Factors affecting sustainable adoption of e-health technology in developing countries: an exploratory survey of Nigerian hospitals from the perspective of healthcare professionals

PeerJ. 2018 Mar 1:6:e4436. doi: 10.7717/peerj.4436. eCollection 2018.


Background: E-health technology applications are essential tools of modern information technology that improve quality of healthcare delivery in hospitals of both developed and developing countries. However, despite its positive benefits, studies indicate that the rate of the e-health adoption in some developing countries is either low or underutilized. This is due in part, to barriers such as resistance from healthcare professionals, poor infrastructure, and low technical expertise among others.

Objective: The aim of this study is to investigate, identify and analyze the underlying factors that affect healthcare professionals decision to adopt and use e-health technology applications in developing countries, with particular reference to hospitals in Nigeria.

Methods: The study used a cross sectional approach in the form of a close-ended questionnaire to collect quantitative data from a sample of 465 healthcare professionals randomly selected from 15 hospitals in Nigeria. We used the modified Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) as the dependent variable and external factors as independent variables. The collected data was then analyzed using SPSS statistical analysis such as frequency test, reliability analysis, and correlation coefficient analysis.

Results: The results obtained, which correspond with findings from other researches published, indicate that perceived usefulness, belief, willingness, as well as attitude of healthcare professionals have significant influence on their intention to adopt and use the e-health technology applications. Other strategic factors identified include low literacy level and experience in using the e-health technology applications, lack of motivation, poor organizational and management policies.

Conclusion: The study contributes to the literature by pinpointing significant areas where findings can positively affect, or be found useful by, healthcare policy decision makers in Nigeria and other developing countries. This can help them understand their areas of priorities and weaknesses when planning for e-health technology adoption and implementation.

Keywords: Adoption; Barriers; Developing countries; E-health; Healthcare; Healthcare professionals; Nigeria; Technology Acceptance Model.

Grants and funding

The authors received no funding for this work.