Hope in eHealth

The term eHealth embodies great hope for those concerned about health care in the developing world. According to wikipedia eHealth is a relatively recent term for healthcare practice which is supported by electronic processes and communication. It includes services such as telemedicine, mHealth (the use of mobile devices in the provision of care) and EMRs.

Improving the quality of healthcare available to people in developing countries will require addressing many fundamental challenges which include:
– connecting rural providers to urban consultants for second opinions and diagnostic support
– connecting providers to information which will enable the practice of evidence-based medicine
– providing access to high-quality continuing educating for providers in all settings

I mention these few particular challenges as these are a few of the areas where eHealth solutions will surely be applied. There is enormous potential for the use of technology in solving the gaps in healthcare. Here are a few examples I recently came across:

  • The iphone is being used as a tool for telemedicine
  • The internet is being used in teleradiology between Afghanistan and Pakistan
  • Free online CME for French-speaking African countries

Obviously this is just a short list meant to crystallize the idea that the term eHealth embodies a new way of looking at problems and solutions in healthcare.

Would like to hear any other eHealth solutions being used to address global health issues.

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2 Responses to Hope in eHealth

  1. Rd says:

    Good post Zohray – thanks.

    You might also be interested in this article:
    http://hbr.harvardbusiness.org/web/2009/health/your-medical-information-in-digital-age

    Slightly unrelated, but; I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on polyclinics if you have some time..

  2. Zohray Talib, MD says:

    Polyclinics are an interesting idea, they sounds similar in some ways to an HMO in the US but offering more services. Greatfor efficiency of services. They would address a lot of the redundancy of services and make the provision of comprehensive care more efficient.

    Thinking in terms of global health issues, polyclinics would be difficult to implement where resources are scarce as they require a lot of different people to provide different services.

    I like the idea of localizing care, and removing redundancy though I think this solution is limited to rich countries with adequate resources. I don't think this concept is feasable in developing countries where healtcare reform requires more focused attention on basic primary care services.

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