The Role of Health Technologies in Multicomponent Primary Care Interventions: Systematic Review (Preprint)



Several countries around the world have implemented multicomponent interventions to enhance primary care, as a way of strengthening their health systems to cope with an aging chronically ill population and rising costs. Some of these efforts have included technology-based enhancements as one of the features to support the overall intervention, but their details and impacts have not been explored.


This study aimed to identify the role of digital/health technologies within wider multifeature interventions that are aimed at enhancing primary care, and to describe their aims and stakeholders, types of technologies used, and potential impacts.


A systematic review was performed following Cochrane guidelines. An electronic search, conducted on May 30, 2019, was supplemented with manual and grey literature searches in December 2019, to identify multicomponent interventions that included at least one technology-based enhancement. After title/abstract and full text screening, selected articles were assessed for quality based on their study design. A descriptive narrative synthesis was used for analysis and presentation of the results.


Of 37 articles, 14 (38%) described the inclusion of a technology-based innovation as part of their multicomponent interventions to enhance primary care. The most commonly identified technologies were the use of electronic health records, data monitoring technologies, and online portals with messaging platforms. The most common aim of these technologies was to improve continuity of care and comprehensiveness, which resulted in increased patient satisfaction, increased primary care visits compared to specialist visits, and the provision of more health prevention education and improved prescribing practices. Technologies seem also to increase costs and utilization for some parameters, such as increased consultation costs and increased number of drugs prescribed.


Technologies and digital health have not played a major role within comprehensive innovation efforts aimed at enhancing primary care, reflecting that these technologies have not yet reached maturity or wider acceptance as a means for improving primary care. Stronger policy and financial support, and advocacy of key stakeholders are needed to encourage the introduction of efficient technological innovations, which are backed by evidence-based research, so that digital technologies can fulfill the promise of supporting strong sustainable primary care.






Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Jimenez, Geronimo, David Matchar, Choon Huat Gerald Koh, Rianne van der Kleij, Niels H Chavannes and Josip Car (n.d.). The Role of Health Technologies in Multicomponent Primary Care Interventions: Systematic Review (Preprint). 10.2196/preprints.20195 Retrieved from

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.



David Bruce Matchar

Professor of Medicine

My research relates to clinical practice improvement - from the development of clinical policies to their implementation in real world clinical settings. Most recently my major content focus has been cerebrovascular disease. Other major clinical areas in which I work include the range of disabling neurological conditions, cardiovascular disease, and cancer prevention.
Notable features of my work are: (1) reliance on analytic strategies such as meta-analysis, simulation, decision analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis; (2) a balancing of methodological rigor the needs of medical professionals; and (3) dependence on interdisciplinary groups of experts.
This approach is best illustrated by the Stroke Prevention Patient Outcome Research Team (PORT), for which I served as principal investigator. Funded by the AHCPR, the PORT involved 35 investigators at 13 institutions. The Stroke PORT has been highly productive and has led to a stroke prevention project funded as a public/private partnership by the AHCPR and DuPont Pharma, the Managing Anticoagulation Services Trial (MAST). MAST is a practice improvement trial in 6 managed care organizations, focussing on optimizing anticoagulation for individuals with atrial fibrillation.
I serve as consultant in the general area of analytic strategies for clinical policy development, as well as for specific projects related to stroke (e.g., acute stroke treatment, management of atrial fibrillation, and use of carotid endarterectomy.) I have worked with AHCPR (now AHRQ), ACP, AHA, AAN, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, NSA, WHO, and several pharmaceutical companies.
Key Words: clinical policy, disease management, stroke, decision analysis, clinical guidelines

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