Telemedicine and Electronic Health: Issues and Implications in Developing Countries

Telemedicine and Electronic Health: Issues and Implications in Developing Countries

Kijpokin Kasemsap (Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University, Thailand)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3168-5.ch001
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Abstract

This chapter reveals the overview of telemedicine; telemedicine in developing countries; Electronic Health Record (EHR); and mobile health technologies. Telemedicine and Electronic Health (e-health) are modern technologies toward improving quality of care and increasing patient safety in developing countries. Telemedicine and e-health are the utilization of medical information exchanged from one site to another site via electronic communications. Telemedicine and e-health help health care organizations share data contained in the largely proprietary EHR systems in developing countries. Telemedicine and e-health help reduce the cost of health care and increases the efficiency through better management of chronic diseases, shared health professional staffing, reduced travel times, and shorter hospital stays. The chapter argues that utilizing telemedicine and e-health has the potential to enhance health care performance and reach strategic goals in developing countries.
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Background

Telemedicine is one of the modern health care technologies that have brought an opportunity for people who are living in rural areas to gain better accessibility and quality of health care services (Alajmi et al., 2016). Telemedicine implies that there is an exchange of information, without personal contact, between two physicians or between a physician and a patient (Crisóstomo-Acevedo & Medina-Garrido, 2010). Physicians are very concerned about achieving improved health of patients and communities, and the implementation of telemedicine is seen as an essential tool (Nakayasu & Sato, 2012). One of the largest constraints in developing countries’ public health sector is the acute shortage of financial resources that leads to a shortage of medical expertise (Treurnicht & van Dyk, 2012). In addition, lack of health care facilities and effective health care systems are also important problems faced by these countries (Iyer, 2009).

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