Funding for this research was provided by:
Branco Weiss Fellowship – Society in Science (N/A)
Accepted: 12 May 2021
First Online: 7 July 2021
: <sup>1</sup>We rely on a definition used by science and technology scholars whereby the term ‘technology’ operates on three levels (see Bijker, Hughes and Pinch 2012, xlii). First, there is the physical level, referring to tangible objects such as a smartphone, wellness band, or stethoscope. The second level of meaning concerns activities or processes, such as 3D printing or creating X-rays. The third level refers to knowledge people have in addition to what they do, for example the knowledge that underpins the conduct of a surgical procedure. This approach shows the extent to which specific tools and techniques, knowledge, and rationales for intervention are intricately bound together. Our use of the term ‘digital,’ that is involving computer technology, in relation to medicine ‘includes categories such as mobile health (mHealth), health information technology (IT), wearable devices, telehealth and telemedicine, and personalized medicine’ (U.S. Food and Drug Administration).<sup>2</sup>As a rule, while systematic reviews of telemedicine generally portray it as effective as in-person consultation or promising, evidence is limited and fast-evolving (Ekeland, Bowes and Flottorp 2010; Kruse et al. 2017; Lee et al. 2017).<sup>3</sup>In Germany, legislators have reacted to these concerns by limiting video consultation to cases in which physician and patient have physically met before, and primarily using it for monitoring the course of disease, including chronic ones, or the healing of an injury (Heinrich 2017).<sup>4</sup>Scottish-born US inventor Alexander Graham Bell was the first to be awarded the U.S. patent for the invention of the telephone in 1876 (Fischer 1992).<sup>5</sup>Interestingly, and probably most important for their users, nine out of ten among the ranked apps are available as free downloads (ExternalRef removed, June 16, 2019).
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