Scope of policy issues in eHealth: results from a structured literature review.

Document Type



Family Medicine (East Africa)


Background: eHealth is widely used as a tool for improving health care delivery and information. However, distinct policies and strategies are required for its proper implementation and integration at national and international levels.

Objective: To determine the scope of policy issues faced by individuals, institutions, or governments in implementing eHealth programs.

Methods: We conducted a structured review of both peer-reviewed and gray literature from 1998–2008. A Medline search for peer-reviewed articles found 40 papers focusing on different aspects of eHealth policy. In addition, a Google search found 20 national- and international-level policy papers and documents. We reviewed these articles to extract policy issues and solutions described at different levels of care.

Results: The literature search found 99 policy issues related to eHealth. We grouped these issues under the following themes: (1) networked care, (2) interjurisdictional practice, (3) diffusion of eHealth/digital divide, (4) eHealth integration with existing systems, (5) response to new initiatives, (6) goal-setting for eHealth policy, (7) evaluation and research, (8) investment, and (9) ethics in eHealth.

Conclusions: We provide a list of policy issues that should be understood and addressed by policy makers at global, jurisdictional, and institutional levels, to facilitate smooth and reliable planning of eHealth programs.

Publication ( Name of Journal)

Journal of medical Internet research

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.