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Reading: The Digital Health Scorecard: A New Health Literacy Metric for NCD Prevention and Care


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The Digital Health Scorecard: A New Health Literacy Metric for NCD Prevention and Care


Scott C. Ratzan,

Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick, NJ; Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY, US
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Michael B. Weinberger ,

Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick, NJ, US
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Franklin Apfel,

World Health Communication Associates, Somerset, GB
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Gary Kocharian

Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick, NJ; Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, US
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According to the World Health Organization, 3 out of 5 deaths worldwide are due to common, chronic conditions, such as heart and respiratory diseases, cancer, and diabetes. These noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are linked to multiple lifestyle risk factors, including smoking, the harmful use of alcohol, and physical inactivity. They are associated with other “intermediate” risk factors, such as elevated body mass index (BMI), hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and hyperglycemia. Taking action to reduce these 7 risk factors can help people protect themselves against leading causes of death. All of these risk factors are measurable and modifiable, but globally available, cost-effective, and easy-to-use outcome metrics that can drive action on all levels do not yet exist. The Digital Health Scorecard is being proposed as a dynamic, globally available digital tool to raise public, professional, and policy maker NCD health literacy (the motivation and ability to access, understand, communicate, and use information to improve health and reduce the incidence of NCD). Its aim is to motivate and empower individuals to make the behavioral and choice changes needed to improve their health and reduce NCD risk factors by giving unprecedented access to global data intelligence, creating awareness, making links to professional and community-based support services and policies, and providing a simple way to measure and track risk changes. Moreover, it provides health care professionals, communities, institutions, workplaces, and nations with a simple metric to monitor progress toward agreed local, national, and global NCD targets.
How to Cite: Ratzan SC, Weinberger MB, Apfel F, Kocharian G. The Digital Health Scorecard: A New Health Literacy Metric for NCD Prevention and Care. Global Heart. 2013;8(2):171–9. DOI:
Published on 01 Jun 2013.
Peer Reviewed


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