This Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) highlights interest in research to strengthen the healthcare response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and to future public health emergencies, including pandemics. While the direct clinical effects of COVID-19 are supported by other funding opportunities, the purpose of this NOSI is to support research to address secondary health effects of the social, behavioral, and economic changes, particularly among populations who experience health disparities and vulnerable populations through the use of digital health assessments and interventions to yield measurable near-term impact.
Across the life span, the COVID-19 pandemic will result in social, behavioral, and economic changes that impact health. These adverse effects are compounded by disruptions in the provision and access to healthcare including access to allied health providers, such as therapists and visiting nurses.In response, the healthcare landscape in the United States and around the world has shifted dramatically to a rapid uptake of digital health technologies delivered online across a variety of platforms for addressing health and disease management.
Existing digital health interventions [e.g., mobile health (mhealth), telemedicine and telehealth, health information technology (IT), wearable devices, and personalized medicine] provide opportunities to help consumers and clinicians manage and improve health during and following population level healthcare and other critical disruptions. Most importantly, digital health interventions offer the potential to increase access to screening, self-management and prevention services for individuals at risk or who currently need but are unable to access treatment and other services, particularly populations who experience health disparities, to bridge the treatment gap and provide evidence-based interventions.
This notice is not intended to support the development of novel digital health interventions. Interventions may utilize phone delivery, app-based approaches, video delivery, web-based platforms, wearable devices, and/or new technologies.