eHealth (also written e-health) is a relatively recent healthcare practice supported by electronic processes and communication, dating back to a minimum of 1999. Usage of the term varies because it just not covers the “Internet medicine” because it was conceived during that point, but also covers “virtually everything associated with computers and medicine”. A study in 2005 found 51 unique definitions.
Some argue that it’s interchangeable with health informatics with a broad definition covering electronic/digital processes in health while others use it within the narrower sense of healthcare practice using the web. It also can include health applications and links on mobile phones, mentioned as mHealth or m-Health.
Types of e-Health
The term can encompass a variety of services or systems that are at the sting of medicine/healthcare and knowledge technology, including:
- Electronic health record: enabling the communication of patient data between different healthcare professionals (GPs, specialists, etc.);
- Computerized physician order entry: a way of requesting diagnostic tests and coverings electronically and receiving the results
- ePrescribing: access to prescribing options, printing prescriptions to patients and sometimes electronic transmission of prescriptions from doctors to pharmacists
- Clinical decision support system: providing information electronically about protocols and standards for healthcare professionals to use in diagnosing and treating patients
- Telemedicine: physical and psychological diagnosis and coverings at a distance, including telemonitoring of patients functions;
- Telerehabilitation: providing rehabilitation services over a distance through telecommunications.
- Telesurgery: use robots and wireless communication to perform surgery remotely.
- Teledentistry: exchange clinical information and pictures over a distance.
- Consumer health informatics: use of electronic resources on medical topics by healthy individuals or patients;
- Health knowledge management: e.g. in a summary of latest medical journals, best practice guidelines or epidemiological tracking (examples include physician resources like Medscape and MDLinx);
- Virtual healthcare teams: consisting of healthcare professionals who collaborate and share information on patients through digital equipment (for transmural care);
- mHealth or m-Health: includes the utilization of mobile devices in collecting aggregate and patient-level health data, providing healthcare information to practitioners, researchers, and patients, real-time monitoring of patient vitals, and direct provision of care (via mobile telemedicine);
- Medical research using grids: powerful computing and data management capabilities to handle large amounts of heterogeneous data.
- Health informatics/healthcare information systems: also often ask software solutions for appointment scheduling, patient data management, work schedule management, and other administrative tasks surrounding health
Several authors have noted the variable usage within the term; from being specific to the utilization of the web in healthcare to being generally around any use of computers in healthcare. Various authors have considered the evolution of the term and its usage and the way this maps to changes in health informatics and healthcare generally.
During a 2005 systematic review of the term’s usage, offered the definition of eHealth as a group of technological themes in health today, more specifically supported commerce, activities, stakeholders, outcomes, locations, or perspectives. One thing that each one source seems to agree on is that e-Health initiatives don’t originate with the patient, though the patient could also be a member of a patient organization that seeks to try to do this, as within the e-Patient movement.
e Health literacy is defined as “the ability to hunt, find, understand, and appraise health information from electronic sources and apply knowledge gained to addressing or solving ill health .” consistent with this definition, e Health literacy encompasses six sorts of literacy: traditional (literacy and numeracy), information, media, health, computer, and scientific.
Of these, media and computer literacies are unique to the web context, with eHealth media literacy being the notice of media bias or perspective, the power to discern both explicit and implicit meaning from media messages, and to derive meaning from media messages. The literature includes other definitions of perceived media capability or efficacy,
but these weren’t specific to the health information on the web. Having the composite skills of eHealth literacy allows health consumers to realize positive outcomes from using the web for health purposes.
eHealth literacy has the potential to both protect consumers from harm and empower them to completely participate in informed health-related decisions.
People with high levels of eHealth literacy also are more conscious of the danger of encountering unreliable information on the Internet On the opposite hand, the extension of digital resources to the health domain within the sort of eHealth literacy also can create new gaps between health consumers. eHealth literacy hinges not on the mere access to technology, but rather on the skill to use the accessed knowledge.
Exchange of Data
One of the factors blocking the utilization of e-Health tools from widespread acceptance is that the concern about privacy issues regarding patient records, most specifically the EPR (Electronic patient record). This main concern has got to do with the confidentiality of the info. there’s also concern about non-confidential data, however. Each practice has its own jargon and diagnostic tools.
To standardize the exchange of data, various coding schemes could also be utilized in combination with international medical standards. Systems that affect these transfers are often mentioned as Health Information Exchange (HIE).
Of the sorts of e-Health already mentioned, there are roughly two types; front-end data exchange and back-end exchange.
Front-end exchange typically involves the patient, while the back-end exchange doesn’t. a standard example of a rather simple front-end exchange may be a patient sending a photograph taken by the mobile of a healing wound and sending it by email to the general practitioner for control. Such actions may avoid the value of an upscale visit to the hospital.
A common example of a back-end exchange is when a patient on vacation visits a doctor who then may request access to the patient’s health records, like medical prescriptions, x-ray photographs, or biopsy results. Such action may reveal allergies or other prior conditions that are relevant to the visit.
Successful e-Health initiatives like e-Diabetes have shown that for data exchange to be facilitated either at the front-end or the back-end, a standard thesaurus is required for terms of reference. Various medical practices in chronic patient care (such as for diabetic patients) have already got a well-defined set of terms and actions, which makes standard communication exchange easier, whether the exchange is initiated by the patient or the caregiver.
In general, explanatory diagnostic information (such because the standard ICD-10) could also be exchanged insecurely, and personal information (such as personal information from the patient) must be secured. E-health manages both flows of data while ensuring the standard of the info exchange.
Patients living with future conditions (also called chronic conditions) over time often acquire a high level of data about the processes involved in their own care and sometimes develop a routine in dealing with their condition. For these sorts of routine patients, front-end e-Health solutions tend to be relatively easy to implement.
E mental health
E-mental health is usually wont to ask internet-based interventions and support for psychological state conditions. However, it also can ask the utilization of data and communication technologies that also includes the utilization of social media, landline, and mobile phones.
E-mental health services can include information; peer support services, computers, and internet-based programs, virtual applications, and games also like real-time interaction with trained clinicians. Programs also can be delivered using telephones and interactive voice response (IVR).
Mental disorders include a variety of conditions like alcohol and drug use disorders, mood disorders like depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, delusional disorders like schizophrenia and anxiety disorders.
The bulk of e-mental health interventions have focused on the treatment of depression and anxiety. There also are E-mental health programs available for other interventions like smoking cessation, gambling, and post-disaster psychological state.
Advantage and disadvantage
E-mental health features a number of benefits like being low cost, easily accessible, and providing anonymity to users. However, there also are a variety of disadvantages like concerns regarding treatment credibility, user privacy, and confidentiality. Online security involves the implementation of appropriate safeguards to guard user privacy and confidentiality.
This includes appropriate collection and handling of user data, the protection of knowledge from unauthorized access and modification, and therefore the safe storage of knowledge.
E-mental health has been gaining momentum within academic research also as practical arenas during a big variety of disciplines like psychology, clinical welfare work, family and marriage therapy, and psychological state counseling.
Testifying to the present momentum, the E-Mental Health movement has its own world organization, the International Society for psychological state Online. However,
e-Mental health implementation into clinical practice and healthcare systems remains limited and fragmented.
There is a minimum of five programs currently available to treat anxiety and depression. Several programs are identified by the united kingdom National Institute for Health and Care Excellence as cost-effective to be used in medical care.
These include Fearfighter, a text-based cognitive behavioral therapy program to treat people with phobias, and Beating the Blues, an interactive text, cartoon, and video CBT program for anxiety and depression.
Two programs are supported to be used in medical care by the Australian Government. The primary is Anxiety Online, a text-based program for anxiety, depressive, and eating disorders, and therefore the second is that this high, a group of interactive text, cartoons, and video programs for anxiety and depressive disorders.
Another is iFightDepression® a multilingual, liberal to use, web-based tool for self-management of less severe sorts of depression, to be used under the guidance of a GP or psychotherapist.
There are a variety of online programs concerning smoking cessation. QuitCoach is a personalized quit plan that supported the user’s response to questions regarding abandoning smoking and tailored individually whenever the user logs into the location.
Freedom From Smoking takes users through lessons that are grouped into modules that provide information and assignments to finish.
The modules guide participants through steps like preparing to quit smoking, stopping smoking, and preventing relapse.
Cyber medicine of e Health
Cyber medicine is the use of the web to deliver medical services, like medical consultations and drug prescriptions. it’s the successor to telemedicine, wherein doctors would consult and treat patients remotely via telephone or fax.
Cyber medicine is already getting used in small projects where images are transmitted from a medical care setting to a specialist, who comments on the case and suggests which intervention might benefit the patient.
A field that lends itself to the present approach is dermatology, where images of an eruption are communicated to a hospital specialist who determines if a referral is important.
