e-health is a wide and fast-growing field with many implications on how healthcare will be delivered in the future. With the development of modern technologies, medical knowledge seeks to explore new methods to use new technologies to improve the health and well being of all people. e-health refers to the use of communication technology, such as Internet, computers, personal digital assistants, to facilitate healthcare choices and decisions . Hence, the main objective of e-Health is the use of emerging technologies, especially the Internet, to advance or enable health and healthcare.
The “e” in e-health does not only stand for “electronic,” but implies a number of other “e’s,” which together perhaps best characterize what e-health is all about,
- Improve health status by supporting healthy lifestyles, improving health decisions, and enhancing health care quality
- Reduce health care costs by improving efficiencies in the healthcare system and prevention
- Empower people to take greater control of their health by supporting better-informed health decisions and self-care
- Enhance clinical care and public health services by facilitating health professional practice and communication
- Reduce health disparities by applying new approaches to improve the health of underserved populations
The Internet is an important tool. e-Health is the health-related industry made possible by this tool. This industry also needs to accept and overcome some specific challenges like Access, Research, Security, Privacy, Confidentiality and so on. The goal of e-health is to help, create a trustworthy environment for all users. Because of the ever increasing consumer demand for information and expectations to get that information is perhaps the single largest driver of the e-health industry.
Green IT and sustainability
With energy prices rising, regulatory pressures mounting and stakeholders demanding enterprises become more socially aware, green IT is a key issue affecting businesses today (Simon and Bettina). In the past, most organizations paid little regard to the environmental aspects of the equipment they used, or the way resources were consumed and disposed of. However, today, sustainability issues are increasingly becoming an important consideration for business. Understanding the impact and benefits, such as securing cost savings, of implementing a Green IT strategy should be essential for every business all over the world. But with environmental, ethical and legislative factors to take into account, many businesses still do not know where to begin when it comes to delivering green IT effectively.
Based on the weekly reading on Blackboard and some other articles, there several approaches are summarized in which information and communication technologies can contributes to working efficiency, business competitiveness and environmental sustainability.
- Collaboration: New collaborative platforms, such as Wikis, Twitter and Facebook, provide capabilities to help people work together at a distance. These web-based applications eliminate much of the time and money spent on travel. As a consequence, they reduce the emissions associated with travel.
- Anytime-anywhere technologies: Generally, anytime-anywhere technologies consist of teleworking, mobile and wireless technologies. They have the impact on making work as an activity, not a place. The office is no longer the only place to connect to the network, to colleagues, or to critical applications. Employees at home, on the road, in the field, in factories and warehouses can use IT as effectively as their colleagues in the office. It is apparent that they reduce the emissions associated with commuting and other travel and with under-used office space.
- Cloud Computing: Cloud computing is the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product, whereby shared resources, software and information are provided to computers and other devices as a utility over a network. The economies of scale of cloud-based services can result in very efficient use of energy, space and equipment.
The following video describes how IT can improve sustainability and contribute to a greener planet. Sid describes the areas of sustainability, reducing redundancy, and the first steps to a greener environment and a healthy bottom-line.
- Simon Mingay and Bettina Tratz-Ryay. 2011. Key Issues for Green IT and Sustainability.
- Debbe Thompson, Ashanti Canada, Riddhi Bhatt, Jennifer Davis, Lisa Plesko, Tom Baranowski, Karen Cullen, and Iss Zakeri. (2006). eHealth recruitment challenges.
- Anagha Joshi. (2005). e-Health : An overview. Pharmaceutical reviews.
- Wikipedia. (2011). Cloud Computing.