The provision of health services via telecommunications technologies can complement face-to-face healthcare provision, and thus has the potential not only to improve access to healthcare, but also improve the quality of care provided. The provision of healthcare aims to sustainably improve the population’s wellbeing, and this should be one focus of governments (WHO 2012). In order to assess the health and wellbeing of a population and track changes over time, this research proposes the concept of “utility-adjusted life expectancy” (UALE), which adjusts the lifetime survival function with a more comprehensive utility measure that combines the utilities from both consumption and health. Our outcome measures permit us to examine the lifetime utility after re-allocating medical resources. The estimated personal welfare would increase by 8.75 utility-adjusted life years (UALYs) when the share of telehealth expenditure to GDP rises, until economic growth and social welfare maximization are achieved. Our findings reflect that appropriate investment in telehealth improves health and supports economic development, and could be a viable approach for nations with aging populations by reducing the cost of their healthcare systems. This research highlights new opportunities and challenges in assessing the provision of telehealth.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Life-span and Life-course Studies