General Presentation of the E-Health System

The article intends to familiarize the reader with the notion of e-health. E-health constitutes a system that resorts to information and communications technologies in order to improve healthcare system. The reason why these instruments have been employed resides in the fact that healthcare is one of the largest industries in the world and yet suffering from inefficiency and inequity in terms of service provision and quality. In most cases, these shortcomings are caused by poor management of the data flow. Hence it resulted the need to involve the latest technologies in relieving the healthcare system.

Since the Internet is such a popular tool of communication, it holds great business opportunities in the area of health. Using the Internet as a communications platform can create tremendous value within e-health system. The term e-health is quite recent and denominates the assemble of healthcare practices endorsed by electronic processes and communications. Both specific and general medical informatics applications are included in the broad range of healthcare activities. Among the specific applications one can name decision support systems and citizen health information, whereas the class of general applications includes management systems, healthcare services provision. Nevertheless, the e-health system is much more efficient than the traditional one due to the use of electronic networks. E-health is more than the electronic administration of medical information, it incorporates the most advanced information technologies to medicine and healthcare.

Below there is a list of the most important applications of the technologies within the scope of healthcare:

- Electronic medical records – enable different healthcare professionals to share information about particular patients.
- Telemedicine – makes use of information and communication technology in order to make possible the contact at distance between physician and patient.
- Evidence-based medicine- gathers and updates data about a specific treatment associated with a particular patient, which increases the possibilities of treatment.
- Citizen-oriented information- by means of which citizens benefit from information related to health topics.
- Specialist-oriented information- it disseminates information to specialists regarding journal articles, protocols and practices that have to do with health, medical advances, epidemiological alerts and so on.
- Virtual healthcare teams- groups of specialists that share information about patients electronically in order to complete the knowledge and improve the process of taking decisions.
- Health e-commerce- the network of providers that offer value-added electronic services to citizens and professionals

Some envisage the concept of e-health as the commitment to improve healthcare globally by using information and communication technologies.