Student Dissertation

Agency : Consumer Behavior; E-Health; Indian Healthcare Sector; e-Health Services

Objective : • To explore the current level of consumer knowledge related to e-Health in the Indian Healthcare Sector. • To understand the existing e-Health practices. • Identifying the online sources of health information for the targeted customer.

Background : Consumer behavior is the study of how individual customers select, purchase and utilize services and goods to satisfy their requirements. It refers to the activities of the consumers and the purpose behind those activities. E-Health is a broad term and refers to the use of web-based data and communication technologies in healthcare. Consumer e-health offers users the opportunity to shape their personal healthcare for themselves as far as possible. Not only does this concern lifestyle and prevention but also self-diagnostics and self-treatment. It has many advantages such as effective and efficient costing and accessibility. For instance, a larger number of patients come through an online consultation that cannot be there in person. Furthermore, availability permits patients/patient's family to access their medical records online which causes them to remain mindful about their health status. What's more, e-health has crossed the limits of conventional medicinal services by giving facilities that were initially considered past possible, for example, doctors can treat and diagnose their patients without even meeting them physically, over the internet. Also, e-health offers interface specialists and other healthcare experts with their online patients. Patients are increasingly using the Internet and other technologies to engage in their own healthcare, but this aspect of healthcare still needs a lot of research.

Methodology : The study design is a descriptive cross-sectional in nature. Primary data was collected over a period of three months by taking interviews using a structured questionnaire containing open and close-ended questions that were pre-tested. The participants were patients at Aakash Hospital, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi. The sample size was 200.

Recommendations : Many people in urban area are not comfortable with e-Health services. They still wish to follow traditional methods of health care, especially senior citizens who are not much attentive with new technologies. They still wish doctors to handle them and check them in a traditional way. Many people are uncertain about whether to apply e-Health on themselves or not. They appreciate the modern concept of cure of health electronically, also they see the future growth of this arena, but they are not ready to apply these techniques on themselves. The younger generation is keen on using these services, but they still point out that e-health would never be able to fill in the gap when it comes to the touch and feel factor of visiting a doctor. Very few are enthusiastically agreed with e-Health and welcome it, especially those who are having good knowledge of technology. With enhancements in the ICT sector, we can expect a good future of e-health with consumers.