The field has also expanded to incorporate online “ask the doctor” services that allow patients direct, paid access to consultations (with varying degrees of depth) with medical professionals (examples include Bundoo.com, Teladoc, and Ask The Doctor).
A Cyber Doctor, known within the UK as a Cyber Physician, is a medical professional who does consultation via the web, treating virtual patients, who may never meet face to face.
this is often a replacement area of drugs that have been utilized by the soldiers and teaching hospitals offering online consultation to patients before making their decision to travel for unique medical treatment only offered at a specific medical facility.
Self-monitoring health care devices
Self-monitoring is the use of sensors or tools which are readily available to the overall public to trace and record personal data. The sensors are usually wearable devices and therefore the tools are digitally available through mobile device applications.
Self-monitoring devices were created for the aim of allowing personal data to be instantly available to the individual to be analyzed. As of now, fitness and health monitoring are the foremost popular applications for self-monitoring devices.
the most important benefit to self-monitoring devices is that the elimination of the need for third party hospitals to run tests, which are both expensive and lengthy. These devices are a crucial advancement within the field of private health management.
Self-monitoring healthcare devices exist in many forms. An example is that the Nike+ FuelBand, which may be a modified version of the first pedometer.
This device is wearable on the wrist and allows one to line a private goal for a daily energy burn. It records the calories burned and therefore the number of steps taken for every day while simultaneously functioning as a watch.
to feature to the convenience of the interface, it includes both numeric and visual indicators of whether or not the individual has achieved his or her daily goal.
Finally, it’s also synced to an iPhone app which allows for tracking and sharing of private record and achievements.
Other monitoring devices have more medical relevance. a well-known device of this sort is that the blood sugar monitor. the utilization of this device is restricted to diabetic patients and allows users to live the blood sugar levels in their bodies.
it’s extremely quantitative and therefore the results are available instantaneously. However, this device isn’t as independent of a self-monitoring device because the Nike+ Fuelband because it requires some patient education before use.
One must be ready to make connections between the amount of glucose and therefore the effect of diet and exercise. additionally, the users must also understand how the treatment should be adjusted supported the results. In other words, the results aren’t just static measurements.
The demand for self-monitoring health devices is skyrocketing, as wireless health technologies became especially popular within a previous couple of years.
In fact, it’s expected that by 2016, self-monitoring health devices will account for 80% of wireless medical devices. The key point for these devices is that the mobility of data for consumers.
The accessibility of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets has increased significantly within the past decade. This has made it easier for users to access real-time information during a number of peripheral devices
There are still many future improvements for self-monitoring healthcare devices. Although most of those wearable devices are excellent at providing direct data to the individual user, the most important task which remains at hand is the way to effectively use this data.
Although the blood sugar monitor allows the user to require action supported the results, measurements like the heartbeat rate, EKG signals, and calories don’t necessarily serve to actively guide a person’s personal healthcare management. Consumers have an interest in qualitative feedback additionally to the quantitative measurements recorded by the devices.
Knowledge of the socio-economic performance of eHealth is restricted, and findings from evaluations are often challenging to transfer to other settings. Socio-economic evaluations of some narrow sorts of mHealth can believe health economic methodologies, but larger-scale eHealth may have too many variables, and tortuous, intangible cause and effect links may have a wider approach.
In developing Countries
eHealth generally, and telemedicine especially, maybe a vital resource to remote regions of emerging and developing countries but is usually difficult to determine due to the shortage of communications infrastructure. for instance, in Benin, hospitals often can become inaccessible thanks to flooding during the rainy season and across Africa,
the low population density, alongside severe weather and therefore the difficult financial situation in many African states, has meant that the bulk of the African people are badly disadvantaged in medical aid. In many regions, there’s not only a big lack of facilities and trained health professionals, but also no access to e Health because there’s also no internet access in remote villages, or maybe a reliable electricity supply.
Internet connectivity, and therefore the benefits of eHealth, are often delivered to these regions using satellite broadband technology, and satellite is usually the sole solution where terrestrial access could also be limited, or poor quality, and one which will provide a quick connection over a huge coverage area.
e health current situation in Bangladesh
e-Health comprises a group of various concepts, including health, commerce and technology.10 it’s generally understood to be the appliance of computer, Internet, mobile and other technologies to enhance the patients’ health status.
the planet Health Organization (2003) defines e-Health as “being the leveraging of the knowledge and communication technology (ICT) to attach providers and patients and governments; to teach and inform healthcare professionals, managers and consumers; to stimulate innovation in healthcare delivery and health system management; and, to enhance our healthcare system”. The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), Bangladesh explain the term “e-Health” as delivery of health services to citizens through the utilization of data and communication technology.
