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2008 Global Digital Economy - E-Government, E-Health and Tele-education

Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

This annual report offers a wealth of information on the trends and developments taking place in the worldwide e-government, e-health and tele-education sectors. The report provides analyses of the issues surrounding the growth of such services and includes global and regional statistics. Comprehensive information on the exciting developments taking place on a regional level is also included.

Subjects covered include:

  • The importance of broadband infrastructure;
  • Key issues and strategies needed for countries to develop their digital economies;
  • E-government market overview, analyses and statistics;
  • E-health market overview, analyses and statistics;
  • Tele-education market overview, analyses and statistics;
  • Overview of e-government markets in North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific;
  • Overview of e-health markets in North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific;
  • Overview of tele-education markets in North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific;
  • Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH) market overview and statistics.
Researchers:- Paul Budde, Lawrence Baker, Lucia Bibolini, Peter Evans, Phil Harpur, Lisa Hulme-Jones, Paul Kwon, Henry Lancaster, Peter Lange, Tine Lewis, Kylie Wansink

Current publication date:- December 2008 (1st Edition)

Next publication date:- December 2009

Executive Summary

Many governments around the world now understand that broadband infrastructure can provide real benefits - not just in delivering high-speed Internet, but also in delivering services that are critical to the communities they serve. Important social services that depend on high quality broadband infrastructure include e-government, e-health and tele-education.

Around the western world we are facing a massive dilemma in relation to healthcare. New advances in medical technologies are increasing life expectations and improving quality of life. The cost of this however is enormous and we simply can no longer afford to finance these huge advances via the public health systems. In countries with proper broadband infrastructure, e-health is shaping up as a way that allows us to access these services at a more affordable cost. The alternative to not embracing e-health is to accept a significantly inferior healthcare service in the future. Countries that are lagging in these broadband infrastructure developments are going to face, not just a telecoms dilemma - but, more importantly, they are going to face a health crisis.

There is no doubt that e-health is going to totally transform the national healthcare systems and that society will need time to make the adjustment. Training is vital, and not just of medical professionals. Equally important is the training of other carers, volunteers, and the patients themselves. This is where tele-education can play an important role. Tele-education is becoming more and more important, particularly in developing markets, as it offers the potential for millions of people to access education that they would not be able to otherwise. Telecommunication technologies, such as mobile devices, the Internet and associated Web 2.0 applications, have further broadened the quality and possibilities for remote education and the ‘virtual classroom’.

Now that the broadband markets are moving in the right direction, we have shifted our focus from access to actual broadband services and applications - such as e-government. While one of the primary aims of e-government is to improve customer service for citizens; e-government applications can also assist in improving communication and information sharing between government departments. For citizens, one-stop services can reduce time and confusion when dealing with a number of departments. Interactions between government, business and industry can also be improved via e-government applications and the increased transparency of such services can lead to less corruption. In addition, streamlining services can lead to cost cutting and less waste of public resources.

This annual report explores and analyses the trends and developments taking place in the e-government, e-health and tele-education sectors. The report provides an outline of the benefits of such services and explores the issues surrounding their development. The report includes global and regional statistics and provides valuable insights into the developments taking place at a regional level for North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.

Key highlights:

  • The ‘business case’ for FttH networks is also no longer based solely on the commercial returns from Internet access and other communication services. It also incorporates the social and economic benefits provided by such infrastructure.
  • Millions of people worldwide can potentially benefit from e-health applications. There is currently an estimated shortage of over 4 million doctors, midwives, nurses and support workers worldwide.
  • In North America, many e-health initiatives are still in early formative stages, although during 2008 a number of significant ventures started moving from the drawing board to implementation.
  • E-health schemes are pivotal to the broadband strategies of Europe’s Member States. Alleviating cost pressures on overburdened hospitals and health services is a key justification for governments to part-fund NGNs.
  • While there are many successful examples of e-health development taking place in Asia, this is not widespread. Much more can be done in the health sector for providing basic health care and services, especially for the poor communities.
  • Tele-education is being used around the world for training, vocational training and formal education.
  • The E-education sector in North America has grown rapidly in the last 10 years, both at the secondary school and post-secondary level, and will continue its expanding role in the broader education sector.
Worldwide e-learning market value - 2008; 2010
Year Revenue ($ billion)
2008 (e) 25
2010 (e) 46
(Source: BuddeComm, 2008)
  • More and more countries are now investing in online government services and parts of Europe, Asia Pacific and North America are considered leaders in this area. Many have been implementing and developing their e-government strategies for a number of years and other governments around the world are now endeavouring to catch up.
  • Brazil is also considered a world leader in terms of e-government, especially in the areas of e-participation, electronic voting, online tax filing, and e-procurement. Chile is at the forefront in terms of e-government, its tax system having attracted worldwide attention because of the high filing rates achieved.
  • For several years the US and Canada have had well-established policies for developing e-government services, including the Canadian Government On-Line Initiative and the US’s 24 E-Gov Initiatives.
  • Ongoing improvements in broadband access and backbone infrastructure are set to bring further progress with e-services to Africa.
Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

