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Eglė Caronkutė Birutė Mikulskienė

Abstract

The development of Lithuanian e-health system underwent quite a few challenges and fails when the effort did not bring the expected result. However, it is worth mentioning a few major breakthroughs creating its separate parts. To improve the e-health system purposefully and to increase the popularity of using e-health system, it is needed to have specific knowledge about the drawbacks of the system. The users and their willingness to use the created systems are the best reflection of the accessibility of e-health. “User profile” reveals characteristic target user group features and lets to predict other users behaviour in the future. “User profile” is one of the recognised means to improve e-services.Objective. The objective of the research, presented in the article, is to determine e-health services “user profile” or “profiles”, ascertaining which e-health services “user profile” is satisfied with the current e-health system in Lithuania.Methods and data. One thousand inhabitants who know and use e-health services in Lithuania were questioned to determine e-health “user profile” or “profiles” in Lithuania. The necessary empirical data were given by the project “Integrated Transformation of E-Health: Perspectives of Stakeholders’ Network” VP1-3.1-ŠMM-07-K-02-029/2013, which performed the quantitative survey of Lithuanian inhabitants. Secondary analysis of quantitative data method was applied to analyse the data. Statistical data analysis was performed using the statistical package “SPSS” (Version 17), “WinPepi” and “Microsoft Excel 2010” programmes. The using of the services was analysed according to the socio-demographical characteristics, i.e. gender, living place, age, education, occupation, family status, number of the family members and income. The frequency of using healthcare services, and the fact which healthcare institutions – private or state – were attended, was also taken into consideration.Results. During the research the objectives were reached and two types of health services were revealed: e-health services “user profiles” and the “profile” of a frequent healthcare user in Lithuania. It is noted that e-health service users and healthcare services “user profiles” are very different. The research of the “profiles” showed that there are objective socio-demographical inequalities between e-health users, which clearly show inequalities in e-health development.E-health services function more effectively in bigger cities; internet connection is more accessible for people with higher income, better education and younger inhabitants. Meanwhile, the need for e-services in other age groups is even more necessary because of the greater demand in healthcare. Summing up, socio-demograpical inequalities in “user profiles” allows to determine e-health system development drawbacks, which could be suggested for further improvement as the priority.

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