A bibliometric analysis of medical informatics and telemedicine in sub-Saharan Africa and BRICS nations

Abstract

The advances in eHealth have dramatically changed the face of healthcare delivery around the world, with Sub-Saharan Africa being no exception. It is essential to identify the prominent, emerging researchers, successful areas of research within the field of health informatics (HI) and telemedicine (TM) to be duplicated where there is a need. This study gives a bibliometric overview of original research articles on medical informatics and telemedicine indexed in Scopus, PubMed, and Science Direct over the last 20 years in sub-Saharan Africa. Keywords related to health informatics and telemedicine were used to retrieve relevant literature. We specifically analyzed the evolution, standard metrics, domains of medical informatics (MI) and TM in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRIC) nations. Our results identified mhealth as the main field of research in telemedicine that has seen significant growth in both BRIC and SSA nations and is poised to be the focus of research activity in the near future. Research production in mhealth and telemedicine showed a considerable increase from 1999–2018. The production was dominated by articles from South Africa in Africa and China from the BRIC nations. Most prolific authors have resources and are leaders of health informatics projects. The production came from 26 sub-Saharan African countries, denoting this field's devotion in different areas around sub-Sahara. Research in mhealth needs to be encouraged, mostly in the fight against infectious and non-infectious diseases in sub-Saharan Africa, where technology can improve health services and decrease disease burden.

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Author Biography

Roy Tapera, Department of Environmental Health, School of Public Health, University of Botswana, Gaborone

Roy Tapera is a senior faculty member of the School of Public Health at the University of Botswana. He is a public health specialist with strength in Epidemiology, Health informatics, and Health Promotion. He has more than 12 years of experience in the field of public health. He has co-authored papers on substance use, non-communicable diseases, road traffic accidents, HIV/AIDS, and health promotion.  His teaching experience includes Epidemiology, Communicable Diseases, and Health Informatics to undergraduates and graduate students. His current research concerns Epidemiological studies and Health promotion. He possesses excellent skills in Data analysis using SPSS, R, and STATA. He co-authored several articles on public health issues. He is on the board for the Ant-Tobacco network (ATN). ATN is a Non Governmental organization with a vision to have a tobacco-free Botswana. Tapera is also an active member of The International Consortium of Universities for Drug Demand Reduction (ICUDDR).

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Published
2021-06-16
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Ethics Approval
This study did not include human subjects but only on electronic data on the public domain. Therefore, the protocol was granted exemption from the ethics review by the School of Nursing and Public Health (Protocol reference number:00004750).
Keywords:
Bibliometric Analysis, sub-Saharan Africa, Medical informatics, Telemedicine
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How to Cite
Tapera, R., & Singh, Y. (2021). A bibliometric analysis of medical informatics and telemedicine in sub-Saharan Africa and BRICS nations. Journal of Public Health Research, 10(3). https://doi.org/10.4081/jphr.2021.1903