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Evaluating eHealth: undertaking robust international cross-cultural eHealth research.

Bates DW, Wright A - PLoS Med. (2009)

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Division of General Internal Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. dbates@partners.org

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This is the second in a monthly series of three articles on evaluating eHealth. eHealth—the use of electronic tools in delivering health care —is rapidly emerging as an international priority in nations at all levels of development, yet the benefits and priorities have not clearly been defined... While some commentators have suggested that electronic records may be out of reach for developing nations, an increasing body of work shows that use of electronic tools can result in large health improvements, even in resource-poor environments –, and the World Wide Web means that the latest information is now available anywhere there is an Internet connection, which in itself represents a huge development... Although an increasing array of data show that health information technology (HIT) can improve the efficiency, quality, and safety of health care –, the aggregate benefits are still debated and remain controversial ,... It is therefore clear that additional research is needed to better define the possible benefits of HIT even within countries, let alone internationally... One especially important problem is deciding what type of electronic decision support for health professionals should be delivered as part of the HIT... The choice of decision support matters because it has been shown that many of the benefits from the electronic record come as the result of the decision support... The lack of HIT standardization within countries, and the way in which individual organizations are implementing electronic decision support systems in isolation without sharing experiences, makes eHealth collaborations across borders even more challenging... This collaboration has led to the development of OpenMRS (http://openmrs.org/wiki/OpenMRS), an open-source electronic medical record designed to help track care for patients with HIV, which is now being using in a number of locations in Africa (Figure 1) ,... In work in Peru, this group found that use of a personal digital assistant (PDA) tool reduced data collection delays for tuberculosis laboratory results compared to paper... In further work, they found that use of this application decreased work spent collecting and processing results by 60%... There are several ways to stimulate evaluation of international eHealth collaborations, including: (1) promoting education about the importance of conducting eHealth research, (2) developing coherence in description of eHealth interventions, (3) agreeing on common outcomes measures, and (4) improving reporting, indexing, and systematic reviewing of the literature on eHealth... In contrast, today it is possible to find medical knowledge using only a cell phone almost anywhere—such changes in technology are likely to transform care, both in the developing world and outside it... To enable this transformation, a wide array of research on eHealth and its benefits will be essential.

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A distance continuing medical education presentation on RAFT by Walter Zingg on the subject of central line–associated infections.
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pmed-1000105-g002: A distance continuing medical education presentation on RAFT by Walter Zingg on the subject of central line–associated infections.

Mentions: The RAFT (Réseau en Afrique Francophone pour la Télémédecine) network is a collaboration between the Geneva University Hospitals and a number of countries in West Africa (see http://raft.hcuge.ch/) [27]. This network has focused on using telemedicine to enable distance continuing medical education and teleconsultations via the Internet (Figure 2).


Evaluating eHealth: undertaking robust international cross-cultural eHealth research.

Bates DW, Wright A - PLoS Med. (2009)

A distance continuing medical education presentation on RAFT by Walter Zingg on the subject of central line–associated infections.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2735779&req=5

pmed-1000105-g002: A distance continuing medical education presentation on RAFT by Walter Zingg on the subject of central line–associated infections.
Mentions: The RAFT (Réseau en Afrique Francophone pour la Télémédecine) network is a collaboration between the Geneva University Hospitals and a number of countries in West Africa (see http://raft.hcuge.ch/) [27]. This network has focused on using telemedicine to enable distance continuing medical education and teleconsultations via the Internet (Figure 2).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Division of General Internal Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. dbates@partners.org

AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED EXCERPT
Please rate it.

This is the second in a monthly series of three articles on evaluating eHealth. eHealth—the use of electronic tools in delivering health care —is rapidly emerging as an international priority in nations at all levels of development, yet the benefits and priorities have not clearly been defined... While some commentators have suggested that electronic records may be out of reach for developing nations, an increasing body of work shows that use of electronic tools can result in large health improvements, even in resource-poor environments –, and the World Wide Web means that the latest information is now available anywhere there is an Internet connection, which in itself represents a huge development... Although an increasing array of data show that health information technology (HIT) can improve the efficiency, quality, and safety of health care –, the aggregate benefits are still debated and remain controversial ,... It is therefore clear that additional research is needed to better define the possible benefits of HIT even within countries, let alone internationally... One especially important problem is deciding what type of electronic decision support for health professionals should be delivered as part of the HIT... The choice of decision support matters because it has been shown that many of the benefits from the electronic record come as the result of the decision support... The lack of HIT standardization within countries, and the way in which individual organizations are implementing electronic decision support systems in isolation without sharing experiences, makes eHealth collaborations across borders even more challenging... This collaboration has led to the development of OpenMRS (http://openmrs.org/wiki/OpenMRS), an open-source electronic medical record designed to help track care for patients with HIV, which is now being using in a number of locations in Africa (Figure 1) ,... In work in Peru, this group found that use of a personal digital assistant (PDA) tool reduced data collection delays for tuberculosis laboratory results compared to paper... In further work, they found that use of this application decreased work spent collecting and processing results by 60%... There are several ways to stimulate evaluation of international eHealth collaborations, including: (1) promoting education about the importance of conducting eHealth research, (2) developing coherence in description of eHealth interventions, (3) agreeing on common outcomes measures, and (4) improving reporting, indexing, and systematic reviewing of the literature on eHealth... In contrast, today it is possible to find medical knowledge using only a cell phone almost anywhere—such changes in technology are likely to transform care, both in the developing world and outside it... To enable this transformation, a wide array of research on eHealth and its benefits will be essential.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus