|“||the electronic management of health information to deliver safer, more efficient, better quality healthcare. The Australian government is committed to eHealth and is facilitating the transition of paper-based clinical record keeping to electronic means for better information exchange.||”|
e-Health (also written ehealth) is a relatively recent term for healthcare practice which is supported by electronic processes and communication. The term can encompass a range of services that are at the edge of medicine/healthcare and information technology:
- Electronic Health Records: enable easy communication of patient data between different healthcare professionals (GPs, specialists, care team, pharmacy)
- Telemedicine: includes all types of physical and psychological measurements that do not require a patient to travel to a specialist. When this service works, patients need to travel less to a specialist or conversely the specialist has a larger catchment area.
- Consumer Health Informatics (or citizen-oriented information provision): both healthy individuals and patients want to be informed on medical topics.
- Health knowledge management (or specialist-oriented information provision): e.g. in an overview of latest medical journals, best practice guidelines or epidemiological tracking.
- Virtual healthcare teams: consist of healthcare professionals who collaborate and share information on patients through digital equipment (for transmural care).
- mHealth: includes the use of mobile devices in collecting aggregate and patient level health data, providing healthcare information to practitioners, researchers, and patients, real-time monitoring of patient vitals, and direct provision of care (via mobile telemedicine).
- Medical research uses eHealth Grids that provide powerful computing and data management capabilities to handle large amounts of heterogeneous data.
- Healthcare Information Systems: also often refer to software solutions for appointment scheduling, patient data management, work schedule management and other administrative tasks surrounding health. Whether these tasks are part of eHealth depends on the chosen definition, they do, however, interface with most eHealth implementations due to the complex relationship between administration and healthcare at health care providers.
|“|| e-Health technologies include tools for health authorities and professionals as well as personalised health systems for patients and citizens. Examples include health information networks, electronic health records, tele-medicine services, personal wearable and portable mobile devices, health portals and other tools that assist in health monitoring, diagnosis and treatment. e-Health may help to deliver better care for less money.
e-Health has applications in the expansion of a personalised system of medicine in which access to medical information and diagnostics is available at home and on the move, including via mobile devices. Combined with home monitoring systems, this could enhance preventative and responsive care for vulnerable people.
- ↑ Australian Government, Department of Health and Ageing, "eHealth" (full-text).
- ↑ Technology and Innovation Futures, at 18.
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