eHealth is the use of information and communication technology (ICT) to support or improve health and healthcare. Internet technology in particular plays an important role in this regard. Sometimes eHealth is also referred to as digital care.
There are many types of eHealth, including:
- for patients: patient portals, measurement devices, and online treatment programs;
- support for caregivers: the electronic patient record and digital sharing of data;
- medical apps and systems that facilitate medical decision-making.
Within the framework of its supervisory role, the IGJ (Health and Youth Care Inspectorate) applies a broad definition of eHealth that includes all ICT activities that play a role in the primary care process. Accordingly, this includes not only applications that facilitate remote care, but also electronic patient records and electronic data sharing.
eHealth can offer a great many benefits in the area of care, but it can also introduce risks. The Inspectorate attaches a great deal of importance to ensuring that these benefits and risks are properly balanced. This involves two components: safe products and a safe use of that product in the care sector.