How is e- health different from digital health?

Evolution of healthcare: 

The evolution of healthcare can be seen on a tremendous scale where digital technology plays an important role. In the 20th century, healthcare is not merely restricted to visiting hospitals for checkups or having to wait in long queues for your turn. Thanks to the invention of smartphones which have enabled the fulfilment of tasks from any corner of the world. This is the power of technology and it is integrating the physicians with the patients in a great way. 

But, more often than ever people get confused in the terms used for the novel technology in healthcare like e-health, mHealth and digital health. They may sound similar but hold different meanings altogether. To get rid of this confusion, we will take you through the meaning of e-health and digital health, followed by their differences. 

What is e- health? 

E-health is a unique type of technology backed with usage of information and communication technology in the healthcare industry. E-health provides great quality care for the increasing population and that too in a cost effective and efficient way. It promotes optimization of clinical and administrative work flow for the success of healthcare institutions. Earlier, e-health was restricted to solving the economic or financial problems in healthcare but with the advent of globalization, things seem different. One of the chief goals of e-health is incorporation of Information and communication technologies(ICT) in healthcare. Moreover, e-health is also working towards empowerment of patients and betterment of their health. Examples of e-health are electronic health record(EHR) and electronic medical records(EMR).

What is digital health? 

Digital health is a parent term for a massive range of technologies in the healthcare space. It includes the integration of art and science of medicine with that of communication technology or ICT. various essential aspects of human health are now taken care of with the help of remarkable digital technology. With the ongoing challenges in the healthcare industry, it has managed to contribute to the overall GDP of economies of different countries. Therefore, it calls for the need of innovative working and a major force that drives this innovation is digital health. This type of healthcare is concerned with patient engagement and better service by providers in the healthcare space. Notable examples of digital health are apps, telemedicine, Electronic medical records (EMR) , connected medicine and lastly smart homes. 

Difference between e-health and digital health:


  • By definition: So, these terms are often used interchangeably but hold a different and unique meaning. It is a healthcare practice which is totally supported by utilization of information and communication technology or ICT in the healthcare industry. E-health is closely connected to the medical informatics but focuses more on ICT to make the medical processes cost effective and efficient. On the other hand, digital health is an adaptation of art and science of medicine to ICT in order to implement the technology for better use. It is a broader term for the enormous range of technologies which are meant to meet the greater challenges of the healthcare industry. 
  • By purpose: e-health is supposed to provide quality care to the increasing population in a country, keeping in view the cost effectiveness of the processes and that too with full accessibility. The chief aim as discussed before is to make the healthcare system more accessible and less costly by use of Information Communication technology or ICT and therefore helping providers to increase their work efficiency as well. Whereas, digital health is a medium to reach each and every patient all over the world using digital channels. The main aim of digital health is towards the implementation of ICT inorder to deliver healthcare to the huge population of a country. 


By tools used: e-health tools are for use by people in managing their own health and use devices for healthcare of patients through remote monitoring systems and assistance. Such tools comprise products, services or systems which have a technology beyond the internet based applications that we normally see and use. For example, EHR, health information network, telemedicine services, health portals, and others. While if we talk of digital health tools, they are the technologies which serve the patients in the best way possible by helping them organize their personal health and fitness.such technology driven tools include EMR, telemedicine, connected medicine, smart phones and so on.

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