EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC HEALTH
Letter to Editor

Telemedicine in Low and Middle Income Countries: Closing or Widening the Health Inequalities Gap?

European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 2021, 5(2), em0075, https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/10777
Full Text (PDF)

ABSTRACT

Telemedicine has shown potentials in salvaging the dwindling healthcare system in low and middle-income countries but faced certain challenges that may create new health inequalities especially based on income. This letter discusses the debate that arises regarding the role of telemedicine on health inequalities in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). It calls for the development of strategies to prevent the widening of the health inequalities gap in LMICs from telemedicine usage. Recommendations were also highlighted to facilitate universal health coverage in LMICs through telemedicine.

KEYWORDS

telemedicine health inequalities e-health LMICs developing countries

CITATION (Harvard)

Babatunde, A. O., Abdulazeez, A. O., Adeyemo, E. A., Uche-Orji, C. I., and Saliyu, A. A. (2021). Telemedicine in Low and Middle Income Countries: Closing or Widening the Health Inequalities Gap?. European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 5(2), em0075. https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/10777
APA
Babatunde, A. O., Abdulazeez, A. O., Adeyemo, E. A., Uche-Orji, C. I., & Saliyu, A. A. (2021). Telemedicine in Low and Middle Income Countries: Closing or Widening the Health Inequalities Gap?. European Journal of Environment and Public Health, 5(2), em0075. https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/10777
Vancouver
Babatunde AO, Abdulazeez AO, Adeyemo EA, Uche-Orji CI, Saliyu AA. Telemedicine in Low and Middle Income Countries: Closing or Widening the Health Inequalities Gap?. EUROPEAN J ENV PUBLI. 2021;5(2):em0075. https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/10777
AMA
Babatunde AO, Abdulazeez AO, Adeyemo EA, Uche-Orji CI, Saliyu AA. Telemedicine in Low and Middle Income Countries: Closing or Widening the Health Inequalities Gap?. EUROPEAN J ENV PUBLI. 2021;5(2), em0075. https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/10777
Chicago
Babatunde, Abdulhammed Opeyemi, Abdulsobur Olatunde Abdulazeez, Esther Abimbola Adeyemo, Christabel Ijeoma Uche-Orji, and Abdulbaasit Akinkunmi Saliyu. "Telemedicine in Low and Middle Income Countries: Closing or Widening the Health Inequalities Gap?". European Journal of Environment and Public Health 2021 5 no. 2 (2021): em0075. https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/10777
MLA
Babatunde, Abdulhammed Opeyemi et al. "Telemedicine in Low and Middle Income Countries: Closing or Widening the Health Inequalities Gap?". European Journal of Environment and Public Health, vol. 5, no. 2, 2021, em0075. https://doi.org/10.21601/ejeph/10777

REFERENCES

  1. Alliance for Affordable Internet (2017). A4AI calculations based on ITU pricing data (2013-2015).
  2. Bagchi, S. (2006). Telemedicine in rural India. PLoS medicine, 3(3), e82. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0030082
  3. Combi, C., Pozzani, G. and Pozzi, G. (2016). Telemedicine for Developing Countries. Appl Clin Inform, 7(4), 1025-1050. https://doi.org/104338/ACI-2016-06-R-0089
  4. Conde, J. G., De, S., Hall, R. W., Johansen, E., Meglan, D. and Peng, G. C. (2010). Telehealth innovations in health education and training. Telemedicine journal and e-health, 16(1), 103-106. https://doi.org/10.1089/tmj.2009.0152
  5. Dharmar, M., Romano, P. S., Kuppermann, N., et al. (2013). Impact of critical care telemedicine consultations on children in rural emergency departments. Critical care medicine, 41(10), 2388-2395. https://doi.org/10.1097/CCM.0b013e31828e9824
  6. Gagnon, M. P., Duplantie, J., Fortin, J. P. and Landry, R. (2006). Implementing telehealth to support medical practice in rural/remote regions: what are the conditions for success?. Implementation science, 1, 18. https://doi.org/10.1186/1748-5908-1-18
  7. Hersh, W. R., Hickam, D. H., Severance, S. M., Dana, T. L., Krages, K. P. and Helfand, M. (2006). Diagnosis, access and outcomes: update of a systematic review of telemedicine services. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 12(2_suppl), 3-31. https://doi.org/10.1258%2F135763306778393117
  8. Kamsu-Foguem, B., and Foguem, C. (2014). Telemedicine and mobile health with integrative medicine in developing countries. Health Policy and Technology, 3(4), 264-271. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hlpt.2014.08.008
  9. Latulippe, K., Hamel, C. and Giroux, D. (2017). Social Health Inequalities and eHealth: A Literature Review with Qualitative Synthesis of Theoretical and Empirical Studies. J Med Internet Res., 19(4), e136. https://doi.org/10.2196/jmir.6731
  10. Marschang, S. (2014, 21 February). Health inequalities and e health: report of the health stake holder group. European Public Health Alliance (EPHA).
  11. Mathers, C., Stevens, G., Hogan, D., et al (2017). Global and Regional Causes of Death: Patterns and Trends, 2000-15. In: Jamison, D.T., Gelband, H., Horton, S., et al., editors. Disease Control Priorities: Improving Health and Reducing Poverty. 3rd edition. Washington (DC): The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank; Chapter 4. https://doi.org/10.1596/978-1-4648-0527-1_ch4
  12. National Health Service (NHS) (2020). Definitions for Health Inequalities. NHS United Kingdom. Available at: https://www.england.nhs.uk/ltphimenu/definitions-for-health-inequalities/ (Accessed: 20 October 2020).
  13. Neter, E. and Brainin, E. (2012). eHealth literacy: Extending the digital divide to the realm of health information. Journal of medical internet research, 14(1), e19. https://doi.org/10.2196/jmir.1619
  14. Thomas, L. (2018, August 23). What is Telemedicine? Available at: https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-Telemedicine.aspx (Accessed: 18 October 2020).
  15. United Nations (2015). Billions of people in developing world still without internet access, new UN report finds. UN News. Available at: https://news.un.org/en/story/2015/09/509292-billions-of-people-in-developing-world-still-without-internet-access-new-un-report (Accessed: 20 October 2020).
  16. Woodend, A. K., Sherrard, H., Fraser, M., Stuewe, L., Cheung, T. and Struthers, C. (2008). Telehome monitoring in patients with cardiac disease who are at high risk of readmission. Journal of critical care, 37(1), 36-45. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hrtlng.2007.04.004
  17. World Health Organization (2010). Telemedicine opportunities and development in member state. Global eHealth Review Series, Volume 2. Available at: https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/44497/9789241564144_eng.pdf?sequence=1
  18. World Health Organization (2017). 10 facts on health inequities and their causes. Available at: https://www.who.int/features/factfiles/health_inequities/en/ (Accessed: 18 October 2020).

LICENSE

Creative Commons License
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.