Telemedicine in Practice: A Sociotechnical Analysis in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Telemedicine technology means providing healthcare services by utilizing telecommunication tools without being physically in the same location. The technology is new in the region although it is not the case worldwide and there are gaps that need to be filled in related to it. This research aimed to conduct a thorough sociotechnical analysis of telemedicine in a realistic environment using a large sample of subjects. Mixed methodology was followed (quantitatively and qualitatively). The sample size was randomly drawn from the UAE population. The results were in the form of statistical outputs attained from a proven and well-known model and theory [Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and Diffusion Of Innovations (DOI) Theory]. Analysis and findings indicated that UAE is ready for telemedicine with few enhancements to be made. This research can be said as the first one in the UAE and one of the few in the region that examined telemedicine based on sociotechnical analysis and at the same time applied TAM and DOI Theory on diverse categories of subjects. Also, several hypotheses were tested within the UAE context. Additionally, it would enable decision-makers and healthcare organizations to identify telemedicine's current status in the UAE, demand and acceptance level.