Journal of Medical Internet Research
The leading peer-reviewed journal for digital medicine and health and health care in the internet age
Editor-in-Chief: Gunther Eysenbach, MD, MPH, FACMI, Founding Editor and Publisher; Adjunct Professor, School of Health Information Science, University of Victoria (Canada) Rita Kukafka, DrPH, MA, FACMI, Professor, Biomedical Informatics and Sociomedical Sciences; Director, Laboratory for Precision Prevention, Columbia University, NY
Impact Factor 5.43
Gunther Eysenbach, MD, MPH, FACMI, Founding Editor and Publisher; Adjunct Professor, School of Health Information Science, University of Victoria (Canada)
Rita Kukafka, DrPH, MA, FACMI, Professor, Biomedical Informatics and Sociomedical Sciences; Director, Laboratory for Precision Prevention, Columbia University, NY
The Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) (founded in 1999, now in its 22nd year!), is the pioneer open access eHealth journal and is the flagship journal of JMIR Publications. It is the leading digital health journal globally in terms of quality/visibility (Impact Factor 2020: 5.43), ranking Q1 in the medical informatics category, and is also the largest journal in the field. The journal focuses on emerging technologies, medical devices, apps, engineering, telehealth and informatics applications for patient education, prevention, population health and clinical care. As a leading high-impact journal in its disciplines (health informatics and health services research), it is selective, but it is now complemented by almost 30 specialty JMIR sister journals, which have a broader scope, and which together receive over 6.000 submissions a year. Peer-review reports are portable across JMIR journals and papers can be transferred, so authors save time by not having to resubmit a paper to a different journal but can simply transfer it between journals.
As an open access journal, we are read by clinicians, allied health professionals, informal caregivers, and patients alike, and have (as with all JMIR journals) a focus on readable and applied science reporting the design and evaluation of health innovations and emerging technologies. We publish original research, viewpoints, and reviews (both literature reviews and medical device/technology/app reviews).
We are also a leader in participatory and open science approaches, and offer the option to publish new submissions immediately as preprints, which receive DOIs for immediate citation (eg, in grant proposals), and for open peer-review purposes. We also invite patients to participate (eg, as peer-reviewers) and have patient representatives on editorial boards.
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Recent literature supports the efficacy and efficiency of telemedicine in improving various health outcomes despite the wide variability in results. Understanding site-specific issues in the implementation of telemedicine trials for broader replication and generalizability of results is needed. Lessons can be learned from existing trials, and a blueprint can guide researchers to conduct these challenging studies using telemedicine more efficiently and effectively. This viewpoint presents relevant challenges and solutions for conducting multisite telemedicine trials using 7 ongoing and completed studies funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute portfolio of large multisite trials to highlight the challenges in implementing telemedicine trials. Critical issues of ensuring leadership and buy-in, appropriate funding, and diverse and representative trials are identified and described, as well as challenges related to clinical, informatics, regulatory, legal, quality, and billing. The lessons learned from these studies were used to create a blueprint of key aspects to consider for the design and implementation of multisite telemedicine trials.
Apathy is a frequent and underrecognized neurological disorder symptom. Reduced goal-directed behavior caused by apathy is associated with poor outcomes for older adults in residential aged care. Recommended nonpharmacological treatments include person-centered therapy using information and communication technology. Virtual reality (VR) in the form of head-mounted displays (HMDs) is a fully immersive technology that provides access to a wide range of freely available content. The use of VR as a therapy tool has demonstrated promise in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder and anxiety. In addition, VR has been used to improve conditions including depression, anxiety, cognitive function, and balance in older adults with memory deficits, Alzheimer disease, and Parkinson disease. Research using VR for the symptoms of apathy in older adults living in residential aged care facilities is limited.
End-of-life decisions, specifically the provision of euthanasia and assisted suicide services, challenge traditional medical and ethical principles. Austria and Germany have decided to liberalize their laws restricting assisted suicide, thus reigniting the debate about a meaningful framework in which the practice should be embedded. Evidence of the relevance of assisted suicide and euthanasia for the general population in Germany and Austria is limited.
Supporting healthy lifestyle changes is a key aim of cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation programs. SMS text messaging programs have demonstrated effectiveness in cardiovascular disease risk reduction, weight loss, increasing physical activity, and smoking cessation. The optimization of SMS text messaging programs may deliver greater population benefits as mobile phone use becomes ubiquitous. Visual messaging (ie, image-based messages) has the potential to communicate health messages via digital technology and result in enhanced engagement.
Digital contact tracing is employed to monitor and manage the spread of COVID-19. However, to be effective the system must be adopted by a substantial proportion of the population. Studies of mostly hypothetical contact tracing apps show generally high acceptance, but little is known about the drivers and barriers to adoption of deployed systems.
The last few decades have witnessed significant advances in the development of digital tools and applications for mental health care. Despite growing evidence for their effectiveness, acceptance and use of these tools in clinical practice remain low. Hence, a validated and easy-to-use instrument for assessing professionals’ readiness to adopt eMental health (EMH) is necessary to gain further insights into the process of EMH adoption and facilitate future research on this topic.
Using technology to reduce the pressure on the National Health Service (NHS) in England and Wales is a key government target, and the NHS Long-Term Plan outlines a strategy for digitally enabled outpatient care to become mainstream by 2024. In 2020, the COVID-19 response saw the widespread introduction of remote consultations for patient follow-up, regardless of individual preferences. Despite this rapid change, there may be enduring barriers to the effective implementation of remote appointments into routine practice once the unique drivers for change during the COVID-19 pandemic no longer apply, to which pre-COVID implementation studies can offer important insights.
Digital mental health interventions stand to play a critical role in managing the mental health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, enhancing their uptake is a key priority. General practitioners (GPs) are well positioned to facilitate access to digital interventions, but tools that assist GPs in identifying suitable patients are lacking.
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