As the worldwide population continues to increase, and with the growing aging population in the developed world, governments are struggling to provide adequate healthcare and education. With more and more people requiring health and education services, facility and personnel expansion present rising costs and often labor shortages given that there are never enough skilled workers to meet demand. As governments around the globe are faced with steep challenges to fund and serve the growing on-site demand for education and healthcare sectors, e-Learning and E-Health solutions are increasingly being utilized. Countries such as China and India, with their ageing populations and spanning rural areas are already utilizing online programs that we can learn from.
Technology, Communications and Media Specialist, Pavel Marceux, notes that in places like Qatar with rapid population growth (54.5% between 2007 and 2012), the lack of qualified personnel such as teachers and nurses presents an exacerbated challenge in providing healthcare and education to citizens. India faces similar challenges with high fertility rates (2.6 children per female) and similarly Japan, with one of the oldest populations. With China’s e-Learning and E-Health public services, online solutions are proving to reduce inefficiencies, reach more citizens, decrease labor and infrastructure costs, and increase productivity. Exemplary of this is China’s r that enables citizens to conduct self-tests automatically with internet connected smart-devices.
China Leads the Way with Remote Cardiovascular Monitoring System
The remote cardiovascular monitoring system utilizes affordable and commonly available technology. Patients monitor their blood pressure, glucose, weight, etc. using Bluetooth enabled medical devices. Readings are gathered by a smartphone app which stores heart data on-device and uploads it wirelessly to a central data repository. Clinical decision support algorithms are applied to the data and alerts and reports are then generated and sent to the patients and/or clinicians as appropriate. Essentially, the alerts and reports streamline seamlessly into the workflows of primary care physicians and healthcare teams.
With a global aging population driving the increasing demand for healthcare, the rest of the world will be following in China’s lead and making use of e-Health solutions. Between 2013 and 2020, global consumer spending on healthcare goods and medical services is expected to grow by 26.4% reaching US $160 billion in 2015. Similarly, the global education expenditure is forecasted to expand by 35.6% between 2013 and 2020 with the worldwide market reaching US $107 billion by 2015. Companies who can deliver simple and innovative eLearning and eHealth solutions will experience massive consumer uptake and profitable government contracts.
Seniors will need to Improve IT Literacy
To be successful, eLearning and eHealth firms will need to be hyper aware of accessibility for older users with typically low IT literacy skills, disabled learners with sensory or mobility disabilities, and citizens in rural areas who have slow internet speed. When governments move many of their public services online, it is crucial that e-governance systems are widely utilized and accessible to all. Elderly and senior citizens will need to be provided with government education programs to boost IT literacy before transferring to e-platforms. Additionally, eLearning and Health Management Systems will need to boast the utmost accessibility, user friendliness, and system speed compatible with all band-widths. Leaps and bounds will be made in the next decade as governments increasingly seek eHealth and eLearning solutions while the private sector leads the way. Check out some organizations that are already implementing eLearning and eHealth initiatives here.