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E-health is the use of information and communication technology (ICT) to support and improve health and health care. Initially, it concerns another way, independent of place and time, of delivering usual care and treatment. Moreover, it can involve new content of care and treatment. As such e-health is always about innovation of the regular health care. This definition is set up by the National Health Care Institute (Zorginstituut Nederland). Provided that e-health is being deployed well, it contributes to affordable, accessible high quality care. E-health has the future, as the motto says, because of the opportunities with respect to effectiveness, patient compliance and costs. E-health is positively ‘in the picture’, attested by this special issue of TSG. There is a lot of e-health supply (websites, e-consults, apps, platforms) and many projects support the implementation of e-health. Currently the development and implementation of e-health seems to be supply oriented, although there are good examples proving the opposite. But how about the patient? The introduction of this Spectrum is from the Federation of Patients and Consumer Organisations in the Netherlands (NPCF). They express that the patient can take control of his or her treatment by means of e-health. From different perspectives (general practitioners, health care insurers and researchers) a reaction is given. These reactions make clear that they also see opportunities, but also that ‘e-health’ has a long way to go. Financing and digital exchange of information is of great importance, but not yet organized. There remain questions for patients, for health care insurers and for developers and researchers. This Spectrum offers room for these questions.
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- E-health in health care: opportunities for the patient?
Bohn Stafleu van Loghum
- Bohn Stafleu van Loghum