Do information and communication technologies (ICTs) contribute to health outcomes? An empirical analysis

Abstract

This study analyses the relationship between information and communication technology (ICT) and population health. The analysis is based on econometric model of population health in 184 countries using panel data spanning over 1990–2014. The analysis is based on fixed effects method on the basis of Hausman test. Besides, to deal with endogenous nature of ICT two stage least squares and system GMM are used in cross-sectional and panel data, respectively. Health is measured by life expectancy at birth and infant mortality rates. In this study, we measure ICT infrastructure using three proxies namely internet users, mobile cellular subscriptions, and fixed telephone subscriptions. The empirical results show a positive and significant impact of ICT on population health. This study recommends that health care programs need to focus on polices which foster digital inclusion.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Notes

  1. 1.

    The statistics are calculated over the period 1960–2015.

References

  1. Bankole, F.O., Osei-Bryson, K.M., Brown, I.: The impact of ICT investments on human development: a regression splines analysis. J. Glob. Inf. Technol. Manag. 16(2), 59–85 (2013)

    Google Scholar 

  2. Bayati, M., Akbarian, R., Kavosi, Z.: Determinants of life expectancy in Eastern Mediterranean Region: a health production function. Int. J. Health Policy Manag. 1(1), 57–61 (2013)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Bend, J.: Public Value and E-Health, Institute of Public Policy Research. London, UK. (2004). https://www.ippr.org/files/ecomm/files/public_value_ehealth.pdf

  4. Blaya, J.A., Fraser, H.S., Holt, B.: E-health technologies show promise in developing countries. Health Aff. 29(2), 244–251 (2010)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Broom, A.: Virtually healthy: the impact of internet use on disease experience and the doctor-patient relationship. Qual. Health Res. 15(3), 325–345 (2005)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Bukachi, F., Pakenham-Walsh, N.: Information technology for health in developing countries. Chest J. 132(5), 1624–1630 (2007)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Chetley, A., Davies, J., Trude, B., McConnell, H., Ramirez, R.: Improving health connecting people: the role of ICTs in the health sector of developing countries. A framework paper. Infodev, pp. 31–65 (2006)

  8. Cole, J., Watkins, C., Kleine, D.: Health advice from Internet discussion forums: how bad is dangerous? J. Med. Internet Res. 18(1), e4 (2016)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Cole-Lewis, H., Kershaw, T.: Text messaging as a tool for behavior change in disease prevention and management. Epidemiol. Rev. 32(1), 56–69 (2010)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Déglise, C., Suggs, L.S., Odermatt, P.: SMS for disease control in developing countries: a systematic review of mobile health applications. J. Telemed. Telecare 18(5), 273–281 (2012)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Fayissa, B., Gutema, P.: Estimating a health production function for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Appl. Econ. 37(2), 155–164 (2005)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Ferguson, T.: Online patient-helpers and physicians working together: a new partnership for high quality health care. BMJ 321(7269), 1129 (2000)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Gerber, B.S., Eiser, A.R.: The patient-physician relationship in the Internet age: future prospects and the research agenda. J. Med. Internet Res. 3(2), e15 (2001)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Grossman, M.: On the concept of health capital and the demand for health. J. Political Econ. 80(2), 223–255 (1972)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Impicciatore, R., Dalla Zuanna, G.: The impact of education on fertility in Italy. Changes across cohorts and south–north differences. Qual. Quant. 51(5), 2293–2317 (2017)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Khan, R.E.A., Raza, M.A.: Child malnutrition in developing economies: a case study of Bangladesh. Qual. Quant. 48(3), 1389–1408 (2014)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Kiley, R.: Does the internet harm health? Some evidence exists that the internet does harm health. BMJ Br. Med. J. 324(7331), 238 (2002)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Kumar, R.R., Singh, M.: Role of health expenditure and ICT in a small island economy: a study of Fiji. Qual. Quant. 48(4), 2295–2311 (2014)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Laing, A., Hogg, G., Winkelman, D.: Healthcare and the information revolution: re-configuring the healthcare service encounter. Health Serv. Manag. Res. 17(3), 188–199 (2004)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Lucas, H.: Information and communications technology for future health systems in developing countries. Soc. Sci. Med. 66(10), 2122–2132 (2008)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Majeed, M.T., Gillani, S.: State capacity and health outcomes: an empirical analysis. Pak. J. Commer. Soc. Sci. 11(2), 671–697 (2017)

    Google Scholar 

  22. Mohapatra, S.: Health inequity and health outcome: a causal linkage study of low and middle income countries. Qual. Quant. 51(6), 2475–2488 (2017)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Morawczynski, O., Ngwenyama, O.: Unraveling the impact of investments in ICT, education and health on development: an analysis of archival data of five West African countries using regression splines. Electronic J. Inf. Syst. Dev. Ctries. 29, 5 (2007)

    Google Scholar 

  24. Murray, E., Lo, B., Pollack, L., Donelan, K., Catania, J., White, M., Zapert, K., Turner, R.: The impact of health information on the internet on the physician-patient relationship: patient perceptions. Arch. Intern. Med. 163(14), 1727–1734 (2003)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Ngwenyama, O., Andoh-Baidoo, F.K., Bollou, F., Morawczynski, O.: Is there a relationship between ICT, health, education and development? An empirical analysis of five West African countries from 1997–2003. Electron. J. Inf. Syst. Dev. Ctries. 23, 1–11 (2006)

    Google Scholar 

  26. Nilseng, J., Gustafsson, L.L., Nungu, A., Bastholm-Rahmner, P., Mazali, D., Pehrson, B., Eriksen, J.: A cross-sectional pilot study assessing needs and attitudes to implementation of Information and Communication Technology for rational use of medicines among healthcare staff in rural Tanzania. BMC Med. Inform. Decis. Mak. 14(1), 1 (2014)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Sharf, B.F.: Communicating breast cancer on-line: support and empowerment on the Internet. Women Health 26(1), 65–84 (1997)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Tanis, M., Hartmann, T., Te Poel, F.: Online health anxiety and consultation satisfaction: a quantitative exploratory study on their relations. Patient Educ. Couns. 99(7), 1227–1232 (2016)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Wald, H.S., Dube, C.E., Anthony, D.C.: Untangling the Web—the impact of Internet use on health care and the physician–patient relationship. Patient Educ. Couns. 68(3), 218–224 (2007)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Tsai, Y.Y., Chao, C.M., Lin, H.M., Cheng, B.W.: Nursing staff intentions to continuously use a blended e-learning system from an integrative perspective. Qual. Quant. (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11135-017-0540-5

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Muhammad Tariq Majeed.

Appendix

Appendix

See Tables 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14.

Table 10 Fixed effects and random effects result of health (infant mortality) and ICT
Table 11 Descriptive statistics of variables
Table 12 Correlation matrix of variables
Table 13 Pooled OLS result of health and ICT with regional effects
Table 14 List of countries

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Majeed, M.T., Khan, F.N. Do information and communication technologies (ICTs) contribute to health outcomes? An empirical analysis. Qual Quant 53, 183–206 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11135-018-0741-6

Download citation

Keywords

  • Internet
  • ICT
  • Health
  • Panel data

JEL Classifications

  • I10
  • I15
  • O32
  • L86