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Digital health utilities in acute kidney injury management.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a highly prevalent clinical syndrome that substantially impacts patient outcomes. It is accepted by the clinical communities that the management of AKI is time-sensitive. Unfortunately, despite growing proof of its preventability, AKI management remains suboptimal in community, acute care, and postacute care settings. Digital health solutions comprise various tools and models to improve care processes and patient outcomes in multiple medical fields. AKI development, progression, recovery, or lack thereof, offers tremendous opportunities for developing, validating, and implementing digital health solutions in multiple settings. This article will review the definitions and components of digital health, the characteristics of AKI that allow digital health solutions to be considered, and the opportunities and threats in implementing these solutions.

RECENT FINDINGS: Over the past two decades, the academic output related to the use of digital health solutions in AKI has exponentially grown. While this indicates the growing interest in the topic, most topics are primarily related to clinical decision support by detecting AKI within hospitals or using artificial intelligence or machine learning technologies to predict AKI within acute care settings. However, recently, projects to assess the impact of digital health solutions in more complex scenarios, for example, managing nephrotoxins among adults of pediatric patients who already have AKI, is increasing. Depending on the type of patients, chosen digital health solution intervention, comparator groups, and selected outcomes, some of these studies showed benefits, while some did not indicate additional gain in care processes or clinical outcomes.

SUMMARY: Careful needs assessment, selection of the correct digital health solution, and appropriate clinical validation of the benefits while avoiding additional health disparities are moral, professional, and ethical obligations for all individuals using these healthcare tools, including clinicians, data scientists, and administrators.

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