1.1 Broadband high level overview
1.1.1 Broadband doesn’t just equal high-speed Internet
1.1.2 The many aspects of broadband infrastructure Broadband equals healthcare infrastructure Broadband equals utility infrastructure Broadband equals education infrastructure Broadband equals media and e-business infrastructure Broadband equals lifestyle infrastructure
1.1.3 Cities to take charge
1.1.4 National or local infrastructure
1.1.5 The pointless technology debates
1.1.6 End-to-end connectivity for national NGNs Essential for health, education and energy services Whole-of-government approach is needed Regulatory frameworks are failing National benefits are astounding Conclusions
1.2 Digital economy strategies
1.2.1 Case study: Australian government is leading the way
1.2.2 Essential for health, education and energy services
1.2.3 Whole-of-government approach is necessary
1.2.4 Regulatory frameworks are failing
1.2.5 National benefits are astounding
1.2.6 Conclusions
2.1 E-Government analyses and statistics
2.1.1 Introduction
2.1.2 Benefits of E-Government
2.1.3 E-Government applications
2.1.4 Leading E-Governments around the world
2.1.5 Fibre key to E-Government
3.1 E-Health analyses and statistics
3.1.1 Scope
3.1.2 E-Health - killer app on true broadband Broadband essential to maintain public health system Aged care services at home Social networking through video cams Public education and public debate needs to start now Online patient record systems Digital healthcare appointment system Video consultation and monitoring There simply is no alternative to E-Health
3.1.3 Massive costs of healthcare Patient remains central
3.1.4 Key developments iPhone applications to assist healthcare industry E-Payments in healthcare US medicare to approve E-Consultations? Google and Microsoft endorse Personal Health Record framework
3.1.5 IT key to sustainable healthcare
3.1.6 E-Health project examples 2008 - healthcare goes mobile; IBM Research 2007 - Virtual Reality relieves phantom limb pain
3.1.7 Published market statistics and forecasts
3.1.8 Conclusion Urgent rethink needed about E-Health delivery Bureaucratic framework hopelessly inadequate Redefining a medical consultation Redefining service delivery Deregulate and democratise the bureaucracy
4.1 E-Education analyses and statistics
4.1.1 Introduction E-Learning and tele-education E-Learning statistics and forecasts
4.1.2 Case studies Europe Overview Commercial involvement Norway Developing market - Africa
4.1.3 Other trends E-Learning and Open Source Virtual worlds for education Educating remote health professionals
5.1 FttH development and statistics
5.1.1 Introduction: FttH going forward
5.1.2 Fibre-based access Early trials - brief overview Fibre-to-the-Node (FttN) Massive changes in network management required FttH starts making business sense Low hanging FttH fruit Mass market FttH still years away
5.1.3 Global overview Leading markets FTTx market statistics
5.1.4 Regulating fibre: a global issue Regulating copper networks - a lesson Networks under strain The stronger case for fibre
5.1.5 FttH drivers National economy drivers Social drivers Entertainment drivers Business drivers No E-Government without fibre ‘Go with the flow’ strategies
5.1.6 FttH business models Vertically Integrated model Open network model Structural separation a must for FttH
6.1 North America
6.1.1 E-Health
6.1.2 E-Government
6.1.3 E-Education
6.2 Latin America
6.2.1 Overview
6.2.2 E-Government Brazil Chile
6.2.3 E-Health
6.2.4 E-Education
6.3 Europe
6.3.1 Western Europe Broadband backbone E-Services E-Commerce E-Government E-Health
