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.