Global Telemedicine and eHealth: Advances for Future Healthcare – Using a Systems Approach to Integrate Healthcare Functions

Global Telemedicine and eHealth: Advances for Future Healthcare – Using a Systems Approach to Integrate Healthcare Functions

S. A. Davis (University of California Merced, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6339-8.ch084
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Abstract

This chapter is about the intersections taking place globally in the delivery of healthcare. In today's world, quality health is about access: access to transportation to the hospital, access to the right people, doctors, nurses, and specialists, and the doctor's access to the latest lab tests and equipment. But in our future, all of this goes away. You do not need transportation, as medical ecosystems are becoming ubiquitous. Access to the best medical care available means access to the hospital system living in the cloud. The best labs are built into our phones whereby today's array of sensors can be focused on prevention and delivery systems designed for keeping people healthy. Behind this is the driving vision that medicine will be transformed from reactive and generic to predictive and personalized, reaching patients from the cloud through their telephones in their own homes, making up for a coming shortage in doctors and nurses. Where this brings us is that there is an abundance of confusion as to what Telehealth and eHealth is or what it will be. This chapter addresses an eHealth definition for review, thoughts on eHealth systems, resistance to change issues to be considered, the CVS Minute Clinic's introduction of innovation and disruptive eHealth care models and systems, a Systems Engineering Management proof of concept project with the Kansas Department of Corrections, and globally oriented conclusions and recommendations. (Diamandis & Kotler, 2012).
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Background: The Global Ehealth Definition For The Future

Telemedicine healthcare delivery systems are currently using advanced communications technology based on connectivity, interactions, transactions, information, and intervention. It started with National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA, as human astronauts were flying in space. NASA’s advanced communication satellites and the ability to monitor the health of the astronauts was the tipping point for the delivery of healthcare digitally. The revolutionary and potential effect on the digital delivery of healthcare globally provides the capability to: bridge interactions between clinicians and patients, overcome barriers of distance and time, build virtual communities that will interact and share knowledge and expertise, enhance the continuity of care and greatly improve access to healthcare in remote and isolated areas. (Bowonder, Bansal, & Giridhar, 2005)

Our definition for Telemedicine - eHealth is seen as:

e-Health is an emerging field in the intersection of geo-medical informatics, public health and business, referring to health services and information delivered or enhanced through the Internet cloud and related technologies. In a broader sense, the term characterizes not only a technical development, but also a state-of-mind, a way of thinking, an attitude, and a commitment for networked, global thinking, to improve health care locally, regionally, and worldwide by using information and communication technology.(J. M. Eisenberg)

Telemedicine - eHealth (referred to as eHealth in this chapter) will act as the center piece for responsive healthcare delivery by providing: delivery of healthcare where patients and providers are not at the same location at the same time, a new mechanism for providing networked medical knowledge through relational and cloud computing technologies. (Currier & Kshetri, 2011)

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