|dc.description.abstract||Telemedicine is not a new technology today, but it is a novel approach for many developing countries, and in fact, it may have more profound impact on these countries than developed nations due to unmet demands for health and unprecedented health related challenges. In the health context of Nepal, telemedicine is rising and currently being implemented, though on a pilot scale – most of them by private health institutions. The main purpose of this study is to explore the practicability of telemedicine application in Nepal, with particular reference to challenges and scope regarding its implementation and use.
In this study, a qualitative research method was used. As such, interpretive research approach was employed in order to explain the phenomenon of interest. Multiple data collection tools were used to investigate and find possible explanations to the research questions considered. The empirical data gathered from the study were analyzed using the theories of Information Infrastructures (II) and Actor-Network Theory (ANT) from the information systems field. The notion of II is used to establish telemedicine as an infrastructural tool while ANT is used to describe the interaction and negotiation processes among diverse actors identified during the study.
From the empirical findings, issues related to funding, sustainability, technical acquisition, low resources and underdeveloped infrastructures were found to be major challenges to ICT growth. Important findings related ICT infrastructure and its sustainable development are discuses and implications are given with particular reference to telemedicine. Finally, it is concluded that funding and sustainability are the core issues, including other sociological and political issues, for telemedicine development in the context of Nepal, and hence calls for more research in this area.
Key words: Actor-Network Theory, Challenges, Developing Countries, ICT, Information Infrastructures, Nepal, Sustainability, Telemedicine||en