E Health : The Advanced Use Of It Healthcare

1335 Words May 1st, 2015 6 Pages
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E-health: The advanced use of IT in Healthcare

Information technologies (IT) have been used in healthcare since the 1950s. Initially, the focus was on the back office (e.g. billing and patient administration), primarily in hospitals. IT support for clinical services grew substantially from the 1970’s onwards, initially focused in specialized areas such pathology. Linking the plethora of systems together within hospitals became a high priority from the 1980’s.

By the 1990’s, the focus of healthcare in developed countries, where the health IT investment was occurring, had changed from dealing primarily from acute, short-term interventions to primarily dealing with long-term, chronic conditions that required input from a wide range of specializations provided from both hospitals and community-based settings. The IT focus moved to linkages between organizations; digitization and integration of lifelong patient records; and greater granularity of and structure for clinical data. Health IT moved beyond hospitals (although this happened much more quickly in places like the U.K., the Scandinavian countries and Australia than in North America). This was the transition to “e-health”.

By the 2000’s, advances in information and communication technologies were beginning to allow massive, distributed health databases and the development of comprehensive, nation-wide health information…
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