CHAPTER 1

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Market Background

Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.

—JOHN F. KENNEDY (1917–1963),

THIRTY-FIFTH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

E-HEALTH

What is e-health? Is it merely a fashionable buzzword from the 1990s? Is it a new way for marketing professionals to distinguish their healthcare offerings, or just a way for them to repackage their old offerings? E- (electronic-) health is all about technology. E-information is today's revolutionary market tool across all industry sectors. The term tools is used in the context of electronic processing of a particular operation. It is the technology of communicating, processing, and deriving information in electronic form. E-information will continue to impact the healthcare industry. Although the market players (patients, providers, payers, plan sponsors, and other third-party service providers) within the healthcare continuum (HCC) remain intact, how each functions within the continuum along with their diagnostic tools and treatment protocols continues to change.

What has changed? What is new? E-health initiatives essentially implement new, evolving forms of electronic communication and processing tools in our current healthcare system. As e-health initiatives continue to emerge, we may learn better ways to redefine the roles of our market players. In fact, we should ...

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