The eHealth readiness of Australia's medical specialists - Final Report

Expected future uses of eHealth

Page last updated: 30 May 2011

Intended future uses of eHealth would expand the use of telemedicine, expand remote care management with remote health monitoring and feedback on behaviour, and better support clinical decisions, electronic health records, and public health intelligence. Importantly, these future uses would focus more than current applications on sharing information through reliable, connected eHealth platforms. As a result, they will require deeper adoption strategies to gain support and build capabilities at both the practice and health network levels.

The eHealth solutions marked to progress in the National E-Health Strategy (2008) include:

  • Telemedicine: A subset of telehealth technologies that enable healthcare providers to administer care remotely, e.g. kiosks with videoconferencing and vital sign devices, mobile applications, SMS, store-forward
  • Remote-care wellness and management: A subset of telehealth technologies that enable healthcare providers and educators to monitor, educate and influence the behaviour of patients remotely, such as
    • Remote health monitoring technologies to collect and manage data (e.g. vital signs, motion, compliance) from passive/active/interactive devices; includes workflow and decision support systems used to drive appropriate health actions based on the collected data
    • Feedback and behaviour modification technologies to effect change in patient behaviour by providing health education and feedback on behaviour relative to personalised health goal
  • Clinical decision support: Tools used by healthcare providers or patients to aid diagnosis, treatment, or care process decisions. For example, these may document data, display relevant data, lookup/display reference material, flag potential errors, implement (e.g. guided dose algorithms), and track over the care pathway
  • Electronic health records: Systems for managing longitudinal health record spanning multiple providers across the care continuum, consisting of an electronic medical record (medical history within single provider) and healthcare information exchange (to integrate and make available electronic health records across providers). This could also include computerised physician order entry
  • Health intelligence: Health intelligence is a group of technologies that enables public health informatics functions and analyses such as disease surveillance, electronic health record based outcomes analyses such as comparative effectiveness of drugs and procedures, and risk stratification analyses that enable activities such as selection of patients for disease management programs.