Status and trends of e-Health tools in Kuwait: A narrative review

Hessah Alaslawi, Ilhem Berrou, Dari Alhuwail, Zoe Aslanpour

Abstract


Background: Kuwait is witnessing an alarming increase in diabetes and high prevalence of multi-drug resistant strains. E-Health solutions have the potential to deliver timely, quality and cost-effective solutions to these public health challenges. However, little is known about the existing e-health solutions in Kuwait.
Aims: This study aims to explore the current e-health tools and applications in Kuwait, and the factors that affect their adoption and implementation.
Methods: A literature search was carried out for articles on e-health in Kuwait using the following electronic databases: PubMed, Google Scholar, Scopus, Web of Science, CINAHL, Medline and Proquest. Reference lists of all included items were additionally searched. A manual search was also conducted using WHO EMRO Virtual Health Sciences Library and MOH policies and standards.
Results: 1121 papers were retrieved from databases and 29 papers were added from manual searching of reference lists. 495 papers were considered for review after the removal of duplicates. Thirty studies met the inclusion/exclusion criteria. Implementing electronic health records and establishing a childhood-onset diabetes registry are the main e-Health achievements to date. Implementing e-Health tools has been hindered by various socio-political, financial, infrastructural, organizational, technical and individual barriers.
Conclusion: The modest e-Health achievements warrant bigger and faster implementation steps focusing on developing an e-Health policy framework and drawing an implementation road-map that is evidence based and research informed.

Keywords


e-Health; electronic healthcare records; m-health; telemedicine; Kuwait.

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