Incorporating Telehealth in Disease Surveillance


Telehealth is about using telecommunication devices for the provision of health care. It is a system that is just a few years old and this is still going through a lot of changes to make sure that it is effective. The fewer gadgets that have already started being used have been beneficial because they help in the improvement of service delivery. There are, however, a few challenges that this sector of healthcare is yet to correct.

Benefits of Telehealth

Telehealth refers to the use of telecommunication technologies in the delivery or healthcare services (Lombardo & Buckeridge, 2007). One advantage of this advancement is that the patient gets more contact with the health care provider without having to wait for appointment dates. The technology has helped to reduce the number of times that patients have to visit healthcare facilities (Schneider, 1998). The reason is that sometimes the health care provider can advise the patient according to to while they communicate through the devices. Besides, it is also helpful in reducing the number of emergency cases that come to the hospital. The reason is that through the device, both the patient and the healthcare provider are up to date with any progress that the patient may experience (Rowlands & Moser, 2002).

Telehealth also helps in reducing the cost of healthcare. The cost, in this case, encompasses all the expenses that one has to go through to access proper healthcare (New Zealand Ministry of Health, 2011). It may mean transportation to the facilities, the amount sued to get to the healthcare provider as well as the cash it takes to make sure that there are enough healthcare providers. Through these gadgets, most of the patients find that they do not have to frequent the hospital. They, therefore, give the healthcare providers enough time to attend to others who may have more serious problems. It also helps in solving problems on the shortage of healthcare providers.

Description of the two technological tools

GPS device

One strategy implemented for the improvement of telehealth is the use of GPS technology. It is an application that can tell where exactly a person is.

System Alert

It is a device that a patient can walk around carrying. In the case of an attack, it will send signals to the healthcare provider.

Justification for my selection

GPS device

The device can be a valuable tool, especially for patients who suffer from diseases such as epilepsy where they are bound to collapse at any time. Once the healthcare provider is alerted that the patient has a problem, one will be able to use the GPS device to locate the patient and thus save his life (Government of Western Australia, 2008).

System Alert

It will also give instructions to anyone who may be close to the patient about the first aid measures. They may use it to help the patient while they wait for a response from the experts (Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, 2008).

Potential difficulty in adopting the strategy or tool

  1. In the case of the GPS device, one limitation is that since it is portable, there is a possibility that the patient may forget to carry it with him. It will not only be unable to alert the healthcare provider but will also not give directions to the location of the patient (NHS Direct, 2012).
  2. At the system signal, a lot of sensitization will have to be done for the public to be able to use correctly the device (United Kingdom Department of Health, 2011). The patient himself may know how to go about using it but should he be in a position that does not enable him to give the instructions, the gadget may not be as beneficial as is expected.


Although telehealth was brought in to improve the provision of healthcare, there are still many concerns that surround it. Technology, in general, often takes a long time for people to get to know how to use it. These are all loopholes that the healthcare system should address before this technology is doled out to the public.


Government of Western Australia: Consumer health services. (2008). Web.

Lombardo, S., & Buckeridge, D. L. (2007). Disease surveillance: A public health informatics approach. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley-Interscience.

New Zealand Ministry of Health. (2011). Web.

Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. (2008). Web.

Rowlands, S., & Moser, K. (2002). Consultation rates from the general practice research database. London, England: British Journal of General Practice.

Schneider, P. (1998). Telehealth core to WHO’s missions. Healthcare Informatics. Web.

United Kingdom department of health: Hospital activity statistics. (2011). Web.

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