Problem Debate Solution Elements
Health Care Service and Infrastructure Deficiencies
In today's world, developing countries, regions, and communities face a wide variety of health-related challenges, and their archaic health systems that are in place have limited capabilities and are struggling. The need for an affordable and innovative Population Healthcare Management solution that addresses service and infrastructure deficiencies has never been more imperative.
Over 4 billion of our world’s population health care services and infrastructures are perilously deficient. These service and infrastructure deficiencies coupled with our increased mobility is exacerbating the probability that an epidemic crisis in one small corner of the world can quickly spread and become a pandemic crisis for all mankind.
The need to improve deficient health care services and infrastructures is no longer an option or a debate, it is imperative!
Need To Reform
Debates on the need to reform healthcare information systems to address global health care deficiencies are progressively spreading around the world, while many health care market segments lack any form of a Health Information System.
Extended life expectancy has yielded a growing aging population, which in turn has led to a surge in health care costs & inability to effectively manage. High cost & lack of innovative solutions are two major challenges to resolution. The trade-off between affordable, quality health services & the heavy financial burden to health budgets has never been more acute.
Registration, Identification, Monitoring, Managing, Analyzing & Reporting (RIMMAR) capabilities are not available with current today's health care solutions. The lack of an innovative, affordable Health Information System solution is a rapidly growing dilemma.
The Time Is Now
Population health has been defined as -- the health outcomes of a group of individuals, including the distribution of such outcomes within the group. It is an approach to health that aims to improve the health of an entire human population. A priority considered important in achieving the aim of population health is to reduce health inequities or disparities among different population groups due to, among other factors, the social determinants of health (SDOH).
The SDOH include all the factors (social, environmental, cultural, and physical) that the different populations are born into, raised, and function throughout their lifetimes which has a measurable impact on the health of human populations. The population health concept represents a change in the focus from the individual level, characteristic of most mainstream medicine. It also seeks to complement the classic efforts of public health agencies by addressing a broader range of factors shown to impact the health of different populations.
Key element initiatives of Population Healthcare Management are eHealth, tHealth, mHealth, and wHealth.
Read below to learn more about these key initiatives.
eHealth is a broad term, and refers to the use of information and communications technologies in health care. eHealth covers a lot of territory, which is why digital health industry experts often contest exactly what the term means and to add to the confusion, it’s also frequently used as a synonym for Health IT.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines eHealth as:
“...the cost-effective and secure use of information and communication technologies in support of the health and health-related fields including health care, health surveillance, health education, knowledge, and research.”
Depending on how people choose to define it, eHealth encompasses a wide variety of sub-domains of digital health but for UNITY this mainly encompasses:
Electronic Health Records (EHR)
Electronic Medical Records (EMR)
Health IT Systems
tHealth is the use of telecommunication and information technology to provide clinical health care from a distance. It has been used to overcome distance barriers and to improve access to medical services that would often not be consistently available in distant rural communities. It is also used to save lives in critical care and emergency situations.
Some of the most popular uses for tHealth include:
Transmission of data for diagnosis and disease management
Prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases using remote monitoring tools
Emergency treatment care via telephone and remote monitoring devices
Remote patient monitoring and care
Distance medical education
Health data collection and management for disease surveillance
Healthcare asset identification, listing, and patient-to-asset matching and movement
mHealth is an abbreviation for mobile health, a term used for the practice of medicine and public health supported by mobile devices. The term is most commonly used in reference to using mobile communication devices, such as mobile phones, tablets, computers, PDAs, and wearable devices, for health services and data collection.
Within digital health, mHealth encompasses all applications of telecommunications and multimedia technologies for the delivery of health care and health information.
The most common digital health applications for mHealth include:
Population education and awareness
Diagnostic and treatment support
Disease and epidemic outbreak tracking and management
Healthcare supply chain management
Remote data collection
Healthcare telecommunication and training
wHealth is the integration of wireless technology into traditional medicine such as diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of illness, as well as other tools that help individuals improve their medical treatments. wHealth differs from mHealth in that wHealth solutions will not always be mobile and mHealth solutions will not always be wireless. Mobile broadband connectivity is useful in reaching new patients in remote areas while improving productivity and convenience.
wHealth focuses on the delivery model and aims to maximize health care resources through optimal use and the provision of more flexible digital health options.
Some of the benefits of wHealth, include:
Reduction in health care costs
Increased access to health care—especially in under-served areas
Improved quality and continuity of care
Improved scope of medical services offered
Reduced time to diagnosis and treatment
Improved gathering of health data in remote areas
Increased productivity of health care staff