In recent times, digital technologies in health care have been well recognized in Nepal. It is crucial to understand what is works well and areas that need improvements in the digital health ecosystem. This rapid review was carried out to provide an overview of Nepal's challenges and opportunities for implementing digital health interventions.
This study is reported according to PRISMA guidelines and used telehealth, telemedicine, e-health, mobile health, digital health, implementation, opportunities, challenges and Nepal as key search terms to identify primary studies published between 1 January 2010 and 30 December 2021 in four databases, namely PubMed, Google Scholar, Scopus, and CINAHL. Initially, identified studies were screened against predetermined selection criteria, and data were extracted, and the findings were narratively synthesized.
The review identified various challenges, opportunities, and benefits of implementing digital health initiatives in Nepal. The most expressed challenge was inadequate technical facilities (lack of electricity and internet) and rugged geographical distribution, which makes transportation difficult in hilly and mountain areas. Shortage of skilled workforce and supportive policies were also notable challenges documented. Meanwhile, major opportunities identified were education and training of the students and health practitioners and increasing awareness among the general population.
This review identified various factors associated with the successful implementation of digital health initiatives in Nepal. Our findings may guide the formulation of digital health policy and interventions to improve mass health outcomes using digital health services.