According a recent study of studies from the Mayo Clinic, the use of health-related smartphone apps, text-message reminders, and other digital technologies significantly reduced recurrences of heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular illnesses. Specifically, the use of these technologies was associated with a significant 1.24% reduction in patients’ Framingham risk score, which estimates the 10-year risk of a first heart attack. Digital health technologies also reduced adverse events in secondary-prevention trials by 40% compared with controls, a level of risk reduction greater than seen with cholesterol-lowering statins, low-dose aspirin, and antihypertension drugs.
The meta-analysis reviewed 51 studies conducted in North America, Asia, and Europe from 2003 to 2013. Cumulatively, the studies included 24,054 patients assigned to digital-health interventions and 10,333 controls who received traditional care without a digital intervention.
Renowned entrepreneur, investor, and tech evangelist Marc Andreesen famously coined the phrase “software is eating the world” to describe the broad technological and economic shift technology is having on our daily lives. Although healthcare has not been a leader in the dominance of software, this study and others like it are showing that software can and is having dramatic impacts on health and wellness.