Key Health Information Technologies and Related Issues for Iran: A Qualitative Study

Morteza Hemmat1, Haleh Ayatollahi2, *, Mohammadreza Maleki2, Fatemeh Saghafi3
1 Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Saveh University of Medical Sciences, Saveh, Iran
2 School of Health Management and Information Sciences, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3 School of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

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© 2018 Hemmat et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the School of Health Management and Information Sciences, Iran University of Medical Sciences, No.6, Vali-e- Asr St., Yasami St., Tehran, Iran; Tel: +982188794301; E-mail:


Background and Objective:

Planning for the future of Health Information Technology (HIT) requires applying a systematic approach when conducting foresight studies. The aim of this study was to identify key health information technologies and related issues for Iran until 2025.


This was a qualitative study and the participants included experts and policy makers in the field of health information technology. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted and data were analyzed by using framework analysis and MAXQDA software.


The findings revealed that the development of national health information network, electronic health records, patient health records, a cloud-based service center, interoperability standards, patient monitoring technologies, telehealth, mhealth, clinical decision support systems, health information technology and mhealth infrastructure were found to be the key technologies for the future. These technologies could influence the economic, organizational and individual levels. To achieve them, the economic and organizational obstacles need to be overcome.


In this study, a number of key technologies and related issues were identified. This approach can help to focus on the most important technologies in the future and to priorities these technologies for better resource allocation and policy making.

Keywords: Health information technology, Key technology issues, Foresight, Qualitative study, Decision making, Interoperability standards.