DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18203/2394-6040.ijcmph20193961

Telemedicine: an ICT based healthcare approach to ensure health service for all

Rasheda Akhtar, Sazzadul Alam, Noor Kutubul Alam Siddiquee

Abstract


Background: Despite enormous efforts, healthcare service is still a daunting challenge area of Bangladesh healthcare systems. Bangladesh suffers from both a shortage of and geographic mal-distribution of human resource for health, as well as inadequate resources. Considering the challenges, telemedicine can be a blessing especially to the people living in hard-to-reach and rural areas. The current study was conducted on to measure the outcomes of providing telemedicine service at the field level.

Methods: The study was conducted in Nagarkanda Upazilla of Faridpur district. Mixed method approaches including user experience and perception survey, case study and in-depth interview were adopted in order to bring a comprehensive scenario.

Results: Around 50% of the users used to visit telemedicine center frequently. For quality of service provided from telemedicine service point, there were few benchmarks like service provider’s behavior, waiting time, accessibility, distance, cost of treatment, willingness to pay and referral mechanism. Telemedicine service centers were found situated within the reach of people (within 1-2 km of 83.30% km). 97% participants rated service provider’s behavior as good. Cost of treatment including diagnosis, prescription and medication was found within 501-3000 BDT for 60% of participants.

Conclusions: Although the studied telemedicine service was not comprehensive in nature, it still helped to save time, reduce cost and most of all increased access to healthcare services.


Keywords


Telemedicine, Barriers, Service providers, Treatment cost, Service quality

Full Text:

PDF

References


Ahmed S, Mahmood I. Health Systems in Bangladesh. Heal Syst Policy Res. 2012;1:366-74.

El-Saharty S, Sparkes SP, Barroy H, Ahsan KZ, Ahmed SM. The Path to universal health coverage in Bangladesh: bridging the gap of human resources for health. A world bank study. Washington DC; 2015.

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. HRH Data Sheet 2014. 2014.

Global Health Workforce Alliance. Scaling up, saving lives: task force on scaling up education and Training for health workers. 2008.

World Health Organization. Telemedicine-Opportunities and developments in Member States. Global Observatory for eHealth series. 2011: 2.

Nessa A, Al Ameen M, Ullah S, Kwak K. Applicability of telemedicine in Bangladesh: current status and future prospects. In: Proceedings-3rd International Conference on Convergence and Hybrid Information Technology, ICCIT 2008. 2009;948-53.

Vassallo DJ, Hoque F, Roberts MF, Patterson V, Swinfen P, Swinfen R. An evaluation of the first year’s experience with a low-cost telemedicine link in Bangladesh. J Telemed Telecare. 2001;7:125-38.

Hoque MR, Mazmum MFA, Bao Y. e-Health in Bangladesh: current status, challenges, and future direction. Int Technol Manag Rev. 2014;4:87-96.

McCarthy D. The virtual health economy: telemedicine and the supply of primary care physicians in rural America. Am J Law Med. 1995;21:111-30.

Ajami S, Lamoochi P. Use of telemedicine in disaster and remote places. J Educ Health Promot. 2014;3:26.

Ackerman MJ, Filart R, Burgess LP, Lee I, Poropatich RK. Developing next-generation telehealth tools and technologies: patients, systems, and data perspectives. Telemed e-Health. 2010;16:93-5.

de Souza CHA, Morbeck RA, Steinman M, Hors CP, Bracco MM, Kozasa EH, et al. Barriers and benefits in telemedicine arising between a high-technology hospital service provider and remote public healthcare units: a qualitative study in Brazil. Telemed e-Health. 2017;23:527-32.

Eron L. Telemedicine: The Future of Outpatient Therapy? Clin Infect Dis. 2010;51:224-30.

Oudshoorn N. Diagnosis at a distance: The invisible work of patients and healthcare professionals in cardiac telemonitoring technology. Sociol Heal Illn. 2008;30:272-88.

Wiskin M. The virtual gaze: vital self-technologies and the evolution of telehealth-an excerpt. Plot(s), Des Stud J. 2017;4.

Foucault M. Open up a few corpses. In: The Birth of the Clinic: An Archaeology of Medical Perception. Paris, France; 1973: 135-9.

