SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

Department of Information Systems, Washington State University, Pullman, WA. E-mail: pdatta@wsu.edu The authors examine the need and adoption of teleophthalmology in sub-Saharan Africa. Ethiopia, like most sub-Saharan African countries, is faced with limited specialists and health care services. These services are often concentrated in the urban areas, leaving most of the rural population (about 70% of the country) without adequate and timely health care delivery. In Ethiopia, the ratio of ophthalmologists to the population is 1:1,200,000, resulting in inadequate delivery of ophthalmology-related health care services. Using both primary and secondary data collection approaches, the authors report the need for telemedicine as well as the adoption and application of teleophthalmology in Ethiopia. Further, they present Ethiopia's teleophthalmology network, integrated teleconsultation, and teleeducation services. The authors conclude by presenting this research as a starting point to investigate further teleophthalmology and other telemedicine services for Ethiopia and by extension, other developing countries. Therefore, they bring a much-underresearched region (sub-Saharan Africa) and a much-underresearched technology (telemedicine) to the forefront of information systems (IS) research. It is the authors' hope that colleagues in the field will be motivated to investigate this “forgotten” region of the world that is yet to reap the full potentials of information and communications technologies (ICTs).