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Invited Commentary
July 2017

Time to Embrace the Digital Age in Health Care

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Surgical Oncology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
  • 2Department of Surgery, University of Auckland, Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand
  • 3Clinical Lead Research and Evaluation, Ko Awatea, Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand
  • 4Middlemore Hospital, Counties Manukau Health, Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand
JAMA Surg. 2017;152(7):628. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2017.0112

Despite the ubiquity of powerful handheld communication devices such as smartphones, the potential for this technology to make a significant improvement in the efficiency and quality of health care delivery has yet to be realized. Although the evidence for novel applications is accumulating, high-quality comparative data have been largely lacking thus far, potentially hampering the adoption process.1 In this issue of JAMA Surgery, Armstrong et al2 report the results of a randomized clinical trial comparing patient follow-up via mobile app with standard in-person outpatient clinic follow-up after ambulatory breast reconstruction. They demonstrated a reduction in patient follow-up visits among the group using the mobile app, without affecting complication rates or patient satisfaction.

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