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When I did my residency in internal medicine and primary care a few years ago, digital health wasn’t on my radar. I didn’t get questions about health apps from my patients, didn’t talk about them with my colleagues, and certainly didn’t get any instruction about them.

Fast forward a few years, and digital health tools — by which I mean apps for detecting, monitoring, treating, alleviating, and coordinating medical conditions — have exploded, catalyzed in part by the Covid-19 pandemic and its pressures on the health care system. There are now more than 350,000 apps, ranging from behavioral health to reproductive health, sleep medicine, addiction medicine, musculoskeletal medicine, and beyond.


I subscribe to both Health Tech Nerds and Rock Health, weekly newsletters that summarize new funding opportunities in the multibillion-dollar industry of digital health, and find the field both exciting and overwhelming. I’m never quite sure which digital health apps I should “prescribe” to my patients — many of them seem like they could work wonders for the chronic conditions I commonly see, but I have no idea where to start. Which specific app should I recommend? What is the evidence? And what are other providers doing?

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