A Tale of Two Cities: E-Health in Germany and Australia

A Tale of Two Cities: E-Health in Germany and Australia

Manuel Zwicker (RMIT University, Australia), Juergen Seitz (DHBW Heidenheim, Germany) and Nilmini Wickramasinghe (RMIT University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/jantti.2012010103
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Over the last forty years, the average percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) spent on healthcare by members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries has risen considerably. Challenges including longer life expectancy, ageing population and technological changes have and continue to exponentially impact rising health expenditures. Reducing these expenditures as well as offering effective and efficient quality healthcare treatment has become a priority globally to healthcare. Technology and automation in general have the potential to reduce these costs; hence many countries are now looking at how to use information and communication technologies (ICT) in general and e-health solutions in particular to address these challenges. Hence, this paper focuses on such attempts by two countries. Specifically, it focuses on the German and Australian e-health solutions. The paper provides an assessment of these two solutions, the possibility for any lessons learnt with regard to designing and implementing successful and appropriate e-health solutions as well as understanding the major barriers and facilitators that must be addressed. Finally, ANT will be used to provide a rich lens to investigate the key issues in these respective e-health solutions.
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Literature Review

In order to investigate the proposed research question it is necessary first to examine key issues of NCHO (network centric healthcare operations). In addition, it is important to discuss the different healthcare systems and to define e-health. Finally, ANT is briefly presented.

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