Thursday, May 3, 2012

[EQ] WHO Bulletin - Special theme: e-health

WHO Bulletin - Special theme:

Volume 90, Number 5, May 2012

This issue includes articles on the following topics:
• Big possibilities for the future of health
• How to measure impact
• Experts discuss the big issues
• Keeping track of influenza in Madagascar
• Using mobile phones for HIV diagnosis in Zambia
• Changing behavior through m-health
• Improving patient care in Brazil


Establishing an evidence base for e-health: the proof is in the pudding
Najeeb Al-Shorbaji & Antoine Geissbuhler
* Full article [HTML]

This theme issue highlights what we have learnt from e-health projects throughout the world in terms of feasibility, acceptance and impact on processes. The recipe may seem familiar and replicable, but the proof is in the pudding, in the clear demonstration that e-health can result in economic benefits and improve health outcomes. Programme evaluators and implementers face the challenge of generating such evidence, a prerequisite for the widespread adoption of e-health………”

Improving the credibility of electronic health technologies
JEWC van Gemert-Pijnen , S Wynchank , HD Covvey & HC Ossebaard
 Full article [HTML]

Measuring the impact of e-health -

E-health's future frontiers -

The bigger picture for e-health -


E-health in low- and middle-income countries: findings from the Center for Health Market Innovations
Trevor Lewis, Christina Synowiec, Gina Lagomarsino  & Julian Schweitzer
Full article [HTML]

By analysing health programmes in low- and middle-income countries that engage the private sector, our paper fills gaps in the e-health literature and provides new insight into several central questions. It examines specifically the geographic distribution of technology-enabled programmes, the key issues technology can address in the health sector, and the key challenges posed by the adoption and implementation of technology for health-related purposes….”

Long-running telemedicine networks delivering humanitarian services: experience, performance and scientific output
Richard Wootton, Antoine Geissbuhler, Kamal Jethwani, Carrie Kovarik, Donald A Person, Anton Vladzymyrskyy, Paolo Zanaboni  & Maria Zolfo
Full article [HTML]

“…….The objective of the present paper is to summarize the experience gained so far with long-running telemedicine networks delivering humanitarian services; it looks at general information, network performance and scientific output. Long-running networks were selected for study because lack of programme sustainability is a commonly reported problem in telemedicine…..”

Early infant diagnosis of HIV infection in Zambia through mobile phone texting of blood test results
Phil Seidenberg, Stephen Nicholson, Merrick Schaefer, Katherine Semrau, Maximillian Bweupe, Noel Masese, Rachael Bonawitz, Lastone Chitembo, Caitlin Goggin & Donald M Thea
Full article [HTML]

“…..This report describes the design, implementation and evaluation of Project Mwana, a pilot project in Zambia’s rural Southern Province. The main aim of this project was to reduce the time between blood sampling for the detection of infant HIV infection and notification of the test results to the relevant point-of-care health facility by using an SMS-based system. An overview of the system’s architecture is given below, along with a quantitative analysis of the project’s effectiveness and a discussion of the problems encountered in the project’s deployment….”


Factors that promote or inhibit the implementation of e-health systems: an explanatory systematic review
Frances S Mair, Carl May, Catherine O’Donnell, Tracy Finch, Frank Sullivan & Elizabeth Murray
Full article [HTML]

“…The factors promoting or inhibiting the implementation of e-health systems were the subject of a systematic review, by Mair et al., that shows a growing research emphasis on “workability”, or the work that health professionals must undertake to make e-health systems function well in practice. The review also points to the need for more research on the impact of e-health services on everyday clinical practice…”
“….The objective of this review was to synthesize and summarize the findings of identified reviews and inform current and future e-health implementation programmes. The review set out to answer two key questions:
(i) What does the published literature tell us about barriers and facilitators to e-health implementation?
(ii) What, if any, are the main research gaps?....”


Impacts of e-health on the outcomes of care in low- and middle-income countries: where do we go from here?
John D Piette, KC Lun, Lincoln A Moura, Hamish SF Fraser, Patricia N Mechael, John Powell & Shariq R Khoja

Full article [HTML]

“…..E-health tools are designed to improve health surveillance, health-system management, health education and clinical decision-making, and to support behavioural changes related to public-health priorities and disease management. Some systematic evidence of the benefits of e-health in general, and of specific areas of e-health, such as decision-support systems for clinicians or patient-targeted text messaging, already exists.

The objectives of the current review were to highlight gaps in our knowledge of the benefits of e-health and identify areas of potentially useful future research on e-health. There were three main topics of interest: outcomes among patients with chronic health conditions, the cost-effectiveness of various e-health approaches, and the impact of e-health in low- and middle-income countries….”


Improving patient access to specialized health care: the Telehealth Network of Minas Gerais, Brazil
Maria Beatriz Alkmim, Renato Minelli Figueira, Milena Soriano Marcolino, Clareci Silva Cardoso, Monica Pena de Abreu, Lemuel Rodrigues Cunha, Daniel Ferreira da Cunha, Andre Pires Antunes, Adélson Geraldo de A Resende, Elmiro Santos Resende & Antonio Luiz Pinho Ribeiro

Full article [HTML]

“……In this paper we have described the development of a large, public, state-wide telehealth system that supports primary care professionals in remote regions of the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais as part of a government strategy to fulfil the constitutional premise of universal access to high-quality health care. Combining assistance and in-service education with simple and inexpensive technology, the telehealth model has been shown to be effective, technically feasible and economically viable. To the best of our knowledge, this telehealth project is one of the most successful to have been described in the scientific literature until now….”

Improving quality and use of data through data-use workshops: Zanzibar, United Republic of Tanzania

Jørn Braa, Arthur Heywood & Sundeep Sahay

Full article [HTML]

Short message service sentinel surveillance of influenza-like illness in Madagascar, 2008-2012

Soatiana Rajatonirina, Jean-Michel Heraud, Laurence Randrianasolo, Arnaud Orelle, Norosoa Harline Razanajatovo, Yolande Nirina Raoelina, Lisette Ravolomanana, Fanjasoa Rakotomanana, Robinson Ramanjato, Armand Eugène Randrianarivo-Solofoniaina  & Vincent Richard

Full article [HTML]


M-health for health behaviour change in resource-limited settings: applications to HIV care and beyond

Harsha Thirumurthy & Richard T Lester

Full article [HTML]



Point of care in your pocket: a research agenda for the field of m-health

- Alastair van Heerden et al.

Full article [HTML]

Successful partnerships for international collaboration in e-health: the need for organized national infrastructures

S Yunkap Kwankam

Full article [HTML]

Securing the public good of health research and development for developing countries

John-Arne Røttingen et al

Full article [HTML]


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