(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) E-Health Services and technology interventions

(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) E-Health Services and technology interventions


E-Health Services and technology interventions


E-Health is an ever-evolving field at the juncture of medicine, public health, business and modern technology. e-Health can be described as the delivery of healthcare services using electronic information and communication technologies.

e-health services are provided in a setting where healthcare providers and patients are not directly in contact, and the interaction is mediated through electronic means. It consists of different electronic health data exchange such as:

  1. Telemedicine: Telemedicine also referred to as telehealth, can be described as the remote delivery of healthcare services including medical examinations and consultations using telecommunication services. It provides healthcare providers the opportunity to evaluate and treat patients without being physically present.
  2. mHealth (mobile health): mHealth refers to the practice of medicine and welfare using mobile smart devices.
  3. Electronic Health Records (EHR): EHR is a systemised collection of patient history stored electronically that can be accessed across multiple formats.
  4. Wearable Sensors: Wearable sensors refer to the health monitors which help in tracking an individual’s body functions like heart rate, sleep quality, oxygen levels, etc.

The World Health Organisation defines three key areas of e-Health as:

  1. Delivery of health information and records, for both the professionals as well as the consumers.
  2. Using the power of information technology and e-commerce platforms to improve the public health infrastructure.
  3. Use of e-commerce and e-business practices in health management systems.

Benefits of digital health:

Digital health or e-health provides a variety of advantages, such as:

  • Efficiency: Using modern technology within healthcare enables professionals to reduce inefficiency, save time and accurately diagnose and treat diseases.
  • Reduction in cost: More efficient treatments lead to reduction in cost. One potential way is by dodging duplicative assessment through improved communications between healthcare providers and electronic medical records.
  • Empowerment: e-Health services enable both the consumers and healthcare providers to feel more empowered by making available the knowledge base of medical data and health records over the internet.
  • Better relations: e-Health services can enable better relations between the patient and the expert since it provides clear and easier channels of communication.
  • Equity: e-Health is a great concept for reducing the gap between the haves and the have nots. It enables equitable healthcare access irrespective of age, race, gender, ethnicity, geography, etc. Digital health also enables access of better healthcare facilities to remote locations.
  • Education: e-Health services are beneficial for educating healthcare professionals of any medical advancements. These services can also be beneficial for consumers to educate themselves about personalised preventive healthcare.
  • Faster decision making: With the advent of decision-making software and increased automation, decision making in medical situations have become much faster and more efficient.

Some major trends in digital health in the post COVID-19 world are:

  1. Smartphones: With the increasing number of smartphones consumers, these devices can be used to effectively operate digital technology to support healthcare facilities, address the growing health concerns and support the use of m-health services.
  2. Big Data: Big data is expected to be a game changer in this space by providing lower rate of medication errors.
  3. Virtual Reality: Virtual Reality has already started making its mark in the digital health world by providing support in treating anxiety, post-traumatic stress and stroke, among others. Virtual Reality is stated to play a major role in complicated surgeries.
  4. Wearables: In the age of smart watches, fitness bands, sugar monitors etc, wearables are playing an important role in making patients aware of the likelihood of a health emergency. With wearables tracking heart rate, exercise levels, sleep quality etc, these can play a key role in providing up to date monitoring of high-risk patients.
  5. Artificial Intelligence (AI): The power of artificial intelligence can be seen in areas such as precision medicine, medical imaging, drug discovery and genomics. Additionally, the use of chatbots and virtual assistants shall see a sharp increase in the times to come.
  6. Blockchain: Blockchain technology has already been deployed to create digital versions of medical charts.
  • The pandemic has presented our country with a myriad of opportunities towards boosting technological advancements in the healthcare sector. India’s advancements in this sector with a strong push from the government has proven well to the country’s advancements. Given India’s vast diversity and population size the sector presents tremendous opportunities and scope in the future. Extending the idea of the age old saying of ‘Health is Wealth’, we can safely say that new technology will be a great investment in Indian healthcare system.



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Courtesy: Kurukshetra