The telecommunication technology in health care is providing cost-effective treatment options for both patients and physicians. Telemedicine is the use of audio, video and other telecommunications and electronic information processing technologies for transmission of information and data relevant to the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions, or to provide health services and aid health care personnel at distant sites.
"According to federal data, about 20% of U.S. residents live in areas with a shortage of health care providers. Meanwhile, videoconferencing equipment is becoming less expensive, high-speed communication networks are becoming more common and Web-based tools are becoming increasingly reliable and secure (ihealthbeat.org June 1 2010)."
According to the article on ihealthbeat.org, "Government health care programs such as Medicare and Medicaid already provide some reimbursement to doctors and hospitals that provide remote care to patients in rural, underserved regions. Some private insurers also are starting to market interactive video technologies to large employers."
Telemedicine is an expensive technology to put in place even for major medical institutions since it requires a great deal of hardware and software and technicians. The risk of using telemedicine is also the risk of security breach which can result in leak of vital patient information over the web or hospital network.
Top most benefits of telemedicine are 1) Enabling more informed decision-making and enhanced quality of care. 2) Saving lives through remote consultations, whether urgent or diagnostic. 3) Creating more efficient, convenient and potentially more cost-effective delivery of care. 4) Facilitating earlier and more accurate diagnoses. 5) Providing greater, and faster, access to a patient’s medical history, reducing the risk of negative drug interactions or poor response to a course of treatment. 6) Improving administrative...
References: Burke, Lillian , and Barbara Weill. Information Technology for the Health Professions, . New York: Prentice Hall, 2008. Print.
Clark P, Capuzzi K, Harrison J. i.e Telemedicine: Medical, Legal and Ethical Perspectives. Med Sci Monit 2010; 16(12): RA 261 - 272
Young, Kathleen M. Informatics for Healthcare Professionals. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis, 2000
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