Skip to main content

The person-centric approach to digital healthcare

Guest Editors:
Elia Gabarron: Østfold University College, Norway
Octavio Rivera Romero: Universidad de Sevilla, Spain



BMC Digital Health is presenting our collection on novel developments on person-centred digital health.

Person-centric healthcare is where the care provided is responsive to both the needs and the values of the individual, the aim of which is to enhance quality of care and, in collaboration with healthcare professionals, empower individuals to actively manage their own health-related needs. Digital health initiatives are often developed with this in mind. 

Over the last 20 years, data and digital technologies have begun to converge with medicines, devices, and diagnostics to create a new market for digital health.

The huge increase in data and powerful methods to process and analyze it provides an exciting opportunity for person care to become more precise, personalized, participative, and convenient. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the demand for digital technologies that can support and deliver healthcare. Such technologies include machine learning, AI, IoT as well as wearables, mobile phone apps and remote monitoring; all of these can put the person in the front seat. 

Meet the Guest Editors

Back to top

Elia Gabarron: Østfold University College, Norway

Elia Gabarron is an Associate Professor at Østfold University College, in Norway and a Senior Researcher at the Norwegian Centre for E-health Research. Her background is in Psychology, and she received her PhD in Health Sciences at UiT, the Arctic University of Norway. She has been involved in e-health research for over 15 years, and her academic and research interests are centred around the use of digital technologies, and especially social media for health. She is on the leadership board of the IMIA Social Media Working Group (IMIA-SMWG) and has several publications in this field. Gabarron is also an Editorial Board Member of the journal BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making.

Octavio Rivera Romero: Universidad de Sevilla, Spain

Octavio Rivera Romero is an Associate Professor at the Universidad de Sevilla, Spain, and a researcher of the Instituto de Investigación en Ingeniería Informática de la Universidad de Sevilla. His main research interests are focused on participatory health informatics, persuasive mHealth, and personalization. Dr. Rivera is member of the Sociedad Española de Informática y Salud (SEIS) since 2018 and of the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA) since 2016. Currently, he is member of the Research Ethical Committee of the Universidad de Sevilla. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the BMC Digital Health journal.

About the collection

Person-centric healthcare is where the care provided is responsive to both the needs and the values of the individual, the aim of which is to enhance quality of care and, in collaboration with healthcare professionals, empower individuals to actively manage their own health-related needs. Digital health initiatives are often developed with this in mind. 

Over the last 20 years, data and digital technologies have begun to converge with medicines, devices, and diagnostics to create a new market for digital health.

The huge increase in data and powerful methods to process and analyze it provides an exciting opportunity for person care to become more precise, personalized, participative, and convenient. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the demand for digital technologies that can support and deliver healthcare. Such technologies include machine learning, AI, IoT as well as wearables, mobile phone apps and remote monitoring; all of these can put the person in the front seat. 

Person-centred digital health has a number of benefits including easy access to medical records, to healthcare personnel, or to health-related resources. It also empowers people to actively engage with their own healthcare, making it easier for them to find information about their health and possible treatments therefore giving them more control.  Digital health devices can also help healthcare professionals to better understand individual needs and therefore deliver personalized healthcare.

BMC Digital Health is presenting our collection on novel developments on person-centred digital health. Contributions  include, but are not limited to, advances in digital technologies to empower individuals to monitor and manage their health, and  development, implementation and evaluation of technologies that allow individuals to be more actively involved in healthcare decisions.

Image credit: ipopba / Getty Images

  1. Utilizing mobile apps to increase physical activity levels is now standard practice in cancer care. The study’s objective was to provide patients with precise physical activity recommendations and/or initiate ...

    Authors: Youness Azemmour, Saber Boutayeb, Fahd Elkhalloufi, Hamid Chamlal, Hassan Beddaa, Ismail Bouzekraoui Alaoui, Jaouad Daikal and Hassan Errihani
    Citation: BMC Digital Health 2024 2:36
  2. Although availability and utilisation of digital health interventions (DHIs) for management of diabetes and cardiovascular disease (“cardiometabolic disease”) have increased, they may exacerbate health inequal...

    Authors: Mel Ramasawmy, David Sunkersing, Dan Roland Persson, Lydia Poole, Kiran Patel, Shivali Modha, Madiha Sajid, Paramjit Gill, Fiona Stevenson, Nushrat Khan and Amitava Banerjee
    Citation: BMC Digital Health 2024 2:32
  3. Studying at university is a stressful time for many, which might result in the development of mental health problems. In the first wave of Covid-19, university students in Turkey reported suffering from an ele...

    Authors: Sumeyye Balci, Ann-Marie Küchler, David Daniel Ebert and Harald Baumeister
    Citation: BMC Digital Health 2024 2:20
  4. In this study, we aimed to describe patient characteristics and medication adherence among medication access mobile application users and nonusers.

    Authors: Ghadah Assiri, Dalal Alabdulkarim, Asrar Alanazi, Sarah Altamimi, Nadin Lafi Alanazi and Wael Khawagi
    Citation: BMC Digital Health 2023 1:38
  5. Digital interventions are typically evaluated by their effectiveness and engagement, while the characteristics of patients who perceive them to be attractive have remained poorly understood. This challenges us...

    Authors: Lauri Lukka, Antti Salonen, Maria Vesterinen, Veli-Matti Karhulahti, Satu Palva and J. Matias Palva
    Citation: BMC Digital Health 2023 1:37
  6. This paper explores the extent to which the implementation and evaluation of a collaborative care model of face-to-face service delivery for people with severe mental illness was viable during the first UK loc...

    Authors: Julia Frost, Charley Hobson-Merrett, Linda Gask, Michael Clark, Vanessa Pinfold, Humera Plappert, Siobhan Reilly, John Gibson, Deborah Richards, Rebecca Denyer and Richard Byng
    Citation: BMC Digital Health 2023 1:28