Gender and eHealth

Certain factors today still limit eHealth’s full potential. The article argues that the factors are present for both genders, but in many countries, these factors have a bigger impact on women. The factors presented are: Macro-barriers, such as infrastructure, mostly the lack of broadband in rural areas. Personal barriers such as the cost of available infrastructure, often one needs a smartphone with mobile network subscription. Digital and health literacy, first people need to know how to use these IT systems. Next, they need to understand the health-related information, for example, is a blood pressure of 120 over 80 good or bad. Resistance to change, people tend to resist change for this people need to be motivated to accept new eHealth solutions, sadly the best motivator isn’t prevention, rather motivation arrives after the illness. Data collection, systems need to be built secure and need to ensure that they are secure and clearly state what the data will be used for and how and by who it will be accessed. The article argues that a gender-sensitive approach should be taken in the rollout to reach men and women equally.

We would argue that a gender-sensitive approach should already be considered at the product concept stage, what color and design is used, what language is used, how people navigate the interface, and so on.