6.3.2 Eastern Europe E-Government in Eastern Europe Bulgaria Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic Estonia Electronic ID (eID) card EEBone Greece Infrastructure development Deployed infrastructure Hungary Infrastructure Latvia Lithuania Infrastructure Poland Romania Slovakia Slovenia Infrastructure
6.4 Africa
6.4.1 Overview
6.4.2 E-Government
6.4.3 E-Health
6.4.4 E-Education
6.5 Middle East
6.5.1 Overview
6.5.2 E-Government in the UAE - a pioneer
6.5.3 E-Education - a Jordanian university leads the region
6.5.4 E-Health
6.6 Asia
6.6.1 Market Overview
6.6.2 China E-Government E-Education (including South Korea)
6.6.3 South Korea E-Government Master plans for an information society e-Korea Vision Broadband Korea IT Vision
6.6.4 Japan E-Government
6.6.5 Taiwan E-Government E-Education
6.6.6 Singapore E-Government
6.6.7 Malaysia E-government
6.6.8 Pakistan E-Government
6.6.9 Philippines E-Government
6.6.10 Indonesia E-Indonesia Project
6.6.11 Afghanistan E-Health
6.7 Pacific Region
6.7.1 Australia E-Health E-Education Introduction FttH to the schools E-Learning from Australia Computer Society E-Government
6.7.2 New Zealand E-Health E-Government E-Education and E-Health
6.7.3 South Pacific E-Education E-Health
Table number:
Table 1 - Percentage of government agencies offering online services worldwide - 2005 - 2007
Table 2 - Projected regional increases in total healthcare spending - 2020 - 2050
Table 3 - Number of consumers using health monitoring - North America; Western Europe1 - 2008; 2012
Table 4 - Spending on IT in healthcare sector - Western Europe - 2006 - 2012
Table 5 - Market value and growth of telehealth - 2012
Table 6 - Worldwide E-Learning market value - 2005; 2008; 2010
Table 7 - Worldwide FTTx subscribers - 2007 - 2008
Table 8 - Worldwide FTTx share of broadband market - 2004; 2006 - 2007
Table 9 - FTTx market share by region - 2007
Table 10 - Worldwide markets with FTTx penetration > 1% - 2007
Table 11 - Worldwide FttH port shipments - 2007 - 2008
Table 12 - Worldwide FttH port shipments by technology - 2007 - 2008
Table 13 - Worldwide spending on fibre-optic cables - 2006; 2010
Table 14 - Internet penetration in Western European countries - June 2008
Table 15 - Broadband access lines and forecast growth in Europe - 2002 - 2009
Table 16 - Take up of e-government services by businesses in selected Eastern European countries - 2007
Table 17 - Take up of e-government services by individuals in selected Eastern European countries - 2007
Table 18 - Broadband household penetration in Arabian Gulf countries - 2007
Exhibit number:
Exhibit 1 - Key starting-points for local broadbanding
Exhibit 2 - Key broadbanding steps
Exhibit 3 - Telehealth benefits of utilising national communications infrastructure
Exhibit 4 - Examples of Web 2.0 developments
Exhibit 5 - Definition: E-Government
Exhibit 6 - Examples of common web based E-Government applications
Exhibit 7 - United Nations E-Government readiness ranking - top 35 countries - 2008
Exhibit 8 - Brown University’s top five E-Government countries - 2007
Exhibit 9 - Healthcare spending statistics
Exhibit 10 - Advantages of E-Health
Exhibit 11 - E-Health project examples
Exhibit 12 - Popular health related websites in the US
Exhibit 13 - Advantages of E-Learning
Exhibit 14 - Sample of E-Learning market participants*
Exhibit 15 - Examples of tele-education initiatives in developing markets
Exhibit 16 - Examples of open source E-Learning projects
Exhibit 17 - Explanation: optical fibre
Exhibit 18 - Broadband - infrastructure blueprint
Exhibit 19 - Microsoft, Covisint E-Health initiative via A&T Healthcare Community Online
Exhibit 20 - Telemedicine in Afghanistan - June 2007

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