The rate at which health care practice is being initiated and carried out is getting more up to date than ever before. In recent years it has become known as E-health and this started at around the year 1999. E-health has since then been recognized as health care practice that is ably supported by electronic processes and communication. It has also become synonymous with health informatics due to the electronic and digital processes involved while some people credit it with the name largely because of the interdependence of health care practice with the Internet.
E-health And How It Is Defined
With the growing need to completely define E-health, various authors in the medical field have come up with the following definitions in the hope of completely identifying the roles and functions of E-health:
These definitions, among others, aim to enlighten us with the major tasks of E-health and its significance to human lives. The continuing changes in its definition and usage have helped propel changes within the health care practice as well as on health informatics.
E-health And Its Range of Services And Systems
The following are the range of services and systems encompassing the area of E-health which will enable us to more fully grasp its function towards the transformation of clinical practice:
Health Informatics At A Glance
While the functions of E-health may be too broad and complex for some a big chunk of this specialized field of practice is carried out by Health or Medical Informatics. It is defined as the use of computer technologies in health care to store, share, transmit and analyze clinical knowledge and data. The following are just some of the definitions that aim to more specifically explain the usage of health informatics in health care practice:
The above definitions offer us a clearer perspective of how Health Informatics is being facilitated and utilized towards the delivery of an effective health care practice.
The Role of E-health in transforming clinical practice
E-health has in a nutshell highly enhanced networking and facilitated global thinking. It has also greatly improved health care on local, regional and national levels according to Cashen, Dykes and Gerber. Its goals and roles can be enumerated as follows according to Austin and Boxerman:
The greatest benefactors of E-health are the people living in rural areas by enabling them to have easier access to information and telemedicine services. While these areas may be densely remote more and more rural communities are now hooked up to the internet and have stable internet connections. The usage of mobile devices such as cell phones is already widespread which can help facilitate patient and doctor communications. According to Kwankam the Ehealth networks remove time and distance barriers to the flow of health information and help ensure that collective knowledge is brought together towards solving the health problems of the world.