What is eHealth anyway? It stands for electronics based applications to improve health. For health I use the definition of health formulated by Huber (2011): the ability to adapt and self-manage, in light of the physical, emotional and social challenges of life.
The term eHealth is still quite new, it was first described in literature in 1999 2. In addition to eHealth, terms such as Telemedicine, Telecare, ICT applications, M-Health, and Support Technology are also used. The electronic applications can be very diverse, from very simple applications (remote control) to more complex applications (robots).
- Development: already at an early stage in collaboration with various stakeholders: end users, care providers, developers, financiers.
- User-friendly: easy and fun to use, not stigmatizing, reliable and stable. Possibly with assistance in starting up and maintaining the technology.
- Usable: appropriate to the needs and wishes, a good solution to problems, proven effective.
- Affordable: costs in relation to revenues, possibly reimbursement via health insurer or municipality, enabling equity.
- Known: good information about the interventions and this information should be easy to find, such as information about different applications, effects, costs, how to purchase, etc. Sometimes training is needed to effectively use the eHealth applications and how to implement them in healthcare practice.