Legislation and policies advance eHealth activities by providing opportunities and setting boundaries including: data sharing; financing; workforce roles and technology infrastructure. Many countries lack an international legal framework that allows physicians and healthcare professionals to practice in other jurisdictions through telemedicine or eHealth-based programs.
Only 58 percent of countries have a national eHealth policy or strategy, based on a 2015 survey administered by the WHO Global Observatory for eHealth (GOe) of 600 eHealth experts in 125 countries. Less than a quarter (including developed countries) reported having a legal framework that governs the exchange of digital data between health professionals in other nations.
Data privacy is another critical issue. Less than one third of all countries report having legislation in place to protect the privacy of electronic health records (EHR).
The Global eHealth Foundation works to remove barriers by promoting eHealth policies that support implementing and sustaining eHealth programs. Specifically, we advocate for policies that advance eHealth locally, nationally, and internationally.