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Glossary

There are loads of acronyms and jargon in the field of Digital Health! Check out the list below for an explanation of what some of these terms mean.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is an area of computer science that makes it possible for ‘machines’ to learn from new experiences, adjust outputs and perform human-like tasks. It is generally classified into:

  • Narrow AI, which focuses on a specific task, or works within a narrow set of parameters such as reading radiology scans or optimising hospital workflows.
  • Strong or general AI, which refers to AI that can learn to do several different tasks. AI can incorporate algorithms that do not automatically change over time (fixed algorithms) or algorithms that are automatically and continually updated (adaptive algorithms). Definition from The AHSN Network Accelerating Artificial Intelligence in health and care: results from a state of the nation survey.

Clinical Pathway

A graphical depiction of the systematic clinical care of a patient that proposes, for a treatment period related to a single  diagnosis, an optimal co-ordination of the delivery of care provided by physicians and other health professionals, from when the diagnosis is confirmed to when the patient is admitted, and at the stage of rehabilitation and home care.

Control Trial

A graphical depiction of the systematic clinical care of a patient that proposes, for a treatment period related to a single diagnosis, an optimal co-ordination of the delivery of care provided by physicians and other health professionals, from when the diagnosis is confirmed to when the patient is admitted, and at the stage of rehabilitation and home care.

Cohort Study

An observational study in which the parameters of a group of subjects exposed to a given factor are compared with those of a similar group of subjects not exposed to the factor.

Digital Assessment Questions

The Digital Assessment Questions (DAQ) is a self certification tool that includes questions on clinical safety, data protection, security, usability and accessibility, interoperability and technical stability. The DAQ is aligned with the requirements of the
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The DAQ is used to assess all products featured in the NHS Apps Library. Further information can be found at the Health Developer Network.

Economic Analysis

Study or analysis of the cost of using and distributing health or social care resources.

Heatlh Technology

An intervention developed to prevent, diagnose or treat medical conditions; promote health; provide rehabilitation; or organize healthcare delivery. 

Health technology assessment

Independent research about the effectiveness, costs and broader impact of healthcare (treatments and tests) for those who plan, provide or receive health care

ICT

Information and Communication Technologies

Medical devices

All products, except medicines, used in health care to diagnose, prevent, monitor or treat illness or disability. For example, a device might be a pacemaker, knee replacement, ray machine or blood pressure monitor

Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency

The Executive Agency of the Department of Health that is responsible for protecting and promoting public health and patient safety by ensuring that medicines, healthcare products and medical equipment meet appropriate standards of safety,
quality, performance and effectiveness, and are used safely.

Mobile Health

mHealth or mobile health is defined as medical and public health practice supported by mobile devices, such as mobile phones, patient monitoring devices, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and other wireless devices

Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Applications

World leaders in health app reviews and prescription services.

Public health

Public health is about getting people to stay healthy and avoid getting ill, so this includes work on a whole range of policy areas such as immunisation, nutrition, tobacco and alcohol, drugs recovery, sexual health, pregnancy and children’s health

Scope

A document that describes what a piece of guidance will and will not cover. Depending on the type of guidance, organisations that are stakeholders, consultees or commentators can comment on the draft scope during a consultation period.

Some definitions and examples are based on those in the HTAi consumer and patient glossary please see the site for further terms.

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