eHealth is a topic which is talked about in newspapers, magazines and on line, and widely discussed at conferences and in academic journals.

But when we looked for a reliable definition of what people mean by "eHealth" we couldn't find one. Most people agree that there are real benefits to be had from the increased use of eHealth, but there is much less agreement about what eHealth is, and what it isn't.

 
We gave a presentation about this problem at the Medical Informatics Europe conference in Pisa in August 2012 (
Showell, C., & Nøhr, C. (2012). How Should We Define eHealth, and Does the Definition Matter? Studies in health technology and informatics, 180, 881–884.) This Project to develop a definition of "eHealth" extends the ideas in that presentation and the discussions which followed.
Through this Project we hope to develop an understanding of what people mean by the term "eHealth", and perhaps develop a consensus definition.

We hope to engage with as many people as possible who are interested in eHealth, from four main fields of interest:

  • Academia and higher education (including those who teach, research, and conduct evaluations);
  • Those who provide healthcare, or work in other roles in healthcare organisations;
  • Healthcare users (patients, carers, and citizens with an interest in the topic); and
  • Those in information technology and software industries who develop, sell and support healthcare systems.

We will use a Delphi approach to gain insights from our participants about what they think eHealth is, and what the term "eHealth" means. We intend to run several rounds of investigation using questionnaires to clarify and refine the meanings that we find in participant responses.  




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