E-HEALTH’S POTENTIAL TO DELIVER BETTER HEALTHCARE
Studies on how to successfully implement e-health and telemedicine in healthcare systems demonstrate that four major considerations must be met.
I. BUILD E-HEALTH INTO HEALTHCARE POLICIES
To be able to benefit from all of e-health’s potential for improving healthcare, reducing costs and optimising resources, healthcare systems will need to build e-health into healthcare policies and strategies.
II. BUILD STRONG MULTI-STAKEHOLDER COLLABORATIONS
Removing barriers from e-health requires stakeholders to work together to identify local cultural or economic barriers, find innovative ways to address them, identify and share best practices and develop tools for analysing what works best for their particular circumstances.
III. WORK TO CHANGE NEGATIVE PERCEPTIONS
Training and education will be key to ensure patients and physicians accept, adopt and adhere to new technologies.
IV. KEEP IT SIMPLE
Given the speed at which technology moves, it’s easy to understand how people can feel overwhelmed when faced with something new. E-health initiatives should be simple and straightforward to use, accessible to everyone.
E-health solutions have the potential to improve the efficiency of healthcare systems, health outcomes for patients, the ability of healthcare professionals to do their jobs, while also delivering substantial cost reductions.
Telemedicine, Opportunities and Developments in Member States, World Health Organization, 2010 pp 24-25.
Spotlight on Prevention: When, Who and How?
Unhealthy lifestyles and lack of physical activity are key factors in the development of chronic diseases. Early prevention and diagnosis, better education, and above all collaboration among governments, patient organizations, and industry are crucial to prevent chronic diseases from arising.