For more than a year, the COVID-19 crisis has been affecting healthcare systems worldwide. Aside from its various dramatic effects on citizens and healthcare professionals, COVID-19 has also triggered and accelerated some important process changes. Digital health has played a role of the utmost importance in the last 12 months, supporting contact tracing, test strategies, statistical analyses, prognostic modeling, vaccination organization and documentation, etc. Teleconferences have become common as a way of communicating, not only on a business level, but also in our daily personal lives, even between grandparents and their grandchildren, and it seems likely that these changes will influence healthcare even in the longer-term.
These proceedings provide an insight into research on digital health as conducted during the COVID-19 crisis, including articles concerning the management of infectious diseases, telehealth services, standardization and interoperability in healthcare, nursing informatics, data analytics, predictive modeling, digital tools for rare disease research, and many others.
The dHealth conference series has been contributing to scientific exchange and networking since 2007, and the conference was organized in a virtual setting for a second time in 2021. Each year, this event attracts 300+ participants from academia, industry, government and healthcare organizations. With its motto, “Health Informatics meets Digital Health”, the event provides a platform for researchers, practitioners, decision makers and vendors to discuss innovative health informatics and dHealth solutions with the aim of improving the quality and efficiency of healthcare. It is the USP of this event that it is where research and application meet as equals to provide new insights from both the scientific and practical points of view.
Dieter Hayn, Günter Schreier and Martin Baumgartner
Graz, Vienna, April 2021