Published on January 24th, 2019 | by Guest0
Changing Healthcare Around the World with eHealth [Infographic]
Healthcare availability, cost, and quality is very inconsistent globally. Some countries have excellent systems that are affordable and effective, while the citizens of other nations can’t afford their care or simply don’t have access to safe, quality healthcare. One emerging solution that can help improve healthcare inequality? The growing field of eHealth. The World Health Organization (WHO), with 191 member countries, is becoming a driving force for incorporating digital solutions into initiatives to improve global health.
eHealth is a branch of the healthcare industry that uses electronic tools to deliver healthcare and improve patient outcomes. Some specific types of eHealth include:
- Telehealth: Remote appointments and monitoring over voice and video communication devices
- eLearning: Training online to help new and existing healthcare professionals develop their skills
- Mobile Health: Healthcare apps and remote monitoring using consumer devices and medical Internet of Things (IoT) devices
- Electronic Health Records: A method of storing patient data so it can be accessed by all the patient’s providers, reducing opportunity for errors like misdiagnosis
Benefits of Global eHealth Use
There are many benefits to implementing eHealth solutions. Patients in rural areas or in countries with poor medical infrastructure can consult with a doctor far away. This is especially helpful for patients who need ongoing monitoring or need to consult with a specialist.
eLearning can help to train new healthcare professionals and close some of the gaps in staffing all over the world, or help to close skill gaps for practitioners who are already providing care. Electronic records and health apps can help keep patients from needing to physically visit a clinic or hospital as often and put the focus on preventative care whenever possible. These technologies have the potential to cut cost and improve access for millions of people around the world.
Taking the Initiative in eHealth
In order to be successful, eHealth must be incorporated fully into a nation’s health plan, not treated as a bonus. Several countries are already taking the initiative and investing heavily in this space. England has invested 6 billion pounds over ten years on eHealth programs, while the United States has poured $30 billion into similar programs. As the WHO’s member countries continue to implement eHealth, we can expect to see healthcare conditions improving globally. Learn more about eHealth’s role in creating healthcare equality from The University of Illinois at Chicago’s Health Informatics program.