Case Studies in Customization of E-Health Services

Case Studies in Customization of E-Health Services

Dimitris K. Kardaras (Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece) and Bill Karakostas (City University, London, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2770-3.ch051


This chapter discusses existing service customization projects in the health sector. It first defines e-health and compiles a list of personal health management applications that range from those that provide access to electronic health records and health information, to community interaction and social media environments, and finally to decision support tools for disease management. It presents examples of e-health services that have adopted customization/ personalization techniques as the means to provide better service, such as those from the National Health System (NHS) in the UK, and online portals such as Healthspace, DiasNet, and others. This chapter concludes with the presentation of a framework for acceptance of personalized e-health services by patients and citizens.
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E-health refers to the application of information and communications technologies to any health related activities and services, that are provided to patients and their family by healthcare providers (EUROPA, 2008; Englebardt & Nelson, 2002; Eysenbach 2001; Pagliari et al., 2005). From an IT perspective, e-health is defined as the medical informatics applications, especially internet enabled applications that facilitate the management and the delivery of health care services (Pagliari et al., 2005). Richardson (2006) adopts a broader view of e-health and classifies it further within the terms: telecare, telemedicine, telenursing, remote patient monitoring, telehealth, decision support system, e-learning for health professionals and public health monitoring.

Table 1 presents the range and categorizes e-health applications.

Table 1.
Personal health management applications (US (2006), adapted from:
Health InformationApplications providing access to health information organized as searchable information (i.e. online medical database) or as specific content (i.e. health portals).
Behavior change/preventionApplications supporting a specific behavior change (i.e. stop smoking) or aiding disease prevention.
Health self-managementApplications assisting in achieving and maintaining healthy behavior in various lifestyle areas (i.e. diet, fitness). Mostly marketed online.
Online communitiesApplications facilitating the online interaction to provide social support, exchange health information and supporting decision making.
Decision supportApplications providing structured support in various health related fields such as treatment decisions, health insurance programs or healthcare providers.
Disease managementApplications providing surveillance, recordkeeping, and communication devices to help patients manage a specific disease (i.e. diabetes).
Healthcare toolsApplications facilitating the interaction between patients and healthcare providers (i.e. personal health records).

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