Educational Considerations in the Development of E-health Systems in the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries (GCC)

A.S. Weber (Qatar) and D.M. Musson (Canada)

Keywords

Elearning and Etraining, Ehealth, Telemedicine, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait.

Abstract

This contribution surveys some current e-health initiatives in the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) of Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Saudi Arabia, with special emphasis on the role of e-learning in e-health. The World Health Organization has taken the lead in outlining e-health strategies in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) which also includes the GCC member states, and individually Gulf nations are embracing the potential of information and communication technologies (ICT) for remote consulting and diagnostics, Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems, and public health information distribution. Since most of these initiatives are still in the development stages, this paper discusses possible future strategies in which e-learning could play a role. The Gulf region is a unique position to develop efficient integrated electronic solutions to health information embracing the clinical, educational, and administrative uses of electronic health data. Since e-health basically involves the exchange of health information over electronic networks, every data exchange should be considered in the light of its learning and training potential and as a potential source of retrievable information for later use in public health policy planning and evidence-based medicine research.

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