ICT applications as e-health solutions in rural healthcare in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa

Dec 1, 2004

South Africa

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) solutions (e.g. e-health, telemedicine, e-education) are often viewed as vehicles to bridge the digital divide between rural and urban healthcare centres and to resolve shortcomings in the rural health sector. This study focused on factors perceived to infl uence the uptake and use of ICTs as e-health solutions in selected rural Eastern Cape healthcare centres, and on structural variables relating to these facilities and processes. Attention was also given to two psychological variables that may underlie an individual’s acceptance and use of ICTs: usefulness and ease of use. Recommendations are made with regard to how ICTs can be used more effectively to improve health systems at fi ve rural healthcare centres where questionnaire and interview data were collected: St. Lucy’s Hospital, Nessie Knight Hospital, the Tsilitwa Clinic, the Madzikane Ka-Zulu Memorial Hospital and the Nelson Mandela General Hospital.

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