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Extending the Social Identity of Information Systems: Telemedicine Transfer to Sub-Saharan Africa
Pratim Datta
Victor Mbarika
2010, Journal of Information Technology Research (JITR), 3(2), pp.18-33
Although Benbasat and Zmud's 2003 pronouncement of an "identity crisis" within the information systems IS discipline has been mitigated in the industrialized world, the authors are concerned that the crisis still looms large in the developing world. The author's objective is to theoretically underpin how the discipline can extend its social presence in developing countries to help sustain life. These arguments are contextualized with an in-depth examination of an area for which information systems research has much to offer: telemedicine. Telemedicine is an information systems intensive method concerning the remote delivery of healthcare. Telemedicine is fundamental to any healthcare solution in Sub-Saharan Africa SSA-a capital-starved society, home to 33 of the 48 least developed countries of the world, and suffering from a dire shortage of medical professionals. The social, political, and economic idiosyncrasies of SSA require a different lens to investigate telemedicine to induce social development. This paper proposes a research framework for telemedicine transfer in the context of SSA with propositions pertinent to the developing world. The authors draw on thorough implications of this research agenda as a stepping stone to recreate a social identity in developing nations plagued with more immediate concerns surrounding basic human sustenance.
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