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The Extent and Coverage of Current Knowledge of Connected Health: Systematic Mapping Study

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Background: This study examines the development of the connected health (CH) research landscape with a view to providing an overview of the existing CH research. The research field of CH has experienced rapid growth coinciding with increasing pressure on health care systems to become more proactive and patient centered.

Objective: This study aimed to assess the extent and coverage of the current body of knowledge in CH. In doing so, we sought to identify specific topics that have drawn the attention of CH researchers and to identify research gaps, in particular those offering opportunities for further interdisciplinary research.

Methods: A systematic mapping study that combined scientific contributions from research in the disciplines of medicine, business, computer science, and engineering was used. Overall, seven classification criteria were used to analyze the papers, including publication source, publication year, research type, empirical type, contribution type, research topic, and the medical condition studied.

Results: The search resulted in 208 papers that were analyzed by a multidisciplinary group of researchers. The results indicated a slow start for CH research but showed a more recent steady upswing since 2013. The majority of papers proposed health care solutions (77/208, 37.0%) or evaluated CH approaches (49/208, 23.5%). Case studies (59/208, 28.3%) and experiments (55/208, 26.4%) were the most popular forms of scientific validation used. Diabetes, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and heart conditions were among the most prevalent medical conditions studied.

Conclusions: We conclude that CH research has become an established field of research that has grown over the last five years. The results of this study indicate a focus on technology-driven research with a strong contribution from medicine, whereas the business aspects of CH have received less research attention.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14394
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Volume21
Issue number9
ISSN1438-8871
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019
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    Research areas

  • connected health, health services research, ; interdisciplinary research, empirical research, telemedicine, information technology, wireless technology, health informatics, information systems

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