relevant recent studies addressing health technologies to promote lifestyle change and medication adherence including text messaging, applications (“apps”), and wearable devices. The current literature indicates that digital health technologies will likely play a prominent role in future cardiovascular disease management, risk reduction, and delivery of care in both resource-rich and resource-limited settings. However, there is limited large-scale evidence to support adoption of existing interventions. Further clinical research and healthcare policy change are needed to move the promise of new digital health technologies towards reality.


Digital health Mobile health Health tech Lifestyle change Medication adherence Cardiovascular disease 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Numan Khan and Jane Wang report no conflicts.

Francoise A. Marvel has received research support from Apple.

Seth S. Martin has received research support from Apple. Dr. Martin has also received research support from the PJ Schafer Cardiovascular Research Fund, American Heart Association, Aetna Foundation, CASCADE FH, and Google. Dr. Martin declares being a co-inventor on a pending patent filed by Johns Hopkins University for the novel method of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol estimation. He has served as a consultant to Abbott Nutrition, Pressed Juicery, Quest Diagnostics, Sanofi/Regeneron, Amgen, and the Pew Research Center.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

References and Recommended Reading

Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Numan Khan
    • 1
  • Francoise A. Marvel
    • 1
  • Jane Wang
    • 1
  • Seth S. Martin
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart DiseaseBaltimoreUSA

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