eHealth (Electronic Health) involves the integration of all information and knowledge sources involved in the delivery of healthcare via information technology-based systems. This includes patients and their records, caregivers and their systems, monitoring devices and sensors, management and administrative functions. It is a fully integrated digital ‘supply chain’ and involves high levels of automation and information sharing.
The EU eHealth Action Plan 2012-2020, states that
“eHealth can benefit citizens, patients, health and care professionals but also health organisations and public authorities. eHealth - when applied effectively - delivers more personalised ‘citizen-centric’ healthcare, which is more targeted, effective and efficient and helps reduce errors, as well as the length of hospitalisation. It facilitates socio-economic inclusion and equality, quality of life and patient empowerment through greater transparency, access to services and information and the use of social media for health”.
In Dec 2013 the Department of Health launched the eHealth Strategy for Ireland. This document identified the skills shortage in this area stating that “the current skills base for eHealth is not encouraging in two respects: (i) The “installed base” of active professionals with eHealth skills is very small and (ii) the relevant capacity within the 3rd level education and research sector is small”. It also identified that the current and anticipated skills deficit existing at different levels, ranging from entry-level technicians and support staff to cross-trained clinicians (nurses and doctors), eHealth management and ICT professionals, eHealth researchers and product development specialists. An underlying problem is the low number of eHealth academic specialists who are an essential resource in both:
(1) the provision of Health Informatics training across the country, and
(2) the establishment of an R&D base and source of eHealth innovation.
This situation is unchanged today.
Find out more about our programmes in Healthcare Informatics, Artificial Intelligence for Medicine and Medical Research and Data Analytics for Precisions Medicine as well as our RIS and PACS programmes in the Radiography & Diagnostic Imaging section by following the links below.