Strategies and solutions to address Digital Determinants of Health (DDOH) across underinvested communities

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



PLOS digital health








Healthcare has long struggled to improve services through technology without further widening health disparities. With the significant expansion of digital health, a group of healthcare professionals and scholars from across the globe are proposing the official usage of the term "Digital Determinants of Health" (DDOH) to explicitly call out the relationship between technology, healthcare, and equity. This is the final paper in a series published in PLOS Digital Health that seeks to understand and summarize current knowledge of the strategies and solutions that help to mitigate the negative effects of DDOH for underinvested communities. Through a search of English-language Medline, Scopus, and Google Scholar articles published since 2010, 345 articles were identified that discussed the application of digital health technology among underinvested communities. A group of 8 reviewers assessed 132 articles selected at random for the mention of solutions that minimize differences in DDOH. Solutions were then organized by categories of policy; design and development; implementation and adoption; and evaluation and ongoing monitoring. The data were then assessed by category and the findings summarized. The reviewers also looked for common themes across the solutions and evidence of effectiveness. From this limited scoping review, the authors found numerous solutions mentioned across the papers for addressing DDOH and many common themes emerged regardless of the specific community or digital health technology under review. There was notably less information on solutions regarding ongoing evaluation and monitoring which corresponded with a lack of research evidence regarding effectiveness. The findings directionally suggest that universal strategies and solutions can be developed to address DDOH independent of the specific community under focus. With the need for the further development of DDOH measures, we also provide a framework for DDOH assessment.


Health Policy and Management