Telemedicine (also referred to as "telehealth" or "e-health") allows health care professionals to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients in remote locations using telecommunications technology. Telemedicine allows patients in remote locations to access medical expertise quickly, efficiently and without travel. Telemedicine provides more efficient use of limited expert resources who can "see" patients in multiple locations wherever they are needed without leaving their facility. In developed and developing countries telemedicine offers a reduced cost solution to delivering remote care when and where it is needed without the building and staffing added facilities. Telemedicine also reduces isolation that clinicians can experience in small medical facilities in distant locations. Telemedicine allows local practitioners to consult with their peers and with clinical experts when needed. Telemedicine further allows them to participate in grand rounds and education opportunities they would not normally have access to without travel and time away from their patients.
Telemedicine has become standard medical practice and is in daily use across dozens of countries. Over 10,000 peer review papers have been published over the past 20 years supporting the clinical effectiveness and cost savings of telemedicine. For more information consult the American Telemedicine Association, the International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth or the National Library of Medicine.
The impact telemedicine has made on applications worldwide is astounding! There are hundreds of "use" cases showing how telemedicine technology is being used to improve the quality of healthcare and to deliver medical care in rural and remote locations. Here are some recent research studies done on the impact telemedicine has made.
The Financial Impact of a Pediatric Telemedicine Program: A Children’s Hospital’s Perspective
- TELEMEDICINE and e-HEALTH, JULY 2013
Examples of Research Outcomes: Telemedicine’s Impact on Healthcare Cost and Quality
- American Telemedicine Association, April 2013
AMD Telemedicine Blog