Healthcare corruption taken to task by technology, study shows

September 06, 2016

Mobile phone technology could help to beat bad practices in healthcare delivery, research suggests.

Innovations such as apps offer opportunities for improving governance in the healthcare sector, particularly in low and middle income countries, the study found.

Experts say that good governance is essential for ensuring citizens have fair access to high quality healthcare.

Corruption, fraud, inefficiency and discrimination are major barriers to medical care provision in many developing countries.

Researchers from the Universities of Edinburgh and Cambridge reviewed existing studies on how mobiles, the internet and other digital technologies are being used to tackle questionable practices in healthcare.

They identified a number of initiatives that are helping to increase transparency and accountability in healthcare services.

Examples include enabling people to report discrimination or bribery through social media. Barcodes that can be read by mobile devices are helping people to check that their medicines are genuine.

Other initiatives such as automated monitoring of hospital stocks are helping to prevent theft. Mobile phone payment systems can offer additional security to ensure healthcare workers receive their salaries directly.

This is the first comprehensive review of how digital technologies are helping to tackle corruption in healthcare.

Senior researcher Dr Claudia Pagliari, of the University of Edinburgh's Global Health Academy and Usher Institute of Population Health and Informatics, said: "While all countries are affected by these problems to some extent, the health sector in low and middle-income regions has been particularly susceptible. As digital technologies become more widely available there are real opportunities to make a difference, and we've seen some great examples of innovation. Further research is needed to understand which approaches are likely to work best and why."

Isaac Holeman, a Gates Scholar pursuing PhD studies at the University of Cambridge's Judge Business School, and co-founder of the non-profit MedicMobile, adds: "To be effective these technologies need to be designed with a sound understanding of the lived experiences of users and accompanied by the right mechanisms for turning digital insights into action."
-end-
The study, published in the Journal of Global Health, was funded by the US Agency for International Development through its Leadership, Management and Government Project.

University of Edinburgh

Related Discrimination Articles from Brightsurf:

Muslims, atheists more likely to face religious discrimination in US
A new study led by the University of Washington found that Muslims and atheists in the United States are more likely than those of Christian faiths to experience religious discrimination.

Racial discrimination linked to suicide
New research findings from the University of Houston indicate that racial discrimination is so painful that it is linked to the ability to die by suicide, a presumed prerequisite for being able to take one's own life, and certain mental health tools - like reframing an incident - can help.

Perceived "whiteness" of Middle Eastern Americans correlates with discrimination
The perceived ''whiteness'' of Americans of Middle Eastern and North African descent is indirectly tied to discrimination against them, and may feed a ''negative cycle'' in which public awareness of discrimination leads to more discrimination, according to a Rutgers-led study.

When kids face discrimination, their mothers' health may suffer
A new study is the first to suggest that children's exposure to discrimination can harm their mothers' health.

Racial discrimination in mortgage market persistent over last four decades
A new Northwestern University analysis finds that racial disparities in the mortgage market suggest that discrimination in loan denial and cost has not declined much over the previous 30 to 40 years, yet discrimination in the housing market has decreased during the same time period.

Successful alcohol, drug recovery hampered by discrimination
Even after resolving a problem with alcohol and other drugs, adults in recovery report experiencing both minor or 'micro' forms of discrimination such as personal slights, and major or 'macro' discrimination such as violation of their personal rights.

Sexual minorities continue to face discrimination, despite increasing support
Despite increasing support for the rights of people in the LGBTQ+ community, discrimination remains a critical and ongoing issue for this population, according to researchers.

Fathers may protect their LGB kids from health effects of discrimination
Lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals who report being discriminated against but who feel close to their fathers have lower levels of C-reactive protein -- a measure of inflammation and cardiovascular risk -- than those without support from their fathers, finds a new study from researchers at NYU College of Global Public Health.

Uncovering the roots of discrimination toward immigrants
Immigrants are often encouraged to assimilate into their new culture as a way of reducing conflict with their host societies, to appear less threatening to the culture and national identity of the host population.

Using artificial intelligence to detect discrimination
A new artificial intelligence (AI) tool for detecting unfair discrimination -- such as on the basis of race or gender -- has been created by researchers at Penn State and Columbia University.

Read More: Discrimination News and Discrimination Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.