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      Factors Determining the Success and Failure of eHealth Interventions: Systematic Review of the Literature

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          eHealth has an enormous potential to improve healthcare cost, effectiveness, and quality of care. However, there seems to be a gap between the foreseen benefits of research and clinical reality.


          Our objective was to systematically review the factors influencing the outcome of eHealth interventions in terms of success and failure.


          We searched the PubMed database for original peer-reviewed studies on implemented eHealth tools that reported on the factors for the success or failure, or both, of the intervention. We conducted the systematic review by following the patient, intervention, comparison, and outcome framework, with 2 of the authors independently reviewing the abstract and full text of the articles. We collected data using standardized forms that reflected the categorization model used in the qualitative analysis of the outcomes reported in the included articles.


          Among the 903 identified articles, a total of 221 studies complied with the inclusion criteria. The studies were heterogeneous by country, type of eHealth intervention, method of implementation, and reporting perspectives. The article frequency analysis did not show a significant discrepancy between the number of reports on failure (392/844, 46.5%) and on success (452/844, 53.6%). The qualitative analysis identified 27 categories that represented the factors for success or failure of eHealth interventions. A quantitative analysis of the results revealed the category quality of healthcare (n=55) as the most mentioned as contributing to the success of eHealth interventions, and the category costs (n=42) as the most mentioned as contributing to failure. For the category with the highest unique article frequency, workflow (n=51), we conducted a full-text review. The analysis of the 23 articles that met the inclusion criteria identified 6 barriers related to workflow: workload (n=12), role definition (n=7), undermining of face-to-face communication (n=6), workflow disruption (n=6), alignment with clinical processes (n=2), and staff turnover (n=1).


          The reviewed literature suggested that, to increase the likelihood of success of eHealth interventions, future research must ensure a positive impact in the quality of care, with particular attention given to improved diagnosis, clinical management, and patient-centered care. There is a critical need to perform in-depth studies of the workflow(s) that the intervention will support and to perceive the clinical processes involved.

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          Most cited references 226

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          Personal health records: definitions, benefits, and strategies for overcoming barriers to adoption.

          Recently there has been a remarkable upsurge in activity surrounding the adoption of personal health record (PHR) systems for patients and consumers. The biomedical literature does not yet adequately describe the potential capabilities and utility of PHR systems. In addition, the lack of a proven business case for widespread deployment hinders PHR adoption. In a 2005 working symposium, the American Medical Informatics Association's College of Medical Informatics discussed the issues surrounding personal health record systems and developed recommendations for PHR-promoting activities. Personal health record systems are more than just static repositories for patient data; they combine data, knowledge, and software tools, which help patients to become active participants in their own care. When PHRs are integrated with electronic health record systems, they provide greater benefits than would stand-alone systems for consumers. This paper summarizes the College Symposium discussions on PHR systems and provides definitions, system characteristics, technical architectures, benefits, barriers to adoption, and strategies for increasing adoption.
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            New directions in eHealth communication: opportunities and challenges.

            This article reviews key communication issues involved in the design of effective and humane eHealth applications to help guide strategic development and implementation of health information technologies. There is a communication revolution brewing in the delivery of health care and the promotion of health fueled by the growth of powerful new health information technologies. The development, adoption, and implementation of a broad range of new eHealth applications (such as online health information websites, interactive electronic health records, health decision support programs, tailored health education programs, health care system portals, mobile health communication programs, and advanced telehealth applications) holds tremendous promise to increase consumer and provider access to relevant health information, enhance the quality of care, reduce health care errors, increase collaboration, and encourage the adoption of healthy behaviors. With the growth of new and exciting health information technology opportunities, however, comes the daunting responsibility to design interoperable, easy to use, engaging, and accessible eHealth applications that communicate the right information needed to guide health care and health promotion for diverse audiences. Copyright 2010. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
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              Health trends in the elderly population: getting better and getting worse.

              Health trends in the fastest growing sector of the population, the oldest old, have received much attention during the past decade because of the rising costs of medical and long-term care. Many studies have suggested a compression of morbidity in this sector, implying that the future care needs of elderly people will not follow the demographic prognoses. Most of these studies have used health indicators based on disability, a concept that is contextually embedded. We have taken a closer look at health-trend surveys with a focus on the health indicator used. Our findings reveal that although disability measures often show improvement, there is a simultaneous increase in chronic disease and functional impairments-health components that require care resources. That is, an expansion of other health problems may accompany a compression of disability. Therefore, a concept of general morbidity is not sufficient when discussing health trends and the need for care services in the elderly population. Because different indicators do not show the same trends over time, we suggest a more refined discussion that distinguishes between different health components. In addition, different components have different implications for the amount and kind of care resources needed. If the current positive trends in disability continue, future need for social services and long-term care may not parallel demographic projections. Trends in disease and functional limitations seem to have taken a different direction, suggesting a parallel or increased need for resources in medical care, rehabilitation, and compensatory interventions such as assistive technology.

                Author and article information

                J Med Internet Res
                J. Med. Internet Res
                Journal of Medical Internet Research
                JMIR Publications (Toronto, Canada )
                May 2018
                01 May 2018
                : 20
                : 5
                1 Future Journal Norwegian Centre for E-health Research Tromsø Norway
                2 Telemedicine and E-health Research Group University of Tromsø-The Artic University of Norway Tromsø Norway
                Author notes
                Corresponding Author: Conceição Granja conceicao.granja@ 123456ehealthresearch.no
                ©Conceição Granja, Wouter Janssen, Monika Alise Johansen. Originally published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (http://www.jmir.org), 01.05.2018.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on http://www.jmir.org/, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.



                failure, telemedicine, ehealth, medical informatics, systematic review, success


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