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Global Medicine |

Information Technology for Health in Developing Countries*

Frederick Bukachi, MBChB, PhD; Neil Pakenham-Walsh, MBBS
Author and Funding Information

*From the Global Healthcare Information Network, Charlbury, Oxfordshire, UK.

Correspondence to: Frederick Bukachi, MBChB, PhD, Department of Medical Physiology, College of Health Sciences, University of Nairobi, PO Box 30197- 00100, Nairobi, Kenya; e-mail: fred.bukachi@ghi-net.org



Chest. 2007;132(5):1624-1630. doi:10.1378/chest.07-1760
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Poverty has deepened the crisis in health-care delivery in developing countries, particularly sub-Saharan Africa, which is a region facing a disease burden that is unmatched in the world. Whether access to proven and powerful information and communication technologies (ICTs) can improve health indicators is an ongoing debate. However, this brief review shows that in the last decade there has been significant growth in Internet access in urban areas; health-care workers now use it for communication, access to relevant health-care information, and international collaboration. The central message learned during this period about the application of ICTs is that infrastructural and cultural contexts vary and require different models and approaches. Thus, to harness the full potential of ICTs to the benefit of health systems, health workers, and patients will demand an intricate mix of old and new technologies.


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