Scaling e-Health Services in Step with ICT Transformation


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The concept of ICT adoption in healthcare delivery has attracted international initiatives with huge budgets, as a mechanism for bridging the global digital divide with equitable care delivery. e-Health is viewed as a major mechanism of Information Communication Technology (ICT) adoption, for proliferating equitable care delivery from palliative, curative to preventive care in the top cities to remote rural areas, especially for developing countries. e-Health delivery to remote locations relies on three major links between patient and care provider–Telecommunication infrastructure, back-end computing/storage infrastructure and End-User platforms. Case-studies and data from several pioneering e-Health initiatives in India have been gathered. However, the emphasis of this paper is more on the method used rather than the data samples, so that a typical data-driven governance system may use the same method and fit relevant data from their own demography to diligently prioritize investments with more accurate expectation of outcomes, by scaling e-Health services in step with ICT transformation.




The current analysis shows that a significant number of information transactions in health care delivery can be ICT enabled with already existing types of ICT infrastructure in India. While there is significant hype about shifting the software applications from 2-tier, Client-server to Web-services platforms, in reality, not all information exchanges are expected to cross the walls of a hospital. For judicious investments into technology development transformation, one has to consider that many transactions may not need external access to data sets and in many cases the provider may suspect leakage of business intelligence or threat to data integrity. Today, with the majority of the health system still working with hard copy patient records maintained within the hospitals and the reluctance of doctors to type in the data, solutions in the interim may involve usage of scannedimage of hard copy records or employment of data entry operators.


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