The World Health Organization defines e-Health as
"…the cost-effective and secure use of information and communications
technologies in support of health and health-related fields, including
health-care services, health surveillance, health literature, and health
education, knowledge and research..." (see
Resolution 58/28 of the World Health Assembly, Geneva, 2005).
the International Telecommunication Union, the ICT Applications and
Cybersecurity Division provides assistance to developing
countries, among others, by advising on e-Health strategies and
policies, creating guidelines and training materials on e-Health
applications, and assisting in implementing technical cooperation
projects. Our tools and services are geared to improving access to
health services through better use of information and communications
To be effective, e-Health requires appropriate
regulatory, legal and policy frameworks in both the telecommunications
and the health sectors. Some of the critical factors for success are
proper project management and a coordinated approach following a clear
vision, the building up and maintenance of adequate technological
infrastructure, the commitment of trained end-users and ICT literate
citizens, and the political desire to achieve challenging but realistic
e-health goals. Some key issues in e-health are data security and
privacy. Wherever possible, e-health networks and applications should
share expensive communication infrastructures with other ICT
applications requiring secure and interoperable systems, such as
e-government and e-commerce.
Generally, the potential benefits of e-Health
Faster and easier storage, transmission and
access to medical data and health-related information for healthcare
providers and professionals, citizens/patients, academics,
researchers, policy makers and others.
Capacity building and improved delivery of
healthcare services, particularly in rural and remote areas.
Reduction of operational and administrative
costs in implementing healthcare services.
Learn more about ITU’s activities in e-Health and
see other interesting links below.
The purpose of
Programme 2 (Hyderabad, 2010) is to support the ITU membership
in improving access to ICT applications and services, especially in
underserved and rural areas, achieving trust and confidence in the
use of ICTs, the Internet and next-generation networks, promoting
fair and equitable access to critical Internet resources. The activities in the broad area of ICT Applications includes promoting and implementing e-Services and e-Applications (e.g.,
e-Government, e-Business, e-Learning, e-Health, e-Employment, e-Environment, e-Agriculture, e-Science, etc.) in developing countries. Some related resources can be found below.