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A historical overview of health disparities and the potential of eHealth solutions


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Over the past decade a rapidly expanding body of literature has demonstrated the existence of disparities in health and health care. While consensus has not emerged regarding the causes of disparities, they are generally thought to be related to sociocultural, behavioural, economic, environmental, biologic, or societal factors. To effectively address disparities, several authorities have suggested the need for greater information technology research and investments. eHealth researchers may be able to make significant contributions in this area through research and its applications. This paper begins with a historical overview of health disparities in the United States and Europe. It then discusses the role that the Internet, and access to the Internet, may play in the genesis of health disparities. Finally, this paper closes with a discussion of the potential benefits of eHealth applications and the possible contributions of the field to overcoming disparities in health and health care

Peru : linking health care providers through telecommunication


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The Technical University of Madrid and Engineering Without Frontiers are developing low-cost telecommunication systems and information services for rural primary health care personnel in isolated areas of developing countries. In September 2001, the Enlace Hispano Americano de Salud (EHAS) program was introduced in Alto Amazonas, in the Peruvian rain forest. EHAS has deployed telecommunication systems in 40 establishments in the southern part of the province. This brief article provides details of the project and its results

The application of GIS technology to equitably distribute fieldworker workload in a large, rural South African health survey


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An accessibility model within a geographical information system (GIS) is used to predict average inter-homestead walking times and subdivide the study area into units of equal completion time. The method could be used to ergonomically design home-based care and tuberculosis directly observed treatment programmes and inform the siting of health facilities. The paper highlights the use of GIS technology as a powerful tool in developing countries


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