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T-Space at The University of Toronto Libraries >
Journal of Medical Internet Research >
Volume 8 (2006) >

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/4907

Title: A Case Analysis of INFOMED: The Cuban National Health Care Telecommunications Network and Portal
Authors: Séror, Ann C
Keywords: Case analysis
Cuban national health care system
virtual infrastructure
health care markets
Issue Date: 27-Jan-2006
Publisher: Gunther Eysenbach; Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, Toronto, Canada
Citation: Séror AC A Case Analysis of INFOMED: The Cuban National Health Care Telecommunications Network and Portal J Med Internet Res 2006;8(1):e1 <URL: http://www.jmir.org/2006/1/e1/>
Abstract: [This item is a preserved copy and is not necessarily the most recent version. To view the current item, visit http://www.jmir.org/2006/1/e1/ ]Background: The Internet and telecommunications technologies contribute to national health care system infrastructures and extend global health care services markets. The Cuban national health care system offers a model to show how a national information portal can contribute to system integration, including research, education, and service delivery as well as international trade in products and services. Objective: The objectives of this paper are (1) to present the context of the Cuban national health care system since the revolution in 1959, (2) to identify virtual institutional infrastructures of the system associated with the Cuban National Health Care Telecommunications Network and Portal (INFOMED), and (3) to show how they contribute to Cuban trade in international health care service markets. Methods: Qualitative case research methods were used to identify the integrated virtual infrastructure of INFOMED and to show how it reflects socialist ideology. Virtual institutional infrastructures include electronic medical and information services and the structure of national networks linking such services. Results: Analysis of INFOMED infrastructures shows integration of health care information, research, and education as well as the interface between Cuban national information networks and the global Internet. System control mechanisms include horizontal integration and coordination through virtual institutions linked through INFOMED, and vertical control through the Ministry of Public Health and the government hierarchy. Telecommunications technology serves as a foundation for a dual market structure differentiating domestic services from international trade. Conclusions: INFOMED is a model of interest for integrating health care information, research, education, and services. The virtual infrastructures linked through INFOMED support the diffusion of Cuban health care products and services in global markets. Transferability of this model is contingent upon ideology and interpretation of values such as individual intellectual property and confidentiality of individual health information. Future research should focus on examination of these issues and their consequences for global markets in health care.
Description: Reviewer: Cortinois, A
reviewer: Rodrigues, R
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/4907
ISSN: 1438-8871
Other Identifiers: doi:10.2196/jmir.8.1.e1
Rights: Copyright (cc) Retained by author(s) under a Creative Commons License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Appears in Collections:Volume 8 (2006)

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