Health Care on the Internet: Potential Still Untapped
In 2000, Health Strategies Consultancy LLC identified opportunities and challenges in health information technology to guide grantmaking at RWJF.
Under the grant, Health Strategies accomplished the following:
- Interviewed approximately 30 academics, policymakers, venture capitalists, and leaders of e-health companies, and reviewed more than 150 articles.
- Produced an overview of the companies and technologies shaping the e-health marketplace.
- Identified current e-health activities and innovations in five RWJF health care interest areas: supportive services, priority populations, clinical care management, information and coverage.
- Compiled a written report, Emerging Privacy Issues in the Information Age, analyzing privacy issues in communicating health information.
Health Strategies presented a written report, Health Information Technology Study for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Project Conclusion, highlighting these findings:
- E-health vendors face major challenges, among them, developing a sustainable business model, attracting capital, and persuading consumers, providers, and others to adopt their applications.
- Technology is rapidly improving and will impact the health care industry.
- The specific ways in which information technologies can improve health care should be studied.
- Investing in e-health presents challenges, including costs; lack of expertise; the "digital divide" between affluent consumers and providers and low-income consumers and safety net providers; few technology vendors that understand safety net providers; limited ability to sustain and copy e-health projects; privacy concerns; and government agencies' reluctance to support e-health projects.