The cost-effectiveness of digital health interventions: A systematic review of the literature

Andrea Gentili, Giovanna Failla, Andriy Melnyk, Valeria Puleo, Gian Luca Di Tanna, Walter Ricciardi, Fidelia Cascini

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


Background: Digital health interventions have significant potential to improve safety, efficacy, and quality of care, reducing waste in healthcare costs. Despite these premises, the evidence regarding cost and effectiveness of digital tools in health is scarce and limited. Objectives: The aim of this systematic review is to summarize the evidence on the cost-effectiveness of digital health interventions and to assess whether the studies meet the established quality criteria. Methods: We queried PubMed, Scopus and Web of Science databases for articles in English published from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2020 that performed economic evaluations of digital health technologies. The methodological rigorousness of studies was assessed with the Consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Reporting Standards (CHEERS). The review was conducted according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) 2009 checklist. Results: Search identified 1,476 results, 552 of which were selected for abstract and 35 were included in this review. The studies were heterogeneous by country (mostly conducted in upper and upper-middle income countries), type of eHealth intervention, method of implementation, and reporting perspectives. The qualitative analysis identified the economic and effectiveness evaluation of six different types of interventions: (1) seventeen studies on new video-monitoring service systems; (2) five studies on text messaging interventions; (3) five studies on web platforms and digital health portals; (4) two studies on telephone support; (5) three studies on new mobile phone-based systems and applications; and (6) three studies on digital technologies and innovations. Conclusion: Findings on cost-effectiveness of digital interventions showed a growing body of evidence and suggested a generally favorable effect in terms of costs and health outcomes. However, due to the heterogeneity across study methods, the comparison between interventions still remains difficult. Further research based on a standardized approach is needed in order to methodically analyze incremental cost-effectiveness ratios, costs, and health benefits.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)N/A-N/A
RivistaFrontiers in Public Health
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2022


  • cost-effectiveness
  • digital care
  • digital health
  • telemedicine
  • mobile health
  • telehealth
  • electronic health


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