Traditionally, e-Health is that the delivery of health care with the support from differing types of communications technologies, like telemedicine, internet, electronic health records, mobile technology and clinical decision support. it’s a service that’s provided by using health information technology, computer, internet and related component.14 E-Health is that the application of advanced ICT, like the web , wireless and other sophisticated devices to supply health healthcare delivery to patients.15 It involves the utilization of data technologies to enhance health generally and therefore the healthcare system especially . E-Health covers a good range of medical informatics applications, both specific (for example, citizen health information) and general (for example, management systems, health-care services provision, etc.). But the importance of e-Health and therefore the use of the web differentiate e-Health from traditional medical informatics
e Health care Britannica
E-health grew out of a requirement for improved documentation and tracking of patients’ health and procedures performed on patients, particularly for reimbursement purposes, like by insurance companies. Traditionally, health care providers kept paper records on the history and standing of their patients. However, rising health care costs and technological advances encouraged the event of electronic tracking systems. As e-health technologies continued to be developed, the sector of telemedicine, during which telecommunication technologies are wont to provide health care remotely, emerged.
e Health Technologies
e health makes use of a good array of digital technologies. the web, for instance, allows e-health users to speak with health care professionals by e-mail, to access medical records, to research health information, ehealth.
and to interact in person-to-person exchange of text, audio, video, and other data. Interactive TV also referred to as Polycom, provides both audio and visual transfer of a spread of data between two or more individuals at two or more locations in real-time.
Kiosks, which are freestanding devices (usual computers), are utilized in e-health to supply interactive information to the user. Most information is provided through a series of interactive prompts on a slight screen.
Kiosks also can be wont to collect data and knowledge from users. DVDs, USB flash drives, and other media are wont to store data digitally. Many modern mobile devices are designed with personal computing and Internet capabilities and are compatible with downloadable applications (or apps) that allow users to instantly access health information. ehealth.
Many of the technologies employed in e-health are accessible to all or any users, including those with impairments like blindness or deafness.
Benefits and Barriers
There are benefits and barriers to both providers and consumers who use e-health. Beneficial impacts include the utilization by physicians of computerized drug-ordering systems which will reduce the danger of adverse drug events through decision support systems. Similarly, automated computerized reminders can increase orders for recommended prevention interventions like yearly physicals,
mammograms, and prostate examinations. in additional extreme situations, e-health has been employed by emergency medical personnel and first responders for consultation during natural disasters and in military battlefield situations. In rural and remote areas this technology has been employed by medical care providers to supply consultations for patients through direct linkage to urban-based specialists. ehealth.
E-health has also been used as a distance education strategy for primary and continuing education. International collaborative initiatives have benefited from advances in e-health by making information readily available to health care professionals and consumers.
Consumer benefits from advances in e-health include, for instance, the power to order prescriptions over the web for direct delivery to the house. Hospitals and other acute care institutions host sites that detail their expertise and services for patients. E-health has also benefited persons with disabilities who reside within the community by permitting provider-patient communication through text, audio, or video conferencing to measure home-based progress. ehealth.
Barriers to the utilization of e-health by health care providers include a scarcity of monetary incentives and a scarcity of reimbursement to support its use within and across organizations. additionally, the initial incorporation of the latest e-health technologies often slows established processes (due to the training curve needed to implement new tools and devices) before the more-streamlined system is established. Other barriers to e-health technology include costs, like those related to hardware and software purchases and maintenance and upgrades, and therefore the lack of standards concerning the format and content of e-health information, particularly private patient health-related information, which has legal and economic implications for providers with reference to liability and insurance.
One of the most important barriers to widespread consumer use of e-health is the so-called digital divide. The digital divide is often defined as a disparity in access to digital technologies, particularly the web. ehealth.
Whereas people on one side of the divide have access to those technologies and possess the knowledge needed to use them, people on the opposite side of the divide typically don’t. Although access to electronic communications is steadily increasing in both developed and less-developed countries,
the increases aren’t uniform, and disparities in availability and skill level persist. Issues like cost, literacy level, cultural appropriateness, and compliance with standards for those with disabilities (e.g., Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990) are significant barriers within the use of e-health. Other issues include those related to the protection of privacy and confidentiality and consent, also as those associated with the convenience of e-health technologies. eHealth.
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