Health Affairs issue on “E-Health in the Developing World”

The current issue of Health Affairs (February 2010, Vol. 29, No. 2) is focused on ehealth with a tag-line of “E-Health in the Developing World”.

I just stumbled onto this issue so I haven’t had a chance to read it yet. There are a number of articles grouped into some interesting categories including:

  • Policies and potential
  • Cell phones and m-health
  • Report from the field
  • Investment and innovation

I’m looking forward to reading some of the accounts from this issue. Based on my understanding of Christensen’s theories on disruptive innovation, developing nations can be the place where new ideas can be established. Relatively simple innovations have an opportunity to meet the needs of users who have much less demanding needs and as such, the opportunity for rapid innovation can take place. In developed areas like Canada, the US, or Europe, innovations are challenged to meet the high demands of users who are accustomed to a level of sophistication and polish. The result is that innovations often don’t have a chance to develop and find a place within the market.

I will be keeping track of developments from the developing word as that is where the cheaper, simpler innovations are likely to emerge. In North America, governments have already committed billions to creating large systems which can share information across the country and meet the exacting demands of multiple users (e.g., physicians, nurses, allied health, researchers) and for different needs. On top of these two demands, innovations must also satisfy stringent regulatory burdens which adds additional complexity (and cost).



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