By Mengistu Kifle, Victor W. A. Mbarika and Pratim Datta (Information Systems Frontiers. Volume 8, Number 3 / July, 2006. 211-223)
...the barriers to diffusion of Tele-Medicine are not entirely technical. Cost has to simultaneously satisfy a number of stakeholders... (Anderson, Aydin and Jay, et al., 1994).
Rising costs of the provision of healthcare have been a major issue for debate in both developing and developed countries. This is especially true of very capitalistic societies such as the United States where privatization of the healthcare sector has left many with little or no affordable healthcare. The situation is even worse in developing economies. Developing countries deal with various problems in the provision of health services and healthcare Tan et al. (E-medicine diffusion: E-medicine in Developed and Developing countries. Chapter 8 in E-health paradigm shift: Perspectives, domains and challenges. In Tan J. (Ed.), Imprint of Wiley, New York, Jossey-Bass, 2005).
wSome of these problems include acute shortages of healthcare professionals and medical facilities Mbarika et al. (Journal of the Association for Information Systems (JAIS) 2005;6(5):130–170). Such shortages have resulted in growing numbers of middle to upper-class citizens of developing countries traveling abroad to seek necessary health services. Using a multi-method case study research, this paper examines the role of Tele-Medicine in the healthcare system and analyzes the costs and benefits of introducing Tele-Cardiology services in Ethiopia (a Sub-Saharan African country). This is a cost comparison study for the treatment of cardiac patients traveling abroad versus patients treated via Tele-Cardiology. Our findings show that Tele-Cardiology is clinically more feasible and more cost effective compared to patients traveling abroad for treatment.