Special Issue "Barriers and Enablers in the Adoption of Widespread Digital Solutions in Healthcare"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Digital Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 February 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. George Crooks
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Digital Health & Care Innovation Centre, Inovo Building, 121 George Street, Glasgow G1 1RD, UK
Interests: innovation in health and care; digital tools and services for healthcare; telehealth; telecare; technology-enabled care
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The digital health sector is characterised as emerging from the conjunction of health and care services, mobile health and ICT, and it is one of the fastest growing economic sectors globally. One of the most significant barriers to the adoption of digital tools and services in support of the delivery of healthcare is that of TRUST.

This raises the question: how do we gain the trust of citizens as well as health and care providers and policy makers in the use of digital technologies? This is particularly so in the application of machine learning and AI in pursuit of the delivery of safe and effective healthcare delivery.

This Special Issue is seeking to focus on the barriers and enablers to the adoption of digital healthcare services and explore the importance of trust.

By inviting contributions from academics from around the world, we are seeking to ensure that we develop a better understanding of the issues that create barriers to the adoption of digital technologies, not only from the healthcare professionals’ and patients’ perspective but also that of policy makers and commissioners of services. It is important that we do not disable the contribution that digital technologies can make in the global recovery from COVID-19. We are thus inviting academics to share their current work on the enablers and barriers to adoption and in particular are seeking contributions that focus on trust. Papers on the lessons learned in relation to the use of digital tools and services in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic and on COVID-19 recovery are encouraged. This can also include research into explainable and trustworthy AI, but all trust aspects of digital service adoption and scaling across all aspects of health and care delivery will be welcomed. By exploring how trust can be gained and communicated as well as lost, we can better understand how it is built into the innovation process from the early stages of product and service development.

Prof. Dr. George Crooks
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • trust
  • healthcare
  • digital
  • AI
  • machine learning
  • enablers
  • barriers

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Is It Possible to Have Home E-Monitoring of Pulmonary Function in Our Patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in the COVID-19 Pandemic?—A One Center Pilot Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(17), 8967; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18178967 - 26 Aug 2021
Viewed by 679
Background: Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is the most common, progressive, irreversible muscular dystrophy. Pulmonary function is crucial for duration of life in this disease. Currently, the European Respiratory Society is focused on digital health, seeking innovations that will be realistic for digital respiratory [...] Read more.
Background: Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is the most common, progressive, irreversible muscular dystrophy. Pulmonary function is crucial for duration of life in this disease. Currently, the European Respiratory Society is focused on digital health, seeking innovations that will be realistic for digital respiratory medicine to support professionals and patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Aims: The aim of this study was to investigate whether it is possible to monitor pulmonary function at home using an individual electronic spirometry system in boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Materials and methods: In this observational, prospective study, conducted from March 2021 to June 2021, twenty boys with DMD (aged 8–16) were enrolled. The patients were recruited from the Rare Disease Centre, University Clinical Centre, of Gdańsk, Poland. Medical history and anthropometric data were collected, and spirometry (Jaeger, Germany) was performed in all patients at the start of the study. Each patient received an electronic individual spirometer (AioCare) and was asked to perform spirometry on their own every day, morning and evening, at home for a period of 4 weeks. The number of measurements, correctness of performing measurements, forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), and peak expiratory flow (PEF) were evaluated. Results: Finally, 14 out of 20 boys enrolled in the study with a mean age of 12.5 years (7 non-ambulatory) applied and received a home spirometer (AioCare). A total of 283 measurements were performed by all patients at home for 4 weeks. Half of the patients were able to perform measurements correctly. There were no significant differences between mean values of FVC, FE1, PEF between home and hospital spirometry (p > 0.05) expect PEF pv% (p < 0.00046). Patients with higher FEV1 (p = 0.0387) and lower BMI (p = 0.0494) were more likely to take home spirometer measurements. The mean general satisfaction rating of home-spirometry was 4.33/5 (SD 0.78), the mean intelligibility rating was 4.83/5 (SD 0.58). Reasons for irregular measurements were: forgetting (43%), lack of motivation (29%), difficulty (14%), lack of time (14%). Conclusion: Home electronic monitoring of pulmonary function in patients with DMD is possible to implement in daily routines at home. This protocol should be introduced as early as possible in patients 7–8 years old with good, preserved lung function. Patients accept this form of medical care but require more education about the benefits of e-monitoring. There is a need to implement a system to remind patients of the use of electronic medical devices at home, e.g., via SMS (short message service). Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Scaling Digital Health Innovation: developing a new ‘Service Readiness Level’ framework of evidence
Authors: Janette Hughes, Marilyn Lennon, Robert Rogerson and George Crooks
Affiliation: University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK

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