AuthorGerke, Sara
PositionJournal of Law and Health's Digital Health & Technology Symposium

The Journal of Law and Health's Digital Health & Technology Symposium


The following is a transcription from The Digital Health and Technology Symposium presented at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law by The Journal of Law & Health on Friday, April 8, 2022. This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.

Sara Gerke:

Thank you so much for having me. Today, I will discuss data privacy questions in the digital health world. I thought I would first give you an overview of the digital health landscape, and then we'll focus on the law--namely, the Health Insurance, Portability, and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA).

Overview: Digital Health

Let's start with an overview of what's happening right now in the digital health landscape. First, we need to define what digital health means. There are different definitions of digital health, but the term is usually interpreted very broadly. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) counts the following categories as digital health: mobile health (mHealth), health information technology (IT), wearable devices, telehealth and telemedicine, and personalized medicine. (2) I will mainly focus on mHealth and wearable devices.

Digital health is really booming right now, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has led to the adoption of digital health tools. This slide shows the estimated global digital health market size from 2019 to 2025. In 2022, the global digital health market was worth about 334 billion U.S. dollars, and it is expected to reach around $657 billion by 2025. This slide shows the projected U.S. mobile health apps market size from 2020 to 2030. As you can see, the mHealth Apps market is expected to increase continuously over the years. Medical apps make up the majority of the market, but fitness apps play a significant role as well.

One example of a digital health app is Ada, a symptom checker. Once you download the app, you answer a couple of questions about your symptoms. The app will then suggest the condition and offer advice. You can also monitor changes in your health. In addition, you can also receive heart health notifications on the Apple watch. Apple not only offers an electrocardiogram app, but it also has an irregular rhythm notification feature that notifies you if there's irregular heart rhythms, suggestive of atrial fibrillation.


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