ICT in Healthcare

Essay by mapahsanUniversity, Bachelor's April 2013

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One of the essential parameters to consider for a country's sustainable development is access to effective and efficient healthcare services without any difficulty (Perera, 2009). But it is very difficult to provide quality health service to the rural people, especially for developing countries, because of poor communication facilities, lack of good medical center in rural areas, and for other monetary constraint. (Perera, 2009) claims that 'though developing countries put much emphasis on improving their healthcare services, the disparity between service consumption of rural communities compared to their urban counterpart is still very visible'. Information Communication Technology (ICT) can be used to reduce this disparity between rural and urban communities. The rapid growths of information, communication, and mobile technologies have played an important role in the diffusion of information as well as business activity (Perera, 2009). Now in this digital age, as information becomes one of the key resources for any activity, information and communication technologies (ICTs) are considered to be the 'catalysts to development' (Panir, 2011).

Many studies demonstrate that information systems (IS) can make significant contribution to the health sector particularly in the primary health care (PHC) in developing countries (Braa & Brobel, 2003). ICTs (i.e. PC, phone, mobile phone, SMS. MMS, apps/software, Internet etc.) can be used to provide distance health service to the rural people who are deprived of modern medical services. 'The mobile technology is increasingly enhancing functionalities of handheld devices, smart phones and PDAs, which are potentially replacing the use of PC based alternatives while supporting mobility needs of patients and medical practitioners' (Tiwari, 2010). It is increasingly becoming possible to create innovative applications for developing countries that can shift the paradigm of delivering services and resolve problems plaguing the healthcare systems by using these advantages of mobile technology (Tiwari, 2010).

With these considerations,