UNDERSTANDING E-HEALTH AND SELF CARE|
In recent times, there is an emerging field that has
to do with health services or information delivered through the internet and
This emerging field in the intersection of medical
informatics, public health, and business is known as E-health.
What is E-health?
E-health is the use of information and communication
technologies to strengthen health and health care.
E-health employs several digital technologies. For
instance, the internet enables E-health users to communicate with healthcare
professionals via e-mail to access medical records, research health
information, and carry out a person-to-person exchange of information through
text, video, audio e.t.c.
Several technologies employed in E-health are
accessible to all users with no exception to those with impairments such as
deafness or blindness. Also, many modern mobile devices are designed with
personal computing and Internet capabilities and are compatible with
downloadable applications that enable users to access health information
Types Of E-health
There are several ranges of services under the term
E-health, below are some of these services.
This gives access to prescribing options and printing
prescriptions for patients. Sometimes, it provides access to the electronic
transmission of prescriptions from doctors to pharmacists.
2. Computerized physician order entry
This serves as a means of requesting diagnostic tests
and treatments electronically and receiving the results.
A means of exchanging clinical information and images
over a distance.
A means of providing rehabilitation services over a
distance through telecommunications.
For physical and psychological diagnosis and
treatments at a distance which includes videoconferencing and telemonitoring of
E-health And Self-care
Self-care is the procedure by which individuals look
after their health using the knowledge and information accessible to them.
According to WHO, self-care is "The ability of
individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease,
maintain health, and cope with illness and disability with or without the
support of a health-care provider”.
Self-care involves making healthy lifestyle choices,
avoiding unhealthy lifestyle habits,
making responsible use of prescription and non-prescription medicines,
Self Care also involves Self-monitoring which is the
tracking and recording of personal data through the use of sensors or tools
which are readily available to the public. The tools are digitally available
through mobile device applications and the sensors are usually wearable
devices were designed to allow personal data to be instantly available to the
individual to be analyzed.
Benefits Of E-health
1. It saves time. For instance, patients can schedule
their appointment with their care provider online or arrange an online
2. It gives people more insight into their health and
helps patients gain more control over their health because of a greater
understanding of their health situation.
3. It lowers administrative burden as it enables
doctors to share information securely and easily with colleagues, and have less
Some barriers to E-health include a lack of financial
incentives and reimbursement to support its use within and across
organizations. Costs associated with hardware and software purchases as well as
maintenance and upgrades. The disparity in access to digital technologies, most
especially the Internet is the biggest barrier to the use of E-health.
E-health facilitates health improvement and
healthcare services through the use of digital technologies and
telecommunications and is accessible to all users. It makes information readily
available to healthcare professionals and consumers.
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