Digital health as an enabler for hospital@home: A rising trend or just a vision?

Denecke, Kerstin; May, Richard; Borycki, Elizabeth M.; Kushniruk, Andre W. (2023). Digital health as an enabler for hospital@home: A rising trend or just a vision? Frontiers in Public Health, 11(113779) Frontiers Research Foundation 10.3389/fpubh.2023.1137798

hospitalAtHome_frontiers.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution (CC-BY).

Download (745kB) | Preview

Background: Hospital@home is a model of healthcare, where healthcare professionals actively treat patients in their homes for conditions that may otherwise require hospitalization. Similar models of care have been implemented in jurisdictions around the world over the past few years. However, there are new developments in health informatics including digital health and participatory health informatics that may have an impact on hospital@home approaches. Objectives: This study aims to identify the current state of implementation of emerging concepts into the hospital@home research and models of care; to identify strengths and weaknesses, opportunities, and threats associated with the models of care; and to suggest a research agenda. Methods: We employed two research methodologies, namely, a literature review and a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis. The literature from the last 10 years was collected from PubMed using the search string “hospital at home” OR “care at home” OR “patient at home.” Relevant information was extracted from the included articles. Results: Title and abstract review were conducted on 1,371 articles. The full-text review was conducted on 82 articles. Data were extracted from 42 articles that met our review criteria. Most of the studies originated from the United States and Spain. Several medical conditions were considered. The use of digital tools and technologies was rarely reported. In particular, innovative approaches such as wearables or sensor technologies were rarely used. The current landscape of hospital@home models of care simply delivers hospital care in the patient's home. Tools or approaches from taking a participatory health informatics design approach involving a range of stakeholders (such as patients and their caregivers) were not reported in the literature reviewed. In addition, emerging technologies supporting mobile health applications, wearable technologies, and remote monitoring were rarely discussed. Conclusion: There are multiple benefits and opportunities associated with hospital@home implementations. There are also threats and weaknesses associated with the use of this model of care. Some weaknesses could be addressed by using digital health and wearable technologies to support patient monitoring and treatment at home. Employing a participatory health informatics approach to design and implementation could help to ensure the acceptance of such care models.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


School of Engineering and Computer Science > Institute for Patient-centered Digital Health
School of Engineering and Computer Science


Denecke, Kerstin0000-0001-6691-396X;
May, Richard;
Borycki, Elizabeth M. and
Kushniruk, Andre W.


Q Science > Q Science (General)
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
T Technology > T Technology (General)




Frontiers Research Foundation




Kerstin Denecke

Date Deposited:

24 Feb 2023 10:37

Last Modified:

25 Oct 2023 13:43

Publisher DOI:





Actions (login required)

View Item View Item
Provide Feedback