Billions are pouring into digital health, but people are dying younger - (CNBC via NewsPoints Desk)

  • CNBC reported that despite venture investors pouring billions of dollars into digital health to fund start-ups that aim to bring down the costs of care while improving quality and access to the right providers, Americans are still getting sicker and dying younger.

  • Recent reports from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that life expectancy is dropping for the first time in decades.

  • Suicide, alcoholism and the opioid crisis are all partly to blame, while millennials are on pace to be part of the most obese generation in history and smoking continues to be a problem, the news source said.

  • "Some of the benefits of these new tools won't be realized for a long time," said James Murphy, a health services researcher at UC San Diego Health, adding "it's really hard to tease out the impact of digital health. Maybe we're helping people, but we're not detecting it."

  • According to Danielle Arigo, an assistant professor of psychology, "digital health tools have been attractive to people who are already healthy, rather than those who would most benefit from health behavior change."

  • She indicated that bringing about change in populations with diabetes and other chronic illnesses is complex and often takes multiple attempts, noting "we don't yet understand what kind and how much engagement is needed, and this likely varies by person."

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