According to ReportLinker’s report, dubbed “Global Digital Economy – E-Government, E-Heath and E-Education”,the progress is notable in African states where the adoption of mobile phone technology has been embraced and is estimated to reach one billion users in the next few years.
“Increasingly key decision-makers in business and government are reaching an understanding of the transformation that is underway in the economy and the importance of developments in e-health, e-government and e-education to society,” the report said.
E-education is moving at a great pace, says the report, with many schools around the world embracing e-learning.
With over one million children today owning laptops, it is only a matter of time before the education system switches over. South Korean schools will be entirely e-book based by 2015, it stated.
The changes in health are also being positively influenced by IT. The report further highlights the use of technology in insurance schemes, in recording patients’ information, as well as the use of mobile devices to access the information.
This will be a user-driven development as it is probable that users would adapt to e-health much faster than the healthcare system can deliver it, the report stated.
A number of health providers and independent firms have been instrumental in promoting the mHealth in Africa. Telecoms operator Vodacom recently partnered with GAVI, a global health agency, to initiate e-Health products across the continent. With the management of patient records and providing alerts to expectant and new mothers, the use of technology will help governments and organisations to give healthcare services to those in rural Africa.
The report stated that this will clear the way for a whole new e-health industry, worth billions of dollars. One only has to look at some of the e-heath systems linked to the high-end private hospitals in the USA to see what is in store, it noted.
They use their e-health facilities as a major marketing tool to attract customers, not just to the actual hospital, but to all of the other facilities around it. The add-on revenues are significant, according to the report.