ICT for Healthcare



Providing good health and well being is one of the sustainable goals directly linked to the health sector. We can further decompose this sustainable development goal into following low-level objectives.

  1. To reduce and control the mortality rate: Although all human beings are mortal, certain kinds of deaths are avoidable, and their number can be reduced. For example, healthcare providers can reduce maternal deaths during pregnancy, deaths of newborns and children under five years of age, deaths from hazardous chemicals, deaths from the air, water and soil pollution, and deaths from road traffic accidents. With timely medical interventions, such deaths can be avoidable.

  2. To end or control the epidemics: The spread of specific and outbreaks of infectious diseases such as AIDS, COVID19, hepatitis, malaria, tuberculosis, water-borne diseases can be controlled by preventive measures. In this regard, supporting the research and development of vaccines and medicines for communicable and non-communicable diseases, conducting public awareness campaign, and ensuring supply of medicinal drugs is very important.

  3. To control the consumption of habit-forming substances harmful to health: Consumption of certain substances is habit-forming and detrimental to health. Hence, we can ensure good health and well-being by strengthening the prevention and treatment of substance abuse such as narcotic drugs, harmful alcohol use, and tobacco.

  4. To Strengthen healthcare infrastructure: We can improve healthcare infrastructure by ensuring universal access healthcare services, by substantially increasing health financing, and through recruitment, development, training and retention of the health workforce. Further, it is essential to provide access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.

However, attaining these objectives is challenging. The provision of primary healthcare mechanisms contributes significantly towards ensuring health and well being of citizen. But, many countries lack primary healthcare mechanisms. Some of the other factors that contribute to the poor health include industrialization and modern urban-centred life which is causing stress and respiratory system-related diseases. We need to take care of these factors while devising methods for attaining the goal of good health and well being.

The information and communication technologies can be adapted in multiple ways including the monitoring the progress on the attainment of key performance indicators, designing healthcare delivery services and assisting research and development in drug discovery and early diagnosis of deadly diseases.

In coming episodes an overview of such applications of ICT in health care services is provided.