Parajuli R, Doneys P. Exploring the role of telemedicine in improving access to healthcare services by women and girls in rural Nepal. Telemat Informatics. 2017;34:1166-76.

Jha AK, Gurung D. Reaching the unreached: a model for sustainable community development through information and communication technology. JNMA J Nepal Med Assoc. 2011;51:213-4.

Thapa D, Sein MK. Trajectory of Affordances: Insights from a case of telemedicine in Nepal. Inf Syst J. 2018;28:796-817.

Shimmura S, Shinozaki N, Fukagawa K, Shimazaki J, Tsubota K. Real-time telemedicine in the clinical assessment of the ocular surface. Am J Ophthalmol. 1998;125:388-90.

Weiner M, Schadow G, Lindbergh D, Warvel J, Abernathy G, Dexter P, et al. Secure Internet video conferencing for assessing acute medical problems in a nursing facility. Proceedings AMIA Symp. 2001;751-5.

Hassibian M, Hassibian S. Telemedicine Acceptance and Implementation in Developing Countries: Benefits, Categories, and Barriers. Razavi Int J Med. 2016;4.

Kalam A. Current Situation and Future Opportunity of Telemedicine in Bangladesh. University of Tomso. 2011.

Alkmim MB, Figueira RM, Marcolino MS, Cardoso CS, Pena de Abreu M, Cunha LR, et al. Improving patient access to specialized health care: the Telehealth Network of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Bull World Health Organ. 2012;90:373-8.

van Doorslaer E, O’Donnell O, Rannan-Eliya RP, Somanathan A, Adhikari SR, Garg CC, et al. Effect of payments for health care on poverty estimates in 11 countries in Asia: an analysis of household survey data. Lancet. 2006;368:1357-64.

Huq NM, Al-Amin AQ, Howlader SR, Kabir MA. Paying Out of Pocket for Healthcare in Bangladesh - A Burden on Poor? Iran J Public Health. 2015;44:1024-5.

Bagchi S. Telemedicine in rural India. PLoS Med. 2006;3:82.

Pal A, Mbarika VWA, Cobb-Payton F, Datta P, McCoy S. Telemedicine diffusion in a developing country: the case of India (March 2004). IEEE Trans Inf Technol Biomed. 2005;9:59-65.

Ishfaq R, Raja U. Bridging the healthcare access divide: a strategic planning model for rural telemedicine network. Decis Sci. 2015;46:755-90.

Vinals F, Mandujano L, Vargas G, Giuliano A. Prenatal diagnosis of congenital heart disease using four-dimensional spatio-temporal image correlation (STIC) telemedicine via an Internet link: a pilot study. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2005;25:25-31.

Froehlich W, Seitaboth S, Chanpheaktra N, Pugatch D. Case report: an example of international telemedicine success. J Telemed Telecare. 2009;15:208-10.

Brear M. Evaluating Telemedicine: lessons and challenges. Heal Inf Manag J. 2006;35:23-31.

Ahsan M, Hasin A, Sarker S, Islam N, Shareef MA. Perception of customer satisfaction and healthcare service quality in the context of Bangladesh. Int J Qual. 2011;5:237-44.

Parasuraman A, Zeithaml VA, Berry LL. A Conceptual Model of Service Quality and Its Implications for Future Research. J Mark. 1985;49:41–50.

Sorwar G, Mustafizur Rahamn M, Uddin R, Hoque M. Cost and Time Effectiveness Analysis of a Telemedicine Service in Bangladesh. Stud Health Technol Inform. 2016;231:127-34.

Patterson V, Singh M, Rajbhandari H, Vishnubhatla S. Validation of a phone app for epilepsy diagnosis in India and Nepal. Seizure. 2015;30:46-9.

Graham LE, Flynn P, Cooke S, Patterson V. The interdisciplinary management of cerebral haemorrhage using telemedicine - a case report from Nepal. J Telemed Telecare. 2001;7:304-6.

Sanders J, Bashshur R. Challenges to the Implementation of Telemedicine. Telemed J. 1995;1:115-23.

Bashshur R, Shannon G, Sapci H. Telemedicine Evaluation. J Telemed eHealth. 2005;11:296-316.