eHealth Explained: The Benefits and Challenges of eHealth

When was the last time you thought about getting lab results faster or obtaining medications? What if you want to work out but don’t know where to begin or what your fitness goals should be? We’re all constantly asking ourselves questions about it. 

From technology, we can get all of these questions answered. Perhaps, you have already used this technology to look up information online, communicate with friends and family, or even bake a cake or choose a vacation spot. For improved health management, the same tools can be employed as well. eHealth is the term used to describe this type of service.

This term, which was rarely used before 1999, now appears to be a widespread “buzzword” used to describe “Internet medicine” and nearly everything relating to computers and medicine. According to reports, industry leaders and marketing professionals were the first to adopt the term, rather than academics or researchers.

The term eHealth simply means health care practice that is aided by electronic processes and communication. This arena holds an account of the new possibilities that Internet is opening up to health care providers. So, we may ask what eHealth actually is? Or how does it actually work? Technological advancement can improve your and your family’s health in several ways. Information and education can be obtained from traditional means, such as television and radio and the Internet, which can be used to research health-related topics or conditions.

Depending on How People Define it, a Wide Range of eHealth Sub-domains are Available; such as:

  • Electronic Health Records
  • Electronic Medical Records
  • Telehealth and telemedicine
  • Health IT systems
  • Mobile Health or mHealth and Big data systems

But, when the word eHealth is addressed, many people begin to mourn the loss of face-to-face consultations. They start recalling ‘the good old days’, when one could create a long-term, personal relationship with their doctor, eventually benefiting their overall health and lifespan. We’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who would say that the telephone or internet banking had ruined our sense of money.

As outlined in numerous studies, eHealth can assist the healthcare system in meeting the Institute of Healthcare Improvement’s (IHI’s) triple goal of concurrently increasing quality, improving health, and reducing per capita treatment costs. So, having eHealth is suitable for use or losing extra money from the pocket is still creating debate among some people. After a thorough study, we will discuss various facts about how eHealth services will be more beneficial to you than a money-short situation:

Support for People with Chronic Conditions

Health care workers were trained to detect and treat diseases until the first part of the 20th century. Then, self-management transformed this function into that of a teacher, partner, and supervisor. The use of electronic health (eHealth) to monitor patients is one method of patient supervision.

New symptoms, such as heartbeat monitoring or sleep cycles, can be detected by FDA-approved fitness trackers that send results to medical doctors for analysis. If they are able to get medical assistance quickly, it could save them. For example, Venous thromboembolism or VTE is a significant cause of mortality, morbidity, and substantial medical expenses that can be prevented. The prevalence of VTE is on the rise due to an aging population and poor lifestyles. According to a recent study, self-management may boost patients’ sense of involvement in their own care.

A meta-analysis by the Cochrane Collaboration in 2010 indicated that deployment of eHealth, patients are better able to comprehend their disease, feel in charge, and be willing to self-manage. Health care providers and chronically ill patients can both benefit from the use of eHealth solutions. Results of eHealth-supported self-management rely on the expectations and education level of patients.

Reduced Medical Overhead Costs Both Doctors and Patients 

The use of remote analytic services, such as telepathology and teleradiology, can reduce costs and improve the quality of care since they allow highly qualified experts to pull their efforts. In addition, a low-volume supplier can have 24/7 coverage at a lesser cost by using remote services.

As a result of the usage of mHealth monitoring tools, chronic disease consequences are less costly. If someone’s weight increases because of fluid retention, they may soon need to be hospitalized for heart failure. Fluid retention can be detected early by disease managers with access to daily weight information.

A provider’s capacity can be saved by giving telemedicine appointments. Patients can be accepted or rejected by many services depending on the provider’s current availability. In order to generate revenue from this capability, providers can offer remote patient visits at a cheaper rate than they usually do. As a result, a patient can access care at a more affordable cost that saves system expense.

Pathogen Exposure is Reduced.

Hours-long waits in doctors’ waiting rooms with other patients can contribute to the spread of COVID-19, the flu, and other viruses. Telehealth keeps patients at home, avoiding exposure to viruses and germs. This helps protect medical professionals as well. Many Americans are turning to telemedicine to interact with their physicians as more and more of them adhere to state-mandated stay-at-home orders. Medicare recipients were not allowed to use telehealth services until the last few months since they had to pay for their own care.

Online Psychiatric Support

In the wake of COVID-19, it has become increasingly difficult for many people to see a therapist in person. Telemedicine has allowed persons with stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health concerns to begin or continue receiving therapeutic care. People with mental health emergencies, especially those at risk of self-harm, can reach out to a therapist or psychiatrist every day and night.

Doctors Get to Stay Home Too

A large number of medical offices have closed or shortened their hours during the pandemic. Thanks to cybersecurity techniques such as virtual private networks, doctors and therapists can safely treat patients from their home offices. Doctors and patients can even communicate after hours and on weekends using this service.

Though eHealth has numerous blessings, barriers such as-

  • eHealth adoption is hindered by a lack of financial incentives and reimbursement to support its use within and between companies and a lack of reimbursement for its use.
  • Prices associated with hardware and software purchases, maintenance, and upgrades are adding obstacles to eHealth technology. 

eHealth was born out of a need for better recording of patient health and treatments conducted on patients, notably for payment considerations, such as by insurance companies. Though eHealth has certain cons, it also has a lot of blessings, which makes it more of a necessity than a luxury.

Elinore Barton
After graduating with a degree in biology, Elinore Barton has been a research analyst in the health and pharmaceutical industry. Along with her work, she’s also an aspiring writer and has produced influential findings through her writing. With her published works, she intends to help others maintain their health by improving their awareness of healthcare and nutrition.


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