The relevance of Telehealth across the Digital Divide: The transfer of knowledge over distance

Ton A.M. Spil, Roel W. Schuring, Margreet B. Michel-Verkerke, Rueben Mugisha, Peter J.B. Lagendijk

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This paper explores the concept of Relevance as an explanatory factor to the diffusion of ITuse, or, in this paper particularly, the use of Telehealth. Relevance is the net value of performance expectancy and effort expectancy and contains both micro-relevance (i.e. here-and-now) and macro-relevance (i.e. actual goals) Following the case-study approach, two Telehealth situations were studied in Rwanda and The Netherlands. In the comparison, two more existing studies in Canada and Tanzania were included. The conclusion is that Relevance is the explanatory factor, whereas particularly micro-relevance is crucial. Without the micro-relevant occasions that initiate use, there will be no use on longer term In the cases studied the micro-relevance of knowledge-transfer was crucial. Furthermore distance determined Telehealth relevance. Practical conclusions to cases were drawn.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-35
JournalKnowledge management & e-learning
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Rheumatism
  • Microrelevance
  • Use
  • Telehealth
  • e-Health
  • Relevance
  • Rwanda
  • Diffusion
  • Netherlands
  • Developing countries

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