A study from the Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Apps (ORCHA) has found that physicians believe digital health interventions can help patient care management.

The research project was carried out in partnership with Spanish academics. In total, 300 Spanish gastroenterologists and hepatologists were involved in the research, which used non-alcoholic fatty liver disease as a test case for exploring digital health interventions.

According to ORCHA, 60% of the Spanish physicians felt digital health interventions would improve the efficiency of care delivery, while 52% agreed they would improve patient engagement and self-management of their health.

Dr Simon Leigh, head of research at ORCHA, said: “We were very pleased with the positive feedback from the physicians, but they raised practical considerations regarding training, time within consultations, and trust in these products.

“All of these are areas we can work on. For example, in the UK all frontline healthcare workers now have access to free and professionally accredited digital health training via the ORCHA Digital Health Academy.”

Despite the majority recognising the benefits, just 25% said they had received training in how to use digital health interventions. Nearly all involved in the ORCHA research (94%) said it would be useful to receive training on them.

A lack of training was not the only issue identified when it came to whether doctors would recommend digital tools to patients. Time and evidence were also flagged as key factors influencing their decision.

If they had the time within the consult, 59% said they would recommend the tools, while 51% stated they would need evidence of its efficacy before recommending it.

At the end of March this year, ORCHA unveiled its new digital health training programme, which is available to all NHS staff. Last month Digital Health shared the news that the first cohort of the digital academy has completed a foundation training module.