Intended for healthcare professionals


Clinical technology specialists

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 19 February 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h945
  1. Dror Ben-Zeev, assistant professor of psychiatry 1,
  2. Robert Drake, professor of psychiatry and community and family medicine 1,
  3. Lisa Marsch, associate professor of psychiatry1
  1. 1Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Lebanon, NH 03766, USA
  1. Dror.Ben-Zeev{at}

Who needs them? We do

We are in the midst of a rapid proliferation of patient facing clinical technologies. More than 50 000 mobile health applications are available for people to download directly onto their mobile devices, and the number grows daily. A range of commercial wearable sensors (such as wristbands, patches, chest monitors) are also appearing to promote healthy lifestyles or to monitor medical conditions in the context of clinical care, strengthening the role of patients in quantified self tracking.1 2 Two way video and texting applications are making different forms of telemedicine increasingly accessible and popular. Every day more and more people look to internet based resources such as chat forums to help them understand their medical conditions and explore treatment options.

In the United States, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act was signed into law in 2009 to promote and incentivize the broad adoption and meaningful use of health information technology to improve healthcare.3 Apple recently began offering software that culls and centralizes users’ health information as a standard feature of their new operating system …

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