The rhetoric and reality of e-health: a critical assessment of the benefits of e-health in primary health care
Newman, Lareen Ann
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In developing the special issue, a number of things have been foremost in our mind. Firstly, what exactly is e-health, and is it different from telehealth, ICT for health, online health and other terms? The WHO defines e-health as the use of information and communication technologies for health, with e-health innovations including electronic health records, computer-assisted prescription systems and clinical databases, ICT-supported clinical care, online health information for the general public and scientific information for professionals, platforms for publishing and disseminating health alerts and supporting administrative functions (WHO 2006). The papers in this special issue reflect a wide understanding of e-health and cover topics including health professional training to use online health systems, issues around access and equity for consumers, and electronic records and management. The papers cover areas such as maternity care, dentistry, general practice, mental health, cancer care, chronic disease, nursing, and community health.