Intermediaries and end-users in telehealth and education

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Abstract

This paper reviews the role of intermediaries and end-users in a number of recent telehealth and education initiatives, in relation to policy discussion about Australia’s National Broadband Network. Intermediaries are defined as human agents who provide an interface between end-users and systems supported by information and communication technology. Most of the telehealth and education projects examined form part of the Australian Federal Government’s Clever Networks program. The activities they cover include videoconferencing for at-home diagnosis of patients; aggregation of patient records from multiple databases; and secure educational networking. The paper refers to sociotechnical systems theory, which considers end-users and intermediaries as equal players with technology. Using this theoretical basis, it is argued that end-users and intermediaries should be factored into system and policy design for telehealth and education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-119
Number of pages12
JournalCommunication, Politics & Culture
Volume43
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010

Keywords

  • intermediaries
  • sociotechnical systems theory

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