From Healthcare Services to E-Health Applications: A Delivery System-Based Taxonomy

From Healthcare Services to E-Health Applications: A Delivery System-Based Taxonomy

Riccardo Spinelli (University of Genoa, Italy) and Clara Benevolo (University of Genoa, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9870-3.ch007
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Abstract

The increasing adoption of ICT – and especially Internet-based technologies – in healthcare has been very fruitful and has led to the innovative approach to healthcare practice commonly known as e-health. However, the boundaries of this new approach to healthcare are not clear, as it is reflected by the various properties and taxonomies of e-health applications which have been proposed. In this chapter, we first review the definition of e-health and the main taxonomies for its constituents. Then we propose an original taxonomy for e-health applications, based on the structural features of the delivery system of the services which are digitalized: the need for a physical interaction between the subjects involved in the service provisioning and the possibility of delivering the services through Internet-based technology.
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Background

In this section we first present some considerations on the role of healthcare industry within the new economic paradigm of the digital economy, useful to encompass the e-health development within a more comprehensive framework. A definition for e-health is later proposed, which embraces the most relevant elements of this phenomenon; then, the main objectives associated with the development of e-health are illustrated, to show its great potential in terms of efficiency, effectiveness, innovation and relationships. Finally, the issue of e-health taxonomies is introduced.

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