Defining Electronic Health Technologies and Their Benefits for Global Health Program Managers

Electronic health (eHealth) refers to the health sector’s use of information and communication technologies (ICT) such as mobile phones, portable and handheld computers, Internet and cloud-based applications, open source software, and data warehouses. Advances in ICT have increased exponentially the amount of data that health information systems can collect, synthesize, and report. Expansion of these technologies in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) promises to revolutionize the global health sector’s response to these countries’ most pressing health issues.

MEASURE Evaluation seeks new ways to exploit such eHealth solutions as data dashboards and geospatial data analysis, as part of its mandate to strengthen health systems in low-resource settings. Even though health program managers in LMICs—as everywhere—are increasingly expected to use and invest in such strategies, many lack information about how the strategies work and how they can benefit the management of health programs.

To address this problem, we developed this glossary of eHealth strategies most likely to enhance data access, synthesis, and communication for health program managers at all levels of a health system who are eHealth novices.