eHealth: Definition, History, Characteristics, Scope, Benefits and Challenges

eHealth: Definition, History, Characteristics, Scope, Benefits and Challenges

eHealth: Definition, History, Characteristics, Scope, Benefits and Challenges

What is eHealth?

eHealth refers to the use of internet and other technologies in the health care industry.
Simply understanding, eHealth is the transfer of health resources and health care by electronic means. It is the healthcare supported by electronics, informatics and tele-communications.
eHealth can be defined as delivery of health care using modern electronic information and communication technologies when health care providers and patients are not directly in contact and their interaction is mediated by electronic means.
World Health Organization (WHO) defines, eHealth as “the cost-effective and secure use of information and communications technologies in support of health and health-related fields, including health-care services, health surveillance, health literature, and health education, knowledge and research.”
In a broader sense, the term eHealth exemplifies/illustrates the technical progress to expand health care locally, countywide, and universal by using information and communication technology.
eHealth encompasses all sorts of electronic health data exchange such as Telemedicine, Tele-health etc.
eHealth also characterizes technological commitment towards global health care action.
eHealth is a cost effective method method of providing health services to the people.
Examples of eHealth include communication with health care professional via email, access medical records, research health information, etc.

History of eHealth

Traditionally, health care providers kept paper records on the history and status of their patients.
But with rise in the health care cost and technological advancement, it has encouraged the development of electronic tracking system.
Thus the concept of digital health or eHealth emerged to designate the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the healthcare sector
eHealth is an evolving field in the juncture of medical informatics, public health, and business, stating to the health services and information distributed or heightened through the internet and associated technologies.

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