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Telehealth practice in eight countries : New Zealand, Australia, the USA, Canada, UK, Malaysia, China and India : a thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements of degree of Master in Information Science at Massey University, Albany campus, Auckland, New Zealand
This research examines the telehealth adoptions and developments in eight selected countries: New Zealand, Australia, the United States, Canada, UK, Malaysia, China and India. An array of methods has been employed into this research, such as PEST, SWOT, and CSF analysis. Each country has been studied individually and then all eight countries have been discussed together through comparisons from various perspectives. Thereafter, the conclusions summarize the key findings and then some recommendations are offered.
The studied countries all have certain needs of telehealth; however, these needs vary due to every country’s particular conditions of demographic features, economic development, social and cultural diversity. The development of telehealth in these countries heavily depends on the countries’ healthcare system, countries’ priorities of healthcare needs, decision makers’ vision in telehealth; as well as the development of telecommunication networks and the training level of end users. It is believed that telehealth will help to improve the healthcare service in all of the eight countries.
Through the comparison and discussion, the eight countries are found to share some points in common, which can be highlighted as general CSFs: standardization, legislation and regulation, business modelling and program evaluation, financial constraints, and need of more trained professionals into telehealth. While giving some recommendations to each country’s development of telehealth, this thesis also suggested that future development of telehealth may have three priorities: further and continuous improving design and research in technical perspective, re-examination of the current healthcare system thus adjust it to suit telehealth development, and staying with an international perspective.
This topic is suggested for further research, with particular interest in extending to some country/region with very small territory